Fringe Singletrack Trail

Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Fringe Singletrack Trail

Enjoy a short ride from the centre of town that includes non-technical singletrack. This out-and-back course requires minimal navigation skills. There are plenty of options to extend your trip or come back another day and explore further. As we go to print more singletrack has been constructed adjacent to this ride. You do not need to be super fit or have great technical skills to enjoy this ride; it is also ideal for use as a fast workout.

This one has a different feel to most of our other Castlemaine rides. The tracks are less rocky and the few hills are not difficult. Once you know the way, there is a good flow without the constant change in direction and speed that is often a feature of constructed mountain bike courses.

There is a short ride along the steam-train rail line track after you leave town. After that you loop around a network of tracks in the typical low forest of this countryside. There is plenty of shade throughout and most of the trails can take large amounts of rain before they become uncomfortable to ride.

For most of the trip you are on single or double track and once you get out of town a little, it feels like you are a long way from anywhere. Almost anyone with basic fitness and MTB skills can enjoy this ride and it is a good one to bring younger riders on. Fitter and faster riders can also have a lot of fun close to town.


By car: Castlemaine is an easy one and a half hours or 120 kilometres northwest of Melbourne via the Calder Freeway. (Melway X909 D6.) Take the Castlemaine turn off and when you reach town go to the car park in Forest Street, at the rear of the information centre. This is the start for most of our rides in Castlemaine. Set your bike computer to zero at the edge of the car park, near the footpath.

Parking here is limited, however, there is plenty of free parking nearby, beside the tennis courts in Wheeler Street.

By train: A fast and comfortable train service from Melbourne takes around an hour and a half from Southern Cross station. Bikes can be taken on the train but if travelling in a group you will need to confirm  space is available by ringing V/Line on 136 196 or (03) 8608 5011.

Food and Drink

Plenty of options at the start. The car park services the local supermarket; green-grocer with deli-goods and fresh bread also near the info centre. A cycle-friendly café is the Theatre Royal, next door to bike shop, in Hargraves Street just to the left of the roundabout. The Comma Hotel is known for good food and local bands.

Side Trip

Allow plenty of time to explore the historic town of Castlemaine. Pop into the information centre for a wealth of fascinating historical and tourist information, staffed by generous locals happy to share their knowledge. It has interesting displays and is well worth a visit.

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Exit the car park, turn right onto Forest St, and go straight ahead over the intersection and uphill.
  • 0.7 Turn left at Bowden St.
  • 1.1 Turn right onto Farnsworth St, then veer left onto Brown St and continue to the end.
  • 2.5 At the end of Brown and Nolan streets intersection, turn right onto the track beside the railway line.
  • 3.1 Turn left under the bridge and go straight ahead on the singletrack beside the rail track. There is a less technical fire track option on your left.
  • 4.1 Cross the rail line, keep going ahead then take the right hand fork, pass the fence corner post then go straight ahead on the singletrack.
  • 4.8 Proceed straight ahead.
  • 4.9 Cross Centre Track and continue straight ahead on the singletrack.
  • 5.5 Turn left onto the fire track. There is a Telecom tower to your right, take care with the next turn.
  • 6.0 Turn left onto the singletrack about 100m before the sealed road.
  • 6.7 Veer right at the singletrack intersection then right again at the next.
  • 7.0 Continue straight ahead.
  • 7.5 Turn left onto the fire track.
  • 7.8 Turn left onto the same singletrack as before.
  • 8.3 Continue straight ahead.
  • 8.4 Turn left onto the fire track. This is Centre Track.
  • 9.2 Intersection of Centre and Boundary tracks. Turn left onto the singletrack parallel with the sealed road. There is a white post ahead of you.
  • 9.8 Turn right then cross the road and the gully. Continue straight ahead on the singletrack close to the fence line.
  • 10.3 Continue straight ahead.
  • 10.7 Intersection of Ashby and Pine tracks. Go straight ahead then continue on the singletrack and ignore all side tracks.
  • 11.0 Veer left.
  • 11.4 Continue straight ahead.
  • 12.5 At the end of the singletrack, turn left onto Ashbys Track.
  • 13.5 Turn left onto the dual track and continue straight ahead. The track becomes a little indistinct here.
  • 14.2 Turn left and continue on Ashbys Track.
  • 14.5 Keep right around the bend then at the intersection of Pine and Ashby veer left onto the singletrack.
  • 15.0 Leave the singletrack and turn left onto Ashbys Track.
  • 15.5 Cross the sealed road, then turn left onto the singletrack.
  • 15.8 Turn right onto Centre Track.
  • 16.9 At the intersection. Turn right onto Boundary Track.
  • 17.2 Y-intersection. Turn right to the rail line.
  • 17.4 Turn left beside the rail line.
  • 18.9 Turn left onto Brown St and continue straight ahead.
  • 19.9 Turn left at Butterworth St.
  • 20.3 Turn right at Reckelben St, then right at the next, View St.
  • 21.5 Finish.
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    39.779 km / 24.718 mi

    Total Distance

    1,332 m / 4,371 ft

    Total Ascent

    1,197 m / 3,927 ft

    Total Descent

    376 m / 1,234 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: 2-4 hrs
    Fitness Level: Medium
    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
    Mobile Coverage: Limited
    Estimated Distance: 21.1
    Elevation Gain: 323
    First Aid
    Bike hire
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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