Ballarat is home to a vast array of mountain bike trails that will suit all - from the youngest of children, to the elite racer, and everyone in between. Better yet all the trails are so close to town, there’s no need to prepare for a long commute to reach them.
We rode three areas, all very different, yet great trails in their own ways. The rides can vary from a flat and easy family picnic ride, to a multi-day adventure or to getting the adrenaline pumping on the local downhill trails. Whether it is a gentle ride or hamming the old-school single track you’re after, Ballarat has it in spades.
MTB ride #1 – Goldfields Track
The Goldfields track offers endless possibilities: through Ballarat it joins with the Yarrowee River Trail providing a multi-use path suitable for riders of all ages. Along the track there are many single trail offshoots to be explored and to challenge any rider. If epic adventures are calling you, the Goldfields Track in its entirety is 210km and runs from Ballarat to Bendigo along the Great Dividing Range.
MTB ride #2 – Canadian Forest
Some of the best old-school cross country single track can be found in Canadian Forest. A brilliant mix of tight, technical and open, flowing trails have been hand crafted through the bushland over many years. Following the race loop from Pax Hill Scout Camp will give you a big sample of all the trails and take you through the favourites of Mine Field and Canadian Switchbacks. With only short climbs, you’re never too far from a descent in Canadian Forest.
MTB ride #3 – Black Hill Reserve
These downhill trails are almost in the heart of Ballarat. Once you have finished admiring the view of the township it is time to drop in on one of the many trails and get some speed up. Catering for beginners through to elite racers, the trails of Black Hill will excite and challenge all. After riding the never ending berms of “Deep Lead” or pinning the staircase on “Alluvial” you’ll have a grin ear to ear and be left wanting more.
A big thanks to Ballarat-Sebastapol Cycling Club, local MTBer Will Geor for taking us out on some of these awesome rides, and to Patty from Specialized for hitting the Goldfields Track with us. We’ve had a ball.
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