Woodend, VIC, Australia
87 km | 1600 vm
Gravel, rocky trails and single track
Recently we took a bunch of riders out to enjoy the beautiful country gravel roads of Woodend and its surrounds as part of our regular Monthly Ride installments. If you missed out, do not panic! All the details you need and the ride files are below. If you are looking for a day trip away from the big smoke, Woodend is a great place to enjoy endless gravel roads. It is a little over an hour's drive from Melbourne. Alternatively you can load you and your bike onto the V-Line train and travel in comfort.
Starting from the Woodend Clock Tower, this gravel route consists of rolling gravel roads throughout the Woodend, Macedon, Gisborne and Blackwood regions of regional Victoria. It's all about big forest trees and crisp air.
The main focus of this route is a commute to Lerderderg State Park. The Lerderderg River Gorge dominates this park and divides it in two, from O'Briens Crossing in the north to Mackenzies Flat in the south. What you are rewarded with are picturesque views and rugged rocky terrain. It is part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape in the traditional Country of the Wurundjeri People.
Riders will descend into O'Briens Crossing on winding gravel switchbacks. Then instead of climbing out, you will traverse the gorge along Byers Back Track 8 kilometres of single narrow track along the gorge wall.
This section is both beautiful but also narrow. Don't worry if you are under-biked for this section. Just ride this section slowly and carefully, walking sections that you are not comfortable riding. There are sections where your bars or pedals could clip rocks causing disaster. There are some long drops of the side of this track into the gorge far below - so please, please be careful on this section. Ride slow. If you're not confident riding - walk! Please don't end up on the news.
The trail ends when you reach the tiny township of Blackwood. Here you can grab a coffee, snacks or even sit down for a drink at the pub.
Be sure not to fill up too much, as there is still some climbing to be done. The steepest being out of Blackwood on forest tracks. However, once over the top, you'll enjoy some well-earned flat gravel roads through open farmland as you return to Woodend. If you have the time, we strongly recommend swinging past Holgate Brewery in town for a beer and some food.
A gravel bike is most suited to this route; a minimum of 40 mm tyres is best.
Ride file below. Enjoy!