This is simply one of the most beautiful riding experiences I have ever had! It ticks so many boxes: vegetation, scener, and trail layout all come together to provide mountain biking at its best. This ride consists of three trail loops which link together, and you sense that a lot of planning has gone into the trail design, as they progress from an easy beginner’s loop to gradually more demanding terrain. The transition from one ride to the next is clearly signed and sometimes you have more than one option to move into the next section.
Roller Coaster is well named with its gentle undulations. The track surface is compacted earth with embedded stone dust. Visually, it is a stunner as you meander through tall grass trees then enter the dappled light under taller timber.
As you continue onto Third Time Lucky you are introduced to enjoyable but non-demanding technical additions including bermed corners, small jumps, and roller coaster humps. The stunning vegetation continues as the gradients steepen a little and tight turns are introduced. You pass a link to Roller Coaster so you have an option to return to the start or, by continuing, progress to Follow the Dog.
The ride starts at the Forrest Trailhead, a short distance past the Brewery on Forrest-Birregurra Road (the main road through Forrest) on the southern outskirts of town.
Food and Drink
You can get coffee, breakfast, lunch, a range of snacks, gourmet meats and cheeses and ice cream from the Forrest General Store in the main street between 8am - 5pm everyday. Playpi Chocolate, situated across the road from the Forrest trailhead, is the place to try a hot chocolate, fabulous coffee, a tasty cafe-style lunch or jump straight into a delicious dessert or chocolate open 10am -5pm daily. For dinner check out The Forrest Brewery in the main st for great beer and informal, locally sourced food paired with their craft beer, local wines, and freshly roasted coffee, open Sunday- Wednesday 9am-5pm, Thursday 9am-9pm and Friday- Saturday 9am- 10pm. The Terminus Hotel in Station Street for a good pub feed and friendly atmosphere, open daily for lunch and dinner. Grocery shopping in the town of Forrest is limited so it pays to stock up before you come. The Forrest general store has a range of essentials but for super-
market shopping stop at Colac or Winchelsea on the way.
Plenty of cycle-friendly accommodation right in Forrest catering for campers, families, singles, and groups. Check out Airb&b or Stayz. Camping available at The Wonly Stables Caravan Park.
Visit Forrest Hire Bikes in the main street next to The General Store for maps of the trail network, along with information on local tourist attractions.
Suggested side trips include:
* Join a Paddle with the Platypus tour with Otway Eco Tours at Lake Elizabeth
• Drive down to the coast to Apollo Bay
• Ride or drive to Lake Elizabeth car park, then enjoy
a 20-30 minute walk down to the lake
• Try the local beers at the brewery
• Check out West Barwon Reservoir
* Tree Tops Adventure
* Stevensons Falls located at the end of a gravel rd approx 6km from Barramunga which is about 15 minutes drive from Forrest towards the coast.
• Great road cycling opportunities. The annual Amy’s Gran Fondo ride travels through this area.
0.0 At the Forrest Trailhead, look for the sign marked Trail 4. As this ride consists of three intersecting loops, be on the lookout for trail markers to Third Time Lucky (numbered 5 on the markers) and Follow the Dog (numbered 6 on the markers). The transition from one side to the next flows smoothly as does the degree of difficulty. As you progress, turns become sharper, and short climbs and descents become more frequent.
As well as being a great ride for experienced riders, the less experienced will find this a great opportunity to gain skills and confidence. You can always expect some dampness towards the bottom of Follow the Dog as you end up at the bottom of a beautiful rainforest gully.
Follow the Dog introduces slightly more challenging technical features including drop-offs, log hops, berms, and some short steep climbs and descents. These are perfectly suited for intermediate riders with some challenges offering a ‘B’ line option. Towards the lowest point of the trail you ride beside a bubbling watercourse with remnant rainforest vegetation, giving a sense of wilderness and isolation, yet you are only a short distance from the trailhead.
9.436 km / 5.863 mi
355 m / 1,165 ft
349 m / 1,146 ft
265 m / 869 ft