Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Kinglake Canter
A seven kilometre rollercoaster climb from the West Bridge valley of hobby farms to the top of the Kinglake Ranges sets the scene for this loop through the forest. This area took a real beating in the 2009 ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires but has bounced back with enhanced views. Great downhills as a reward for the easy but consistent climb just after the start. Lots of narrow tracks in the dirt.
The first section of Captains Creek Road is well maintained but it gets rougher as you ride away from civilisation and into Kinglake National Park. Evidence of the 2009 bushfires is still all around. The tree cover is growing back fairly quickly but, in the meantime, you do get a better view across the hills than you used to from the ridge line and the reduction in leaf litter means the tracks are surprisingly clean, apart from the occasional dead tree that has belatedly hit the dirt.
Once you pass Wombelano Falls, you can meet an oncoming car even though it feels to be an isolated area. Extons Road has copped a spray from the bitumen machine since the bushfires but the singletrack on the left is a good option. Then you re-enter the national park at Candlebark Track for some delightful downhills, complete with erosion-bank jumps. You can really move quickly along here and the sense of speed is enhanced by fast passage past the trees.
You will be brought back to earth by Perimeter Track, which features one of the steepest climbs in this book. If you can make it up here without walking you are doing really well. Burgan Track brings you back to Captains Creek Road for a short downhill run back to the start.
The ride is located in Kinglake National Park, and the start is around 55km north east of Melbourne. Take the Melba Highway from Yarra Glen, past the Kinglake/ Toolangi crossroads. Turn left at Westbridge Road and follow for 3km to our start/finish point at the intersection of Eucalyptus and Captains Creek roads (Melway X910 Q10).
Food and Drink
Stock up in Yarra Glen or Kinglake before you start this ride as it is in an isolated part of the national park where there are no facilities.
Wombelano Falls are a 1.5km return (30 minute) walk from a clearly-signed entry on this ride. Well worth the effort if there’s been some rain but not very exciting if it has been dr
24.51 km / 15.23 mi
645 m / 2,117 ft
608 m / 1,996 ft