Cycyle Melbourne, Mountain BIke RIde, Buxton MTB Complex - Acheron Ridge
The complex has similar features to Forrest with a series of well-designed linked loops and a total distance of around 20km with six ride options. Rides flow beautifully with added features including berms and narrow bridges, a couple of jumps with B line options. Climbs and descents are moderate and achievable by anyone with a bit of mountain bike experience. Technical features are perfect for most recreational riders and sufficient to provide a sense of excitement. Novice riders can handle most of the course with only one or two short sections that may require a dismount.
The best way to experience the rides is to do the outer loop (Acheron Ridge), which is 10km. This has a gentle climb to a ridgeline with great views down the valley to the Cathedral Ranges. This will give you a real feel for the trails and other options you may want to explore. These are all weather trails with good shade in summer and very good drainage built into the trail design. You start beside a small stream then begin a gradual climb with a few trail features to add some spice. Nothing is extreme, just a couple of narrow points between trees and a few tighter turns as you progress.
If you are a novice rider you may balk at a couple of very narrow bridges along the way. If these are beyond your skill level, no one will mind if you walk them.
You will probably be as surprised as I was when you get to the top of Acheron Ridge and see how high you have climbed. The climbing is very gentle, then almost effortlessly you have gained height and access to views across the valley to the nearby rugged Cathedral Ranges. From this high point the descent is teased out to give you a great downhill experience without that out of control feeling. Towards the bottom you come across some thicker scrub close to the stream, followed by the final narrow bridge, then it is just a short distance to the finish. Novice riders can start with Wet Plains Creek (4.5km). This also gives an option to return by road after 1.4km.
The Wet Plains Creek trail is the first portion of Acheron Ridge ride so a novice rider can make a judgement about completing the longer loop or bailing out early. James Cowell senior forest ranger with the Department of Sustainability and Environment deserves the gratitude of all who ride here. James has displayed great initiative in developing and constructing the complex. This is often a difficult thing to achieve within a government instrumentality more focused on timber harvesting than recreation. There is a commitment to gradually extend the trails as resources become available so it is a good idea to check the Murrindindi Cycle Club website for trail update information.
Melway map X910 S10. Take Maroondah Highway, through Healesville and Narbethong to Buxton, about 105km from Melbourne. Turn left at Dyes Lane about 800m before the Buxton hotel. The trail head is 1.5km along Dyes Lane – there are a couple of car parks to choose from.
Food and Drink
Nothing available on site. Café, milk bar, toilets in Buxton. Local hotel for evening meals.
If you are a keen fly fisher there are some fine spots close by. If you like to hike and rock scramble, the Cathedral Ranges are a short distance north of Buxton. Good hiking opportunities, including a climb to the top of the range for spectacular views down the valley.
Shorter 4.5 km route:
Longer 10 km ride completing the Acheron Ridge route:
8.488 km / 5.274 mi
230 m / 756 ft
383 m / 1,257 ft