8 trails, approx. 500m in length (check out the trail map, it has all the tracks listed)
Double Black Diamond
The mountain bike trails of Black Hill Reserve have over the years been sculpted and groomed into the hillside of Central Ballarat’s highest peak, and at just over 1km north-east of the CBD, they provide amazing views of the town at the trail head.
See also: Ballarat's top three MTB rides
On arrival at the trail head you realise just how many trails have been packed onto the hill. A quick look at the map shows up to eight variations for getting down the hill from easier blue graded trails through to double black diamond. The start of each trail is well marked and very easy find.
Riding the trails, you soon realise that every little bit of vertical drop has been wisely used, from the start of each trail you need to be on top of your game if riding the A-lines is your thing. The trails felt like a continuous flow of berms, gaps, step downs and chutes. It was one feature into the next the whole way down and I loved every second of it. Whilst the jumps and step downs may be intimidating to some, there is a B-line around every obstacle and all the lines are extremely well signposted.
See also: Mountain Biking Gold!
The highlights of the trails for me were the seemingly never ending berms of Deep Lead and the big stairs on Alluvial: both sections of trail are begging you to push faster and faster. With the trails weaving through a mix of mature pine trees and native Australian bush there is great variation to take everyone’s fancy.
The trails are built and maintained by Club Mud Ballarat, who over the years have developed a great relationship with the Ballarat City Council. There are big plans for mountain biking in the future development of Black Hill Reserve with more trails, pump tracks and dirt jumps all in the works. So not only is there already an extensive trail network for all to enjoy, more is on its way.
See also: XC through the Canadian Forest
If racing is your thing, Black Hill is home to the annual King of Ballarat downhill series, but if you want to just ride with mates it’s only a short shuttle back to the top suitable for all vehicles. As for what bike to ride, anything from a downhill bike through to an enduro bike will get you down with ease.
With its diverse trails suiting beginner downhillers to elite racers, this trail network almost in the heart of Ballarat should find its way onto your must ride list.