Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike, Lysterfield Park – Rides One & Two
Lysterfield Park is a mountain biker’s paradise with dedicated trails for the beginner and experienced rider, and everything in between. The site was chosen for the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the course that was developed specifically is open to the public. All trails are extremely well signposted and at the trail head, in the car park immediately near the park entrance, is a map of the trails and an indication of the trail grading or difficulty. These rides are at each extreme of the technical challenge scale and demonstrate that this is not a location to visit only once, but would be ideal to return to as your skill level improves with practice.
For the beginner, the ride around the lake is a great introduction to mountain biking on a wide, unsealed trail. The longer ride involves a giant loop around the park and links most of the established trails from beginner to advanced level. On your first visit, this loop gives you an introduction to the entire park, and of course once you’ve sampled what there is on offer, you’ll no doubt choose your own combination of trails to suit your level of experience or preferred terrain. The Commonwealth Games circuit is a beauty and not for the faint hearted. Thankfully the most technical parts of the course do offer some exit points and detours so even if you don’t choose to ride those more difficult sections, you can enjoy other riders taking the challenge. Take note that the course is one-way only in an anti-clockwise direction.
Even an inexperienced rider can manage to ride the trails. It is just a matter of choosing a speed you will be comfortable with and skirting, or walking, any of the challenges which you aren’t confident in handling. The trails get busy on the weekends and so you might consider a ride mid-week if you’re attempting the more challenging ones for the first time … at least you can eliminate any performance anxiety if there are fewer spectators! Remember trail etiquette at all times and be mindful that some trails in the park are shared trails, and that others are for equestrian or pedestrian use exclusively. Stick to established and marked trails and observe any signs indicating temporary closures as the long term sustainability of mountain biking relies on everyone’s cooperation.
At the end of the rides, the many picnic areas by the lake offer a great place to relax and a swim in the lake at one of the designated beaches is a perfect way to cool off before heading home. Either that or head to Trailmix for something refreshing, grab a map and then try some of the other trails.
The main park entrance is at the end of Horswood Road, Lysterfield which runs west from Belgrave- Hallam Road. A second access to the park from Hallam North Road via Churchill Park Drive leads directly to the Commonwealth Games course.
Food and Drink
Trailmix encompasses a café, bike store (which hires mountain bikes) and information centre. It is located in the former park visitor information centre near the main car parks and is open every day except Monday.
17.616 km / 10.946 mi
822 m / 2,697 ft
826 m / 2,710 ft
211 m / 693 ft