Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Red Carpet Trail
Red Carpet provides a return route to Forrest from Lake Elizabeth but it is quite a contrast to Barlidjaru, the outbound route. It starts under an umbrella of tree ferns before heading into more open, rugged eucalypt country. This ride is quite a contrast to most of the other rides in the area, because of the natural terrain, technical challenges, and a destination.
Much of the ride is close to Kaanglang Road before heading through some rougher vegetation then a short section of gravel road around West Barwon Reservoir. The final section back to the trailhead is on Forrest Loop trail.
From Lake Elizabeth car park, follow the signs for trail number 3, Red Carpet. The first section shares the Barlidjaru trail for a short distance, before heading into a more rugged singletrack through the forest. Trail conditions change and you encounter a wide variety of natural technical challenges. There are ruts, tight turns, some short steep descents and narrow squeezes between the trees. Further on, the trail narrows and you encounter some blackberries, close enough to menace your legs. Passing through the West Barwon dam area, the trail incorporates some wider access tracks before returning to narrower trails for a gentle climb back up to Forrest.
The ride starts at the Lake Elizabeth car park, which is accessible by road from Forrest. It is designed to be the return option of Barlidjaru, which starts at Forrest and ends at the Lake Elizabeth car park.
Food and Drink
You can get coffee, breakfast, lunch, a range of snacks, gourmet meats and cheeses and icecream 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 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 rider 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.
8.443 km / 5.247 mi
270 m / 885 ft
272 m / 893 ft
336 m / 1,102 ft