Cycle Victoria, Rail Trail Ride, Orbost Loops - Ride 2
Orbost is situated at the eastern end of the East Gippsland Rail Trail on the river flats of the Snowy River and backed by the forested foothills of the Great Dividing Range. These rides are designed to give cyclists who have ridden the rail trail a chance to take in some more of the country in this beautiful and peaceful area.
Orbost’s early prosperity was based on the natural wealth of the region, with grazing and timber being established. Many sawmills were opened in the area and Orbost was prosperous for much of the 20th century. But as logging of East Gippsland’s native forests became an environmental issue in the 1980s there was a steady decline in forestry and sawmilling and national parks were extended or created.
The heart of Ride 1 is the loop through re-growth forest on a series of dirt vehicle tracks. They wind through the forest and faithfully follow the land contours, which means you have some stiff, little uphills and exhilarating downhills. This ride could be managed on a hybrid but would best be undertaken on a mountain bike. Also take into account that the dirt roads may be more difficult to ride after heavy rain. If you only want to ride the forest section consider the turn on to South Boundary Road at 4.4km as an alternative start point.
The Young’s Creek picnic area makes a good rest point. You will find toilets, picnic tables and a series of short walks which are described on leaflets in a box at the spot.
The shortest walk is to Young’s Creek falls, which were, in fact, only a series of still pools when I went through. Nice country to see, nevertheless.
The highlight of the ride back is the downhill along Break Neck Track which is gradual rather than scary as the name might imply.
Ride 2 runs through the grazing land on the Snowy River flats. The scenery is more attractive as you ride on the unsealed road close to the Snowy River and then back through small hills. You can shortcut by turning right at Huxters Road at 4.8km and return to the route at the 13.2km mark. This has the advantage of making it an all bitumen road ride, but you do miss out on some of the nicer scenery.
Care needs to be taken crossing the timber bridge at 15.4km. There are wheel eating gaps between the boards and if you are in any doubt about your, or your bike’s, ability to get across safely then dismount and walk over.
Orbost is approximately 360km east of Melbourne on the Princes Highway at RACV VicRoads State Directory map reference 85 J5.
Food and Drink
There is nowhere to get food or drink (including water), except a bakery, cafe and hotels in Orbost’s main street. A picnic lunch increases enjoyment of the peaceful forest on Ride 1.
Ride back down the East Gippsland Rail Trail. For other rides around Orbost.