Chamois - Soiler

Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Chamois - Soiler

This is a variation of the ride with the same name in my 1998 publication, Off Road Cycling Adventures (First Edition). The name describes the experience some folk have when they confront the steep descent on Ure Spur. Navigation is simple and you have a variety of riding experiences through state forest.

You gain 586m of height on a 12km middle ring climb. There are no steep pinches, just a gradual climb with beautiful views through contrasting scenery. Riding high along Black Range Spur can expose you to the elements, so warm clothing is appropriate in cooler weather. Researching this in winter, I climbed up to the cloud base and saw many small streams being formed on the ridge top. Recently cleared pine forest, blackened native vegetation recovering from the 2009 bush fires and quite stunning views to mountains in the distance unfold as you climb. The descent on Ure Spur deserves respect.

The red clay base is slippery when wet. To ride it safely in any conditions you will need to get behind the saddle. Sections of Project and Cook roads are a real high speed hoot with gentle descents.


Melway reference map X910 T10. Take Maroondah Highway, through Healesville and Narbethong to Buxton, about 105km from Melbourne. The start is at the Buxton Reserve which is just past Dyes Lane and a short distance before the Buxton hotel. Start point is in front of the toilet block.

Food and Drink

Café, milk bar in Buxton. Local hotel for evening meals.

Side Trip

If you are a keen fly fisher there are some fine spots close by. If you like to hike and rock scramble, the Cathedral Ranges are a short distance north of Buxton. Good hiking opportunities, including a climb to the top of the range for spectacular views down the valley.


Ride Log

  • 0.0 Ride along Mareeba Ave for 1km then just before Ballina Court turn left onto the bike path, cross the river and keep going straight ahead on Steavenson Rd.
  • 1.4 Turn right onto Dyes Ln, passing the Buxton MTB complex and Francis Rd.
  • 3.2 Turn left at Project Rd then continue on Ure Rd.
  • 9.7 Turn left at Ure Spur (steep descent ahead).
  • 13.3 Turn left at Project Rd.
  • 17.1 Turn left at Left Track, (unsigned at the time of writing. The bridge ahead, over a small stream, is currently down due to fire damage). Cross stream on remains of bridge structure, taking care.
  • 19.3 Turn right at Cook Rd.
  • 22.5 Turn right at Ures Rd and return the way you started.
  • 22.9 Turn right at Dyes Ln.
  • 24.7 Turn left at Steavenson Rd then take the bike path over the river, turn right at Mareeba.
  • 26.1 Finish.
  • Trail map

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    25.421 km / 15.796 mi

    Total Distance

    926 m / 3,039 ft

    Total Ascent

    847 m / 2,778 ft

    Total Descent

    783 m / 2,570 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
    Ride Duration: 1-2 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: 25.8
    Elevation Gain: 895
    First Aid
    Bike hire
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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