Puffing Hilly

Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Puffing Hilly

This little gem starts at Puffing Billy train station then heads out on non-technical tracks through fabulous vegetation in Sherbrooke Forest. Variety of trail surface and scenery makes the ride feel much longer, and you get to the finish feeling that you have had a great mountain bike experience. The singletrack sections are perfect for riders making the transition to off-road riding.

There is one short steep climb on Old Monbulk Road just after the start that will have most riders in granny gear, but after that the climbs are gentle. Very soon after the start you are on dirt. The track is well formed with good drainage as you meander through Sherbrooke Forest. Soon after the four kilometre mark you begin a section of very beautiful singletrack passing through awesome remnant rainforest vegetation before a pleasant descent on a firm trail surface. As you head back there is another good vantage point to see Puffing Billy if you time it right. There are two excellent cafés on the course, perfect opportunities for coffee and cake on your second lap! My thanks to Wolter Kuiper for planning this one.


By car, take the Burwood Highway to Belgrave (less than an hour east from Melbourne city) and try for a park in Bayview Road (Melway 75 F10). If you come by train to Belgrave station, follow directions from the platform to Belgrave Road then ride a short distance uphill to Bayview Road. The ride starts at the intersection of Belgrave-Gembrook Road, Bayview Road and Old Monbulk Road.

Food and Drink

There are plenty of options near the start and very pleasant cafés at 3.3km and 4.1km.

Side Trip

Enjoy a ride on the famous Puffing Billy steam train close to the ride start. See the site for details and timetable. Break your journey at either of the excellent cafés on the route or picnic at Grants Picnic Ground (2.9km).


Ride Log

  • 0.0 Start near the ‘Welcome to Puffing Billy’ sign and toilets just outside the station entrance near the corner of Belgrave-Gembrook Rd, Bayview Rd and Old Monbulk Rd. Ride down the hill past the station then over the railway tracks and up the steep hill. Ignore side roads.
  • 0.9 Turn left onto Coles Ridge Rd at the gate.
  • 1.7 Keep going on Coles Ridge, passing Pole Plot Track.
  • 2.3 Keep going on Coles Ridge, passing Tregallas Track on your left.
  • 2.9 Keep going straight ahead at Grants Picnic Ground.
  • 3.3 At Grants on Sherbrooke café, bear right and continue through the car park then up the singletrack on the right of the Kallista Primary tennis courts.
  • 3.5 Cross Kallista-Emerald Rd with care and scramble up to the singletrack on the upper (left hand) side of the road and turn right. If you are inexperienced at off-road riding, take care with the patches of exposed tree roots.
  • 4.1 Re-cross Kallista-Emerald Rd opposite the café at Grantulla Rd and head towards Lyrebird Walk on the right hand side of Grantulla Rd. At the Y-intersection bear left onto Hall Track. Please avoid cycling on Lyrebird Walk.
  • 5.4 Veer right onto the wider path (Neumann Track). There is a fast downhill section ahead but please take care and slow down for walkers.
  • 5.8 Keep going straight ahead (Foden Track on your right).
  • 6.3 Turn left onto Paddy Track.
  • 8.0 Bear left on Paddy Track at Welch Track.
  • 8.3 Go through the gates then bear right on Nation Rd.
  • 8.5 Bear right on Belgrave-Gembrook Rd and keep going, passing under the Puffing Billy trestle bridge.
  • 8.9 Turn right up Stoney Rd, continue to the end then turn right.
  • 9.5 Finish
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    9.381 km / 5.829 mi

    Total Distance

    468 m / 1,534 ft

    Total Ascent

    456 m / 1,496 ft

    Total Descent

    449 m / 1,472 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Beginner (Green)
    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: 9.5
    Elevation Gain: 360
    First Aid
    Bike hire
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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