Forrest Loop Trail

Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride,Forrest Loop Trail

If you want to get an inexperienced cyclist addicted to mountain biking, introduce them to this little beauty. It is also ideal to ride with the family. Starting at the Yaugher Trailhead also makes it possible for more experienced riders to do a loop with others before heading onto the more challenging trails.

This great little 3km loop will give novice riders a sense of achievement and a taste of mountain biking. The narrow singletrack descends gently over a series of dips from Forrest to the West Barwon Valley before climbing back to the start.

On the way back there are a couple of short steeper sections with corners providing an ideal opportunity to practise reading the trail ahead, correct gear selection and body weight transfer.

Look for the sign marked Trail 1 at the Forrest Trail- head.Within the first couple of hundred metres you encounter a series of water bars on a downhill section which gives an experienced rider an opportunity to get airborne. If you are a beginner or have limited techni- cal skills you will still find this section a real thrill. In- experienced riders will need to take some care on this descent, as the surface can get a little slippery on corners at speed. You whiz past quite close to some houses before entering eucalypt country. Towards the bottom of the descent you skirt briefly along the Barwon River Valley and the landscape becomes more open. On the return ride from the valley there are a couple of steeper sections in the climb. You will need to look well ahead to make the right gear selection rather than try and change on the hill. You also get good skill prac- tice on a couple of tight uphill turns.

This sort of riding is perfect for developing basic bike handling skills before heading onto more challenging trails. Forrest Loop is also used by Ride 7 and 8 in this book, and forms the return route from Lake Elizabeth to Forrest. You might want to do a couple of loops before dropping into the nearby brewery for lunch; alternatively, you may want to make a slight detour and follow the signs for a short distance to West Barwon Reservoir.


The ride starts at the Forrest Trailhead, a short distancepast the Brewery on Forrest-Birregurra Road (the main road through Forrest) on the southern outskirts of town.

Food and Drink

You can get a small range of snacks from the general

store in the main street of Forrest. 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 supermarkets, stop at Colac on the way.

Side Trip

Visit the local office for Department of Sustainability and Environment, in the main street for maps of the trail network, along with information on local tourist attractions.


Trail map

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2.88 km / 1.79 mi

Total Distance

76 m / 249 ft

Total Ascent

67 m / 221 ft

Total Descent

225 m / 740 ft

Highest Point

Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Kid friendly
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
Ride Duration: <1 hr
Fitness Level: Low
MTB Segment: flow
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Trail Signage: Excellent
Mobile Coverage: Limited
Estimated Distance: 3.0
Elevation Gain: 64
First Aid
Bike hire
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle / uber
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