A very natural twisty singletrack loop through light forest. Mount Lofty trail is another fine example of a well-planned mountain bike course, but don’t be mislead by the name!
Redesdale is more a district than a town and Mount Lofty a hill rather than a mountain. There’s a smattering of buildings in Redesdale and no facilities at this stage at the course. The simplicity of the place is a positive feature especially if you like the feel of a natural track through the bush. There were trails here previously but the 2009 fires resulted in considerable damage. You see little evidence of the fires today as the bush has regenerated nicely. Nice low tree cover provides shade throughout the ride.
The course was built by a co-operative effort between Full Gas Promotions, Parks Victoria and local volunteers. At the time of writing, there is no signage but this will be introduced shortly.
Mount Lofty reserve covers an area of roughly one by two kilometers. The mountain bike trail loops and twists around contours and gullies to achieve its 17km
length. If you have less experienced mates or children in your group, there are flat sections of access tracks to play on as well as the slightly more difficult perimeter track. Near the high point of the perimeter track, there are beautiful views west, towards Castlemaine.
There are a couple of local wineries and the renowned Heathcote wine district is about 20 minutes away.
The course is more undulating than mountainous; the track feels scratched into the dirt rather than groomed. Lots of quick gear changing and frequent use of brakes are needed to ride this well. This type of track can get very muddy after heavy rain but dries very quickly.
By car: Mount Lofty Reserve is around one and a half hours’ drive northwest of Melbourne. (Melway X909 F6) Take the M79 Calder Freeway towards Bendigo, go past the first turn off to Kyneton then take the next exit, the C326 marked ‘Kyneton, Heathcote’. Turn right at the roundabout and follow signs to Heathcote and Lake Eppalock. Continue for 26.5km to Redesdale then turn left on the C327 towards Bendigo and Lake Eppalock. After 700m veer left onto Mount Lofty Road.
Drive for another three kilometers and 300m past the Mount Lofty Reserve sign, turn left and park near the dam.
Food and Drink
Best to stock up before you come, or on the way at Kyneton. There is a café and pub in Redesdale but nothing at the ride site.
There is no need for a detailed log of this ride. To start, travel along the dam wall and just follow the track for an enjoyable trip.
14.839 km / 9.22 mi
387 m / 1,270 ft
392 m / 1,285 ft
356 m / 1,168 ft