Dam Views and Singletrack

Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Dam Views and Singletrack

How much contrast can you get in 25km? Plenty of singletrack, short steep gullies, climbs, descents, views and surprises. The ride takes you on an intriguing journey through the peninsula and into places where it feels like you are hundreds of kilometres into the bush. Along the way there are some tough riding challenges, plus a good chance of seeing kangaroos as you ride through Arthurs Seat State Park.

Eatons Cutting is the easiest way to climb to the high parts of the peninsula. Just after the start, the ride ducks off to the right and takes advantage of some singletrack before returning to the fire trail. At 1.9km you leave the cutting trail to confront a very steep short climb out of a gully, then some rough partially overgrown track beside a fence line, before emerging at the very beautiful and isolated ‘OT’ Dam, essentially a fire-fighting facility. Please do the right thing, follow the signs and walk the short distance around the dam. More climbing follows with views down to a quarry and Port Phillip Bay.

Road side singletrack takes you down to Seamist Drive and great views of the bay. Large ships hug the coast below as they navigate the narrow channel down to Port Phillip Heads and Bass Strait. There is a very steep descent towards the end of Seamist Drive that takes you past another beautiful dam, McLaren’s, before you exit the park and turn onto Waterfall Gully Road. This begins as a dirt road and you ride past some houses as the road climbs, then suddenly, it gets steep, very steep! Some road side singletrack gets you back to Arthurs Seat State Park and at the 20.4km distance you have two options to get back to the start.

The first is to turn left and retrace your outbound route past OT Dam. For an easier, more direct route with a longer, fast flowing descent, continue on the road side singletrack another 2km and turn left down Eatons Cutting.


The ride starts at Eatons Cutting, Dromana, on the Mornington Peninsula, about one and a half hours’ 67 68 71 72 73 drive to the south-east of Melbourne (Melway map 160). To get there from Melbourne, turn off the Mornington Peninsula Freeway at Dromana, then turn left onto Boundary Road. Eatons Cutting is unsigned and is just past the entrance to Dromana quarry. Eatons Cutting has a steel gate. Please do not obstruct the gateway; park opposite on Boundary Road.

Food and Drink

Nothing available at the start. Café on MorningtonFlinders Road just after the end of Eatons Cutting.

Side Trip

Seawinds in Arthurs Seat State Park has beautiful picnic facilities, walking trails and magnificent views of Port Phillip Bay and Mornington Peninsula. You pass Seawinds at the 7.6 km point on this ride.


Ride Log

  • 0.0 Reset tripmeter at gate and start riding up Eatons Cutting.
  • 0.2 Turn right on singletrack.
  • 0.3 Keep going straight ahead.
  • 0.5 Turn left at Y-junction of tracks, then right, back onto Eatons Cutting and continue climbing.
  • 1.8 Turn right; there is a short, very steep section ahead.
  • 2.1 Keep going straight ahead. The track on your right leads to the top of Eatons Cutting downhill course. Please do not attempt to ride it because it is a very challenging descent requiring high skill levels, appropriate bike and safety gear.
  • 2.2 Turn left at the Y-intersection.
  • 2.5 Turn left onto the singletrack, follow beside the fence line then cross a steep gully.
  • 3.4 Turn right just before a small bridge and aqueduct. Walk around OT Dam, then follow the sign to Arthurs Seat Rd.
  • 3.9 Turn left towards Arthurs Seat Rd (quarry and bay views on your right).
  • 4.4 Keep going straight ahead, passing Friends Track on your right.
  • 4.9 Exit Arthurs Seat park and turn right onto the road side singletrack.
  • 5.5 Bear right onto the quarry access road.
  • 5.7 Just before the park gateway, turn left onto the singletrack, then bear left at the Y-intersection and continue near Arthurs Seat Rd.
  • 6.6 Cross Arthurs Seat Rd and ride along Pindara Rd.
  • 7.2 Keep going on Pindara Rd, passing Seawind Ln on your right.
  • 7.6 Turn left at Purves Rd then, just past Seawinds picnic area sign, turn onto singletrack on right side of the road and follow downhill.
  • 8.6 Turn right onto Seamists Dr.
  • 9.9 Cross the gate. The trail is closed to traffic and has fabulous views of the bay.
  • 10.6 Keep going downhill ignoring all side tracks. Take care, as there is a steep descent ahead.
  • 11.9 At the bottom, turn left then cross McLaren’s Dam wall and keep going.
  • 12.4 Exit the park and turn left on Waterfall Gully Rd. Steep climb ahead.
  • 15.5 Turn left onto the singletrack beside Purves Rd and return towards Arthurs Seat Rd.
  • 17.7 At The Gazebo, turn right onto Pindara Rd.
  • 18.6 Cross the road and continue on road side singletrack, bear left then turn right at the quarry access road and return to road side singletrack.
  • 20.4 Keep going straight ahead at Arthurs Seat State Park sign or see option below.
  • 22.3 Turn left on Eatons Cutting.
  • 22.9 Turn left through the gateway just past Holmes Rd for a refreshing downhill return to the start point.
  • 25.0 Finish.
  • Longer option: For a less direct route to the finish, turn left at 20.4km, at Arthurs Seat State Park sign, and return the way you came, via OT Dam and singletrack.

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    23.17 km / 14.397 mi

    Total Distance

    817 m / 2,679 ft

    Total Ascent

    832 m / 2,728 ft

    Total Descent

    305 m / 1,002 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Advanced (Black)
    Ride Duration: 2-4 hrs
    Fitness Level: High
    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: 23.8
    Elevation Gain: 665
    First Aid
    Bike hire
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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