Cycle Melbourne, Mounatin BIke Ride, Murrindindi North
T his is an updated and slightly shorter version of a ride I published in 2002. It’s a beautiful jaunt through the forest scenery that takes you past singletracks cut by the motorbikes that you can explore on another visit. At the top of the climb you can also drop down over the ridge to our Buxton or Marysville rides or just enjoy the long downhill run home. The optional singletrack section is great if you enjoy jumping logs!
The first nine kilometres provides a nice warm up before an undemanding climb to near the top of Black Range. Further along old logging trails form a beautiful double track as you ride through a park-like setting in the forest. Apart from the singletrack section you can ride this any time of year.
Good summer shade for most of the trip, however make sure you are well prepared in the colder months as you gain considerable height. Being dressed in lightweight bike clothing on an exposed ridge top in cold weather is not recommended! This is one of those pleasant rides where the descent feels much longer than the climb. Take care on the first descent because there are a couple of loose rock sections that can bring you undone if you are travelling fast.
The unsigned singletrack is Sample Plot Track. Motorbikes have cut some channels in the track in places and they fill with water in the wet. There has been no maintenance on the track for some time and a handful of tree trunks are perfect for practising your jumping skills. Alternatively, follow the motorbike tracks around them. This is also an ideal track to bring a couple of friends to and do a bit of voluntary maintenance. If you want to avoid the singletrack, turn right a short distance past it on Higginbotham Track as both tracks intersect at 23.2km.
After another short climb there is a long flowing descent back to Ginter Road and you pass a beautiful stand of ferns before an easy ride back to the start at the Suspension Bridge campground. If you plan to return and explore some of the singletracks, make sure you have the recommended map and that you understand contour lines.
Murrindindi Scenic Reserve is about 60 kilometres north-east of Melbourne (Melway X910 R10). Take the Melba Highway through Yarra Glen and Glenburn. Turn right at Murrindindi Road just before Devlins Bridge. Follow the signs for approximately 10 kilometres to the Murrindindi suspension bridge campground which is accessed by Wilhelmina Falls Road.
Food and Drink
Nothing available at the start, so bring all you need. Plenty of water available from the mountain stream at the start.
Camp for a few days and explore. Modest fees payable at self-serve permit box at Suspension Bridge campground (early arrival advisable in popular periods). Fishing: take the family to the bottom of Wilhelmina Falls – kids will have a ball frolicking in the river shallows or riding bikes along flat sections of river trail.
37.297 km / 23.175 mi
1,150 m / 3,774 ft
1,049 m / 3,441 ft
758 m / 2,488 ft