Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike, You Yangs - Ride 2
The granite peaks of the You Yangs are only 340 metres at their highest, but they stand out because of the flatness of the surrounding volcanic plains. They are clearly visible from Melbourne bayside and beyond. Two areas of the regional park, which includes these peaks, have been set aside solely for mountain biking, with riders of all skill levels having a chance to enjoy some off-road action.
The name You Yangs is aboriginal and gives this outcrop a more colourful title than the English translation which is, simply, “big mountains in the middle of a plain”. The first Europeans in the area were Matthew Flinders and three of his crew, who climbed the highest peak, in 1802. This is now named Flinders Peak. Over time the You Yangs bushland has been popular with artists, notably Fred Williams who painted sparse, but dramatic, images of the Australian bush based on what he saw here.
With the creation of mountain bike only trails the park has now become a magnet for cyclists. The trails are graded according to degree of difficulty and are well signposted with trail number markers at critical points.
Ride Two is a more standard touring type ride over unsealed roads. There is a challenging climb, followed by a good downhill. You will have great views over the surrounding plain as well as enjoying the nearby scenery with its diverse plant life and striking rock formations.
The park entrance is on Branch Road, Lara, near Forest Road. From the Princes Freeway take the Little River turnoff if coming from Melbourne, or head up Forest Road from Geelong.
Food and Drink
Nothing available in the park, except tap water, so pack a lunch and enjoy time at one of the picnic areas, several of which have barbecues.
12.892 km / 8.01 mi
290 m / 951 ft
279 m / 915 ft
220 m / 722 ft