The Pines Singletrack

Cycle Melbourne, Mountain BIke Ride, The Pines Singletrack

A challenging singletrack race course through a pine forest, developed by the hard working volunteers from Rocky Riders MTB Club. This ride is technically challenging, however if your skills are limited you can still enjoy much of the course if you walk the difficult parts. This ride flows beautifully and it is a credit to those who developed the course. After one lap, you will hardly need directions. At the time of going to print, part of this ride has been impacted by logging, however some good sections remain intact.

Climbs are relatively short and you do most of them in the early part of the ride. This sets you up for some flowing downhill sections. The course is regularly maintained, however, you can expect some changes in the layout following storm damage or heavy use. Like most pine forest rides, there is plenty of shelter, making it ideal for summer riding. Track surface is hard and drains well in winter.

One of the best features of this course is the natural feel it has. Obstacles are rock outcrops or fallen trees, rather than constructed items. As you would expect, there are plenty of tight turns through narrow spaces between the trees and these are nicely balanced by faster flowing stretches.

Once you learn the course after your first ride you will want to return for more!


The course is situated in a pine plantation about three kilometres north east of Castlemaine.

By car: Castlemaine is a comfortable one and a half hour drive (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.

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.

To reach start of ride, depart Castlemaine taking the Pyrenees Highway east for around 1.4km; turn left on Murphy Street, then left onto Colles Road; continue to intersection of Colles and Clarks roads Castlemaine, opposite the gun club facility. Start point is the entrance fence-line.

Food and Drink

You can stock up for your ride at Castlemaine Township ~3km. Afterwards, a great cycle-friendly café is the Theatre Royal, next door to bike shop, in Hargraves Street.

Side Trip

Forest Creek Historic Gold Mine is close by. It is on the Pyrenees Highway a short distance from Colles Road, opposite Farran Street (well signed and easy to find). Many of our other rides pass through ruins from the gold era.

Allow plenty of time to explore the historic town of Castlemaine. The information centre contains a wealth of fascinating historical and tourist information.

Ride Log

  • 0.0 From the entrance fence-line proceed straight ahead uphill on Clarks Rd then approximately 100m later turn right onto singletrack (WP1).
  • 0.8 Turn left onto fire track (2).
  • 0.9 Turn right uphill.
  • 1.0 Turn left and 50m later, on bend, proceed straight ahead on singletrack.
  • 1.4 Turn right (3) then 100m later turn left onto singletrack (4).
  • 1.7 Turn left then immediately right (5).
  • 2.3 Turn right (6) then turn left onto singletrack beside dam.
  • 2.5 Turn right then left uphill (Clarks Rd) (7).
  • 2.7 Proceed straight ahead uphill (The Foley Track on right).
  • 2.8 T-intersection, turn left (8).
  • 2.9 Turn left onto singletrack (9).
  • 3.2 Cross road and proceed straight ahead on single- track (10).
  • 3.5 Turn right on fire track (11).
  • 3.7 Intersection turn left (Dog Leg track) (12).
  • 4.1 Turn left (Stronels Rd).
  • 4.3 Y-intersection. Keep left (13).
  • 4.5 Just past next intersection turn right onto single- track (14).
  • 5.0 Cross road and proceed straight ahead on singletrack (15).
  • 5.4 Turn right on fire track (16) then 50m later turn left onto singletrack (17) then veer right at next. Take care, steep descent.
  • 5.7 Turn left onto fire track (18).
  • 5.9 Intersection Williamsons Rd and Western Break Track. Cross Williamsons and take singletrack on right (19).
  • 6.9 Turn left onto fire track (20) then 70m later turn right onto singletrack (21).
  • 7.4 Finish (22).
  • Ride type:
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Advanced (Black)
    Ride Duration: 2-4 hrs
    Fitness Level: High
    MTB Segment: cross country
    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: 6.7
    Elevation Gain: 161
    First Aid
    Bike hire
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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