This little gem starts at Puffing Billy train station then heads out on non-technical tracks through fabulous vegetation in Sherbrooke Forest. Variety of trail surface and scenery makes the ride feel much longer, and you get to the finish feeling that you have had a great mountain bike experience. The singletrack sections are perfect for making the transition to off-road riding.
There is one short steep climb on Old Monbulk Road just after the start that will have most people in granny gear, but after that the climbs are gentle. Very soon after the start, you are on dirt. The track is well formed with good drainage as you meander through Sherbrooke Forest. Soon after the four-kilometer mark, you begin a section of very beautiful singletrack passing through awesome remnant rainforest vegetation before a pleasant descent on a firm trail surface. As you head back there is another good vantage point to see Puffing Billy if you time it right. There are two excellent cafés on the course, perfect opportunities for coffee and cake on your second lap!
The trail surface is varied but easy and firm. It is a mix of singletrack, fire trail, and dirt trail. There is one short steep climb on Old Monbulk Road, following by gentle tracks.
By car, take the Burwood Highway to Belgrave (less than an hour east from Melbourne city) and try for a park in Bayview Road (Melway 75 F10). If you come by train to Belgrave station, follow directions from the platform to Belgrave Road then ride a short distance uphill to Bayview Road. The ride starts at the intersection of Belgrave-Gembrook Road, Bayview Road and Old Monbulk Road.
Food and drink
There are plenty of options near the start and very pleasant cafés at 3.3km and 4.1km.
If you are good to have another trip, enjoy a ride on the famous Puffing Billy steam train close to the ride start. See the site for details and timetable. Break your journey at either of the excellent cafés on the route or picnic at Grants Picnic Ground (2.9km).
- 0.0 Start near the ‘Welcome to Puffing Billy’ sign and toilets just outside the station entrance near the corner of Belgrave-Gembrook Rd, Bayview Rd, and Old Monbulk Rd. Ride down the hill past the station then over the railway tracks and up the steep hill. Ignore side roads.
- 0.9 Turn left onto Coles Ridge Rd at the gate.
- 1.7 Keep going on Coles Ridge, passing Pole Plot Track.
- 2.3 Keep going on Coles Ridge, passing Tregallas Track on your left.
- 2.9 Keep going straight ahead at Grants Picnic Ground.
- 3.3 At Grants on Sherbrooke café, bear right and continue through the car park then up the singletrack on the right of the Kallista Primary tennis courts.
- 3.5 Cross Kallista-Emerald Rd with care and scramble up to the singletrack on the upper (left hand) side of the road and turn right. If you are inexperienced at off-road riding, take care with the patches of exposed tree roots.
- 4.1 Re-cross Kallista-Emerald Rd opposite the café at Grantulla Rd and head towards Lyrebird Walk on the right-hand side of Grantulla Rd. At the Y-intersection bear left onto Hall Track. Please avoid cycling on Lyrebird Walk.
- 5.4 Veer right onto the wider path (Neumann Track). There is a fast downhill section ahead but please take care and slow down for walkers.
- 5.8 Keep going straight ahead (Foden Track on your right).
- 6.3 Turn left onto Paddy Track.
- 8.0 Bear left on Paddy Track at Welch Track.
- 8.3 Go through the gates then bear right on Nation Rd.
- 8.5 Bear right on Belgrave-Gembrook Rd and keep going, passing under the Puffing Billy trestle bridge.
- 8.9 Turn right up Stoney Rd, continue to the end then turn right.
- 9.5 Finish
9.381 km / 5.829 mi
468 m / 1,534 ft
456 m / 1,496 ft
449 m / 1,472 ft