Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Wombat Singletrack Loop
A singletrack lover’s delight! Up to 21 kilometres of tight turns and constant change of direction. Smatterings of short, sharp hills to attack out of the saddle but no real climbs to deal with. Plenty of squeezing between trees with the gap not much wider than handlebars if you don’t line up the approach. Just about the right amount of constructed obstacles and log jumps, most with a ‘B’ line option.
This trail network has an attractive, natural feel. It is less groomed than most other constructed singletrack courses resulting in a narrow track which requires some concentration if you plan to ride quickly.
It is a one-way course, but don’t feel committed to doing the whole ride if you are not up to it. There are a couple of options to cut off a loop section and pick up the return trail close by.
The course is still evolving and route changes are possible at any time. Signage is limited but expanding and you will get to know the area very quickly. Distance is achieved by the many switchbacks and changes in direction so the area covered by the network is far less than you imagine and is bordered by well defined fire tracks. These also give you another bail out option if needed.
I would not recommend riding here in the depths of a wet winter, as you would expect lots of track damaging bog holes. Woodend is also very cold in winter with frequent dustings of snow nearby.
Wombat is a legacy of the tireless effort by volunteers, primarily Russell from Woodend Cycles, a great little shop with old fashioned service. Keep an eye open for opportunities to get involved in trail maintenance at the site and do your bit on a ride and shift a branch or drain a puddle.
There are many other ride options around Woodend and Wombat State Forest and Russ can give you suggestions.
Woodend is nestled beneath Mount Macedon, around 65 kilometres northwest of Melbourne via the Calder Freeway. You can also get to Woodend by train and ride nine kilometres to the start. The start is accessed via Finger Post Road which is about five kilometres or halfway between the freeway exit and Woodend.
By car: From the Calder Freeway take the Woodend exit. Drive about four kilometres then turn left onto the Old Calder Highway, then immediately right onto Finger Post Road and continue for a further 4.1 kilometres. There is a small car park near a dam with a sign marking the start. Please observe the one-way direction.
Food and Drink
Plenty of options in Woodend five kilometres along the Calder Highway from the Finger Post turn off.
Woodend is a pleasant country town and is an ideal post-ride refreshment spot. Call into Woodend cycles and thank Russ for all his great work in developing the trail network and get any bike bits you may need. Russ can also give you plenty of ideas about other riding options in the area. Woodendcycles.com.au (03) 5427 2662 Shop 15, 130 High Street, Woodend
A ride log is not required, just follow the trail from the start on the right hand side of the dam near the car park. Along the way you have several fire trail crossings. The trail is usually straight ahead as you cross or a short distance to one side.
You may be surprised by the nature of the State Forest around you. Pine plantations dominate as you drive to the start and the ride itself loops through regrowth timber. Occasionally you will see the remains of a giant tree lying in silent witness to the forest of old.
19.79 km / 12.297 mi
318 m / 1,043 ft
714 m / 2,342 ft