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Level: Intermediate
Length: 20 mi (32.2 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +769/ -762 ft
Total: 35 riders

Mountain Biking Forrest Mtb Trails

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#6 of 65 mountain bike trails in Victoria
#664 in the world

The Yaughter loop is a loop of 11.5 km, mostly singletrack, but some forestry roads. Off this are many singletrack loops, some flowing, some technical. Not too much climbing or descent in a dry eucalypt forest. The southern trail has some forest trails but is mostly dual use pedestrian/MTB paths on the western side of the Barwon Reservior.

First added by granke on Jul 3, 2009. Last updated Aug 31, 2021. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: yes
  • Lift service: no
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: yes
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: no
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Melbourne, follow the main freeway toward Geelong, then either turn off onto the Colac road and head south from Colac for an hour to Forrest or take the scenic route down the Great Ocean Road (Torquay-Lorne-Apollo Bay) and turn north and travel an hour to Forrest. The trails are in two parts: the Southern trailhead is in town with a parking area, toilets and shelter; and the Yaughter trailhead is south of the town a couple of kilometres up a dirt road called Boundary Road - parking only, no facilities. Maps available at: http://www.rideforrest.com.au/trails/
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Forrest Mtb Trails Trail map

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NightFallTech (on Sep 29, 2019)
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Good (on Sep 25, 2019)
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  • justin70

    The eucalypt forests are beautiful
    The trails are good, well-maintained and well signposted

    I feel the trail difficulties are over-stated. The main technical challenges are branches to hop, and a rare larger drop-off.

    There is a lot of climbing in each of the "black" trails.

    My favourite trails were 'Yo Yo' and 'Follow the Dog'

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  • jjj72

    Well laid out track

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  • igstar

    Forrest MTB trails are at the foothills of the Otway Ranges. They are generally XC type of trails with many obstacles and features added for fun. The trails run through native eucalyptus forest and there's a good chance to encounter some native wildlife. The ground is mostly packed soil with a couple of trails having sandy soil (this makes them great in wet winter days because they drain well).
    If you get tired of the trails, there are over 100 kms of off-road and fire tracks in the surrounding forests to explore.

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  • pete00

    1st time staying at the charming Forrest village. Just had a quick sprint around the nearby trail 4&5. Trail 6 was closed from wet but 4&5 were dry. The trail is listed as more difficult but it really doesn't merit that badge, mostly because the features were so worn and washed out. I'll ride the rest of the trails tomorrow but so far the highlight has been the local brewery and restaurants. If some regular maintenance occurred then maybe the trails would merit some technical ability but at moment not so.

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  • Tinners

    Road 20km of the trails with plenty left to explore. Great morning riding with condition of tracks good with a few muddy patches. The forest is very impressive with vast section of grass trees that I was unaware existed in such plentyfull amounts in southern Victoria. Forrest township is worth the visit for the weekend with a great little brewery and lake Elizabeth to also visit.

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  • ottodavies

    Recently the Forrest MTB Trails have had a revamp & makeover ,thanks to the guys at World Trail .The southern trails starting from the trail head right in town are well worth exploring .Forrests signature run ,'Red Carpet' is an utter joy to ride ,with flowing roller coaster sections ,offering technical challenges & flowing singletrack through lush forest high above Lake Elizabeth & the Barwon River .The southern trails traverse above the Barwon River & lake Elizabeth ,offering totally beautiful views of the valley . The trails are challenging technically in parts ,as well as offering flowing singletrack rollercoaster trails .There is some climbing ,however the rewards are well worth it .The northern Yaugher Trails offer a large network of trails of varying difficulty & technical challenges .The trails are well marked ,this area is a total joy to ride , offering loops ,switchbacks , oh so flowing singletrack through mixed terrain & lush green forrests . Black wallabies ,echidnas ,kangaroos ,wombats foxes & other wildlife live in the area so always be respectful .In summer be wary of snakes .If you need a break Lake Elizabeth offers a great place to swim on hot days surrounded by large semi tropical rain forest , as well as a great free place to pitch a tent , one of the best free camping places in Victoria .The southern trails have a different feel ,gliding above the valley & river below , the scenery is truly beautiful through massive timbers & lush dense forest . The northern trails are also great ,in a different way ,offering a & b lines ,big jumps ,log rollovers ,sweeping switchbacks, fast flowing singletrack ,beautiful burms like on Marriners Run ,as well as taking you through a variety of changing forests & terrain .An easy way to spend at least two days exploring these trails in a truly lush beautiful part of the world .The beaches of Apollo Bay & Skenes Creek are only a short drive down from the mountain ranges of the Otway Ranges , with accommodation scattered along the coast .There are accommodation options in Forrest as well as the free camping option at Lake Elizabeth .There is also mountain bike hire at the 'Corner Store' & a pub in town offering some unique local ales & brews ,a great place to take some mountain biking friends for some serious adventure or go exploring on your own

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  • ottodavies

    Any wonder Forrest is referred to as a mountain bike mecca . Situated in the Otway Ranges National Park , the tiny town of Forrest was once previously a logging town , now it caters for mountain bikers more specifically . The trails are world class , with an incredible amount of variety , for the beginner to the more advanced double black runs . Berms , switchbacks , fast flowing singletrack is what you will find here , with trails running through varying environments & terrain , there isn't too much climbing , just fast flowing trails to challenge the most advanced rider . There are some big jumps on some of the trails as well as berms , & many other challenges . There are 60 km of trails in this Forrest network , there are the Yaugher Trails just north of the town , turn left down boundary Road for the Yaugher Trails , its well signposted , as are all the trails . The other section of the trail network lies south of Forrest just a short ride out of town , where trails such as Forrest's famous 'Red Carpet is located . This trail network extends around the beautiful Lake Elizabeth where there is free camping if you don't want to stay at any of the B n B's in town . There is a microbrewery in town that make their own beer , as well as 'the corner store' which hire mountain bikes as well as do running repairs .There are numerous bed 7 breakfasts to stay at as well as a handful of eateries about town . The trails around Lake Elizabeth are a bit easier , although the flowing singletrack of 'Red Carpet' will satiate the needs of most mountain bikers with its smooth fast flowing singletrack . Two days spent riding in this place isn't long enough , it is a mecca for mountain biking . Some of the trails snake through lush rainforest & the landscapes change from trail to trail . There are some major events held here including the Giant Odysey as well as the famous Forrest six hour held annually . Mostly though , you'd be lucky to see more than a few mountain bikers on any given day on the trails . Every time i visit this place I want to stay for longer to ride more trails , the trails & the place have an entrancing quality that make you want to return again & again , & the place offers some of the best free camping anywhere in Australia , where , in summer , you can camp out by Lake Elizabeth , go fishing & swimming as well as the place being surrounded by the lush forest of the Otway Ranges National Park . I can only give this place a rating of 5 out of 5 . The town of Forrest is also only a half hour drive from one of Australia's most scenic places , the Great Ocean Road , so if you want to go for a surf the southern ocean beaches are just a close drive away with little seaside towns dotted along the way . Upon leaving Forrest I am already planning my next visit

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  • Wendy

    Extensive, varied trail network linked by fire roads. Some trails are excellent, others fairly ordinary. Trail head facilities a bit neglected. Sign-posting on the trails heading out of Forrest and around Lake Elizabeth could be better.

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  • ottodavies

    The little sleepy town of Forrest , laying deep within the Otway Ranges State Forest is a mecca for mountain bikers . The vast network of trails , singletracks , burms & jumps make for days of fun & great adventure . There is a nearby lake , Lake Elizabeth , where you can camp for free pretty much the entire year . Good fishing , good swimming & not many campers make this place ideal to take a few friends with their bikes , although it is assumed people always clean up once they leave , a fair enough rule for free camping in awesome environs . Be careful of brown snakes which frequently sun themselves across the trails , being bitten wouldn't be fun as their bite is potentially deadly , so , watch out & be careful . There are places to stay in town , great little B & B's & a pub in town with gourmet beers & good food . You can ride to the main trail heads from the town , & the trails are extensive , take a map , although the trails are easily signposted . Riding through the lush rainforest is an enchanting experience , with the trail loops flowing into each other , forming a fun circuit where you can be on all day . Mid week there is virtually no one around , except when they hold the annual Giant Odyssey just after Easter , then its crowded with competitors & people alike . However , for most of the year , its unspoilt riding through flowing trails under the rainforest canopy , even wet its great fun , although more technical . Another trail head , away from the main trails , south of town towards Lake Elizabeth , is where more flowing singletracks branch out around the large lake . At night an eerie mist settles on the lake , & the unique Australian platypus can be seen swimming on the surface in the evenings & early mornings , an illusive little marsupial , cute & furry , with a deadly sting in its tail though , they usually keep to themselves though . The trails here get very fast with lots of flowing loops that swing close to the edge of the lake & some awesome views of the reservoir on a clear day . The trails are a mix from beginer to more advanced to black runs , the trails are signposted as to the level of difficulty , green being the easiest , then blue & black diamond runs , which really gets the blood flowing . The trail map is easily downladable from the Forrest MTB website & it is recommended to take a trail map as its easy to get lost . there is limited mobile coverage , so take food & water or energy drinks in your pack , & a compass with the trail map , then you can be sure to have all bases covered in case you get lost . So , the two main trail heads are to the north of the town about a kilometer out along the main road , take the left turn to the trail head signpost where there is a carpark , & then to the south of the town only a few hundred meters from the town center where a road veres to the left to the main trail head near the lake . Its really worth going there for a few days & really getting to know the place intimately , as the place has infinite rewards for those wanting a real mountain biking adventure . Only a 40 minute drive down from the forest to the Great Ocean Road will land you along one of the most scenic coastal roads I have seen anywhere , the closest seaside town being Apollo Bay . Good fishing , great beaches , great surfing , a little fishing harbour & cafes & restaurants annoint the promenade foreshore . This really is one of the most beautiful stretch of coastline & coastal road anywhere . If you're really keen you could ride from forrest to the ocean road , although the ride back up the mountain would test any legs , very steep . The trails & the place are special & the experience of the place will make you want to visit again .

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  • ottodavies

    An awesome trail network at this sleepy little town nestled in the Otway Ranges National Park . Rode it dry during early Autumn 2014 , I can see it would be a lot different after some decent rain which this area is known for , after all , it is a rainforest National Park . Start at the boundary Road carpark , ride in from town or drive in , then start from the carpark which is central to all the trails & loops . Take a map of the trails as I could see it would be easy to get lost , especially getting close to sunset . The trails are awesome ! A combination of beginners , through to more advanced to the very difficult & challenging with some fast flowing long singletracks , through a regenerating rain forest . The more advanced & difficult runs offer a bit of everything , long fast flowing singletrack , with jumps , some steep downhill near lake Elizabeth as well as some big drop offs . A great place to go exploring on the mountain bike . Mid week in Autumn I saw only one other mountain biker , there is free camping right on Lake Elizabeth , watch out for snakes basking across the trails in the sun ! ie Tiger snakes & brown snakes , equally as deadly ! The town is very sleepy during the week , there are a few accommodation options if you don't want to pitch a tent by the lake ,in Forrest there is a corner store hiring bikes & repair as well as coffee , food & refreshments , there is a pub in town called the 'WonkeyDonkey' ; a number of B & B's , then there is the picturesque Lake Elizabeth , walking in from the road down some steep trails to the lake , about a 300m walk . A stunning area with a singletrack that surrounds the lake , with views of the Barwon Resevoir from some parts of the upper singletracks. There are two main areas of singletracks , from the centre of town , there are six trails varying in degree of difficulty , from the Forrest Loop , an easy flowing trail , to the more difficult trails like Barlidjaru , Red Carpet , Third Time Lucky & Follow the Dog , all providing great flowing singletracks with jumps of varying height & flowing singletrack . The more extensive trail network is just to the north of the town , take the left at Boundary Road & less than a kilometre in will take you to the central carpark for the trail network . Ranging from easy , to more advanced to more difficult to very difficult , these trails will test riders from all skill levels . Only a half hours drive from Forrest is the Great Ocean Road , one of the world's most scenic drives , as the road snakes around the coastline , with National Parks to the north & the Southern Ocean on the south , cool little seaside towns adorn this stretch of coastline , & the surfing is awesome , with spots dotted along the coast . So if you have a few days to go exploring, this little part of the world is totally awesome ! Totally uncrowded , especially during the week , a great place to explore the vast array of singletracks .

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  • granke

    I visited these trails while my wife and I were doing the Great Ocean Walk. Drove up from Apollo Bay and took an old 50mm travel hardtail out on the trails. The Yaughter Loop is a series of singletracks joining up sections of forestry road. Into the outer loop are a number of inner loops. I loved Mariner's Run - just one bermed turn after another with a few interesting log rollovers, jumps through forked trees and and gullies. Also recommended are Foxtail and Grass Trees. No serious climbs but some serious fun... even though I had an argument with a tree about who had right of way.
    The Southern Loop looks good (especially Red Carpet) but I discovered I'd buckled my front wheel in the said argument with the tree (you might say it won) and I could only limp around.

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