Starting at Smiths Gully general store , which incidentally is bike friendly, has great food & coffee & outside tables to kick back after a good early ride on the local trail network. You can get public transport ( Train ) to Hurstbridge & ride the 4 miles or so to Smiths Gully or park your car at the general store. Its worth taking a map of the local trails as well as your street directory which has good topo of the area. The tiny little town of Smiths Gully is nestled in the foot of the Yarra Ranges, just a short drive from Melbourne ( 55 mins ). Its a tranquil area surrounded by lush forest reserves , fire roads & singletracks, its a matter of exploring from the Smiths Gully general store. Follow Clintons Rd east from the store & on the right after a 100 meters or so is the entrance to Boomers Reserve, open to mountain bikers, equestrians, walkers & trail runners, however most days you can get the trails to yourself or spot the odd mountain biker along the ways. Boomers Reserve is a network of twisting singletrack into gullies & up onto a ridge again, twisting & snaking its way in a loop back to the general store - these trails are best after a light sprinkling of rain as the top surface of some singletrack is very slippery gravel .Boomers Reserve is flush with tight twisting flowing singletrack through a network of Eucalypt trees & forest . If you head past Boomers Reserve keeping on Clintons Rd there is a winding singletrack alongside the road amongst the trees that takes you down a gully & up the climb to Broad Acres Rd , turn right & a fun narrow twisting snaking singletrack winds its way through trees & past some dwellings looking out to the mountains & the Yarra Valley. Follow this singletrack as it follows the road, the views out to the mountains are spectacular on a clear sunny day. Following Broad Acres rd for a few miles, the trail then follows a fast downhill fire trail where singletracks branch off through the trees to the side. Then once down in the gully & a beautiful little flowing creek, the singletrack climbs back up to the general store through a reserve of a network of switchbacks & narrow winding singletrack, bring your climbing legs as a moderate level of fitness is required. A beautiful tranquil place to ride a mountain bike, with incredible views of the surrounding mountains & lush green Yarra Valley & mountains of the Victorian Alps. An area evidentally known of by many mountain bikers, yet strangely the trails are frequently empty. Another option is to follow Clintons Road, turn left into Smiths Gully rd & follow the road to Black Camerons Road. This then winds steeply along fire trail with branches of singletrack snaking off into the reserves surrounding the rd . If you follow Black Camerons Rd after a few miles you will be at the St Andrews pub , very popular amongst bikers, hippies & locals as well as the famous Saturday Craft market. Otherwise turn right onto Spanish Valley Gully where singletracks snake through a growing forest of Eucalypt trees & native flora & fauna. The level of skill required for these trails is intermediate & in some trails advanced . Climbing up through the snaking trails of Spanish Valley Gully towards Rob Roy Rd , turn right onto Rob Roy Rd & take this road which is a sort of fire trail /road to the carpark where the singletracks are evident . Twisting flowing trails through big trees so be careful towards the valley where the trees at the bend can catch you unawares.There are some log crossings over the flowing creek surrounding the area which test the skills. You can follow these trails which lead onto the main road connecting to Kangaroo Ground & Eltham. Follow this road where there are singletracks branching off following the road & then turn right into the reserve which is a vast network of switchback & snaking singletrack back up the hill where the trail comes out right near the general store. The choices of loops & areas to ride this area are almost endless, some of the climbing can be quite rigorous yet well worth the flowing singletracks to be discovered - ,views of lush green countryside, vineyards, forests, stacked mountains in the distance, this really is a truly beautiful part of the world. There is a famous race held around Christmas time with many a rider attending, during the year most days the trails are relatively empty, even on a Spring Saturday I only saw a few other mountain bikers. After riding the trails & getting back to the Smiths Gully General Store, there is nothing quite like basking in the sun on the outside tables with a nice coffee & some fresh toasted sandwiches. Without going overboard, this place is a little slice of heaven. If its cold & wet, after a morning on the trails there is the open fire inside the cafe, couches, mountain bike books & mags to flick thru, as well as bragging to your mates about your improved skills on the trails, with some Smiths Gully General Store hospitality & warmth . A great area to ride trails alone or just with a few friends, most weekends you'll always bump into mountain bikers making the general store their base - pick a sunny day & the place takes on a dreamscape wonderland of winding trails through incredibly lush country & forest .Make the effort to get there early morning & you will be rewarded with experiencing a truly beautiful slice of Australia, watch out snakes especially in summer , & for kangaroos as the area is abundant & they graze where ever they like , they usually hop away once they hear you snaking along the trails, a highly recommended place for some fun mountain biking .
A vast network of loops & singletrack starting at the Smiths Gully general store as a good base. Lush vineyards, rolling hills & a plethora of singletrack trails looping around the Smiths Gully store , a beautiful area & only a short drive from the city of Melbourne , general store mountain biker friendly , a great place to go exploringThank |