Cycle Melbourne, Mountain BIke Ride, Silvan Sport
This ride might start in the same spot as Hit the Wall, but it’s definitely preferable if you are not a fan of climbing. A beautiful introduction to the Dandenong Ranges, away from the crowds and cliffs on the city side with some pleasant singletrack beside some forest giants. A real mountain bike experience that is ideal for less experienced riders and an ideal loop to do a couple of laps if you are fitter.
Starting off in Melbourne Water territory, this ride quickly heads into a section of the Dandenong Ranges National Park where many of the tracks have numbers rather than names. The first section of the ride is the same as for Hit the Wall, using Circuit Track, Messmate Track and Olinda Creek Track before heading down to the cool surroundings of the creek itself and climbing onto Track 11 for the climb out of the valley.
There’s a nice stretch of singletrack on the left after you pass a fenced Melbourne Water area and then head further into the park on Tracks 18 and 13. Georges Track leads to another section of obscured singletrack called Possum Track, which had a fallen tree over it recently. This leads through to a gravel road that takes you back to Georges Track Bridge Track. This is another nicely shaded part before a couple of zigzagging sections bring you to Bulldog Avenue, which has some sweet eroded bank jumps but some slippery clay to watch out for in the wet.
The last section mimics Hit the Wall, with the series of rollovers along Centre Track taking you back to Silvan Road and its singletrack section on the right. This ride can be chilly in winter, but is not as exposed as some of our trips in the higher parts of the Dandenongs and it never gets busy.
This ride is located in Silvan, approx 70km (60 minutes drive) east of Melbourne. Turn right on Anderson Street from Lilydale (Sign: ‘C401 Montrose’) and drive through Mount Evelyn on Lilydale-Monbulk Road (C401/C404). Turn right in Silvan at Stonyford Road and stop in the Silvan Reservoir Picnic Ground car park, the second one on the left (Melway 120 H11).
Train: Take the train to Lilydale, ride up the Warburton rail trail to Mount Evelyn then turn right on Monbulk Road to Silvan.
Food and Drink
Stock up before you come as the only café in Silvan had closed its doors last time we were there. Consider a picnic at the reservoir and carry plenty of water on the ride, especially on hot days.
There are a number of walking tracks near the reservoir, which are outlined on the Parks Victoria website, including the Olinda Creek Track.
12.893 km / 8.011 mi
534 m / 1,752 ft
411 m / 1,348 ft
385 m / 1,262 ft