Mount Lofty

Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Mount Lofty

A very natural twisty singletrack loop through light forest. Mount Lofty trail is another fine example of a well planned mountain bike course, but don’t be mislead by the name! The course is more undulating than mountainous; the track feels scratched into the dirt rather than groomed. Lots of quick gear changing and frequent use of brakes are needed to ride this well. This type of track can get very muddy after heavy rain but dries very quickly.

Redesdale is more a district than a town and Mount Lofty a hill rather than a mountain. There’s a smattering of buildings in Redesdale and no facilities at this stage at the course. The simplicity of the place is a positive feature especially if you like the feel of a natural track through the bush. There were trails here previously but the 2009 fires resulted in considerable damage. You see little evidence of the fires today as the bush has regenerated nicely. Nice low tree cover provides shade throughout the ride.

The course was built by a co-operative effort between Full Gas Promotions, Parks Victoria and local volunteers. At the time of writing there is no signage but this will be introduced shortly.

Mount Lofty reserve covers an area of roughly one by two kilometres. The mountain bike trail loops and twists around contours and gullies to achieve its 17km

length. If you have less experienced riders or children in your group there are flat sections of access tracks to play on as well as the slightly more difficult perimeter track. Near the high point of the perimeter track there are beautiful views west, towards Castlemaine.

Access

By car: Mount Lofty Reserve is around one and a half hours’ drive northwest of Melbourne. (Melway X909 F6) Take the M79 Calder Freeway towards Bendigo, go past the first turn off to Kyneton then take the next exit, the C326 marked ‘Kyneton, Heathcote’. Turn right at the roundabout and follow signs to Heathcote and Lake Eppalock. Continue for 26.5km to Redesdale then turn left on the C327 towards Bendigo and Lake Eppalock. After 700m veer left onto Mount Lofty Road.

Drive for another three kilometres and 300m past the Mount Lofty Reserve sign, turn left and park near the dam.

Food and Drink

Best to stock up before you come, or on the way at Kyneton. There is a café and pub in Redesdale but nothing at the ride site.

Side Trip

There are a couple of local wineries and the renowned Heathcote wine district is about 20 minutes away.

Ride Log

There is no need for a detailed log of this ride. To start, travel along the dam wall and just follow the track for an enjoyable trip.

Trail map

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14.839 km / 9.22 mi

Total Distance

286 m / 938 ft

Total Ascent

356 m / 1,168 ft

Highest Point

Ride type:
Sightseeing
Mountain biking
Road riding
Commuter
Kid friendly
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Advanced (Black)
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 (Kms): 16.5
Elevation Gain (metres): 315
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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