Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Hepburn Spa

This ride is an ideal introduction to mountain biking. It is long enough to give you a feeling of accomplishment and, apart from the start, is not very hilly. You encounter a wide variety of trails, including a long section of singletrack on the Goldfields Track used in our ride to Castlemaine. This part is not too technical, just a lot of fun as you dart through the trees. Stay the weekend and book in for a spa and massage after your ride!

Don’t be put off by the start — it is the toughest part of the ride as you negotiate a steep climb from the car park. After the climb there is an undulating fire track through a forested area where wildflowers proliferate in the spring.

After crossing the Midland Highway you ride along a gas pipeline access track. From 6.4km you have nearly seven kilometres of narrow sealed road. We usually avoid this stuff, but here we make an exception. It forms a great link to interesting tracks but also gives quite outstanding panoramic views of the surrounding countryside with much evidence of past volcanic activity, including Mount Franklin which dominates the skyline.

From 15.2km you have a fun section of singletrack to enjoy. This is part of the Goldfields Track which we follow on the Castlemaine to Daylesford ride. If you are new to mountain biking, just take your time and enjoy the sensation of riding in the bush, close to the trees.

Towards the end of the journey, you retrace the outbound route so your first hill now becomes a very pleasant downhill to finish on. Just remember to slow down as you could meet a walker.

Access

By car: Hepburn Springs is about five kilometres north of Daylesford which is about 1.5 hours drive northwest of Melbourne. Daylesford can be accessed from either the Calder or Western highways. Turnoffs to Daylesford are clearly signed. Start point is in Hepburn Springs Spa car park. From Daylesford roundabout (Vincent and Albert streets) continue north from Daylesford towards Castlemaine on Daylesford Castlemaine Road. Drive for 3.7 kilometres then take the right hand fork at Y-inter-section to Hepburn Springs. After four kilometres turn right into Hepburn Springs Spa and continue to the uppermost/last car park. Head to the north east corner of the upper car park (furthest from spa complex). Set your computer to 0.0 at the green information shelter at the trail head, this is the start of the ride.

Food and Drink

Your best option is to stock up in Daylesford. Free mineral water is available at Hepburn Springs Spa at a pump just past the barbecue shelter to the right of where the ride starts.

Side Trip

Make the most of your visit to the spa and the many bathing and massage programs they offer. You can also have a picnic or barbecue in the grounds. (03) 5348 8888 or www.hepburnspa.com.au.

Ride Log

Set computer/tripmeter to 0.0km at the green information shelter at the trailhead; this is the start of the ride.

  • 0.0 Ride uphill on the dirt dual track.
  • 0.1 Keep right at the sign, towards Argyle Springs.
  • 0.2 Keep left past the second Argyle Springs sign.
  • 2.2 At the junction, go straight ahead. Follow the main trail, avoid all side tracks.
  • 2.4 Cross Midland Hwy and continue straight ahead.
  • 2.5 Junction, turn left.
  • 2.7 Veer left along the gas line track. You need to take care with next instruction.
  • 2.9 Approximately 100m after the crest of a hill, turn right onto a disused dual track.
  • 3.1 At the junction, continue straight ahead.
  • 4.0 Turn right, Middleton Creek Rd.
  • 4.3 Turn left onto the dual track.
  • 4.5 Turn left on the dirt road; this is Scotts Ln.
  • 5.6 Junction, continue straight ahead on Scotts Ln and ignore the side roads.
  • 6.4 Turn left at the sealed road, Porcupine Ridge.
  • 13.1 The road turns to dirt, continue straight ahead.
  • 14.4 At the intersection, turn left (Green Gully Track).
  • 15.2 Continue straight ahead past Loop Track then 100m later, turn left up a disused dual track which is opposite Goldfields Track marker.
  • 16.1 Keep following the Goldfields Track markers.
  • 16.3 At the Y- intersection, veer right at the marker – take care as the next turn is on a fast descent.
  • 16.6 Turn right and follow the markers along the singletrack.
  • 19.9 Continue straight ahead on the left track, Sawpit Track.
  • 21.6 Cross Leslies Ln, and continue straight ahead on Sawpit Track.
  • 22.5 At the cross roads, continue straight ahead on Sawpit Gully Rd.
  • 23.9 Cross Midland Hwy with care and continue straight ahead up the track opposite and ignore all side tracks.
  • 25.1 Continue straight ahead on the main trail.
  • 25.4 At the Y-intersection, take the right track.
  • 25.5 Veer left uphill, south; there is a dam to your left.
  • 25.8 At the T-intersection, turn left. This is Mannings Rd.
  • 26.3 Turn right at Daylesford Hepburn Rd, then turn
  • left on the track near the Hepburn Regional Park sign.
  • 27.2 At the track junction, veer right then continue straight ahead at the next intersection. Ignore all side tracks.
  • 28.4 Please slow down on the descent. You could meet walkers ahead.
  • 30.0 Finish back at the spa car park
  • Trail map

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    28.266 km / 17.564 mi

    Total Distance

    851 m / 2,793 ft

    Total Ascent

    768 m / 2,518 ft

    Total Descent

    593 m / 1,945 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
    Fitness Level: Medium
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Limited
    Estimated Distance: 29.0
    Elevation Gain: 555
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire facilities
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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