If you really want to experience our region there’s no better way than on a bike.
Cyclist of all ages and abilities are spoilt for choice with sensational bush bike trails, touring options and kilometres of exhilarating, scenic road riding. And now, with a world class mountain bike park in Harcourt scheduled for completion towards the end of 2017, we’re about to take it up a notch.
Backed by the Victorian Government, the Harcourt mountain bike park will provide up to 34 kilometres of trails for all abilities with stunning views in a natural forest setting. Built to International Mountain Bicycling Association standards the park is expected to attract 100,000 visitors each year.
It’s an exciting development for our region: great for tourism, great for jobs and yet another fantastic way to fill in your spare time if you’re lucky enough to live here.
But our region has long been a popular destination for cyclists.
The iconic Goldfields Track which stretches from Ballarat to Bendigo winds its way through the district and we’re only a short drive from Bendigo’s trail network. In March this year the upgraded Maldon to Castlemaine Rail Trail was officially opened, a leisurely, scenic 18 km trail running between the two towns alongside the heritage Victorian Goldfields Railway. You can even pit your speed and skills against the train at the annual Race the Train event each November.
We’re renowned for our single track riding, with loads of great, well promoted trails to find yourself, or you can talk to a local and get them to send you in the right direction.
One local who’s always happy to talk about cycling is Peter Grant, owner of The Bike Vault in Castlemaine. Peter grew up in the area and he and his brother and business partner Gary Grant will celebrate 10 years in business this year.
“I think what cyclists love is that we’re close to Melbourne so the cycling is accessible but because we’re out of the city it’s safer,” says Peter.
“The road riding is excellent. The roads are quiet and there’s anything from undulating loops around Castlemaine to longer rides out to Maldon, around Baringhup, to Harcourt via the reservoir at Golden Point. There are so many options.”
“The Maldon Rail Trail is a fairly easy ride so it’s good for all abilities and if you pick a day when the train is running you can ride one way and get a ride back on the train, which is great for families” he says.
“If you’re trying the Goldfields Track, I think the best part is between Mount Franklin and Vaughan Springs, it’s a really great flowing area that’s easily accessible.”
The Bike Vault has bikes available for hire and they’re offering readers of the Waller Realty blog a unique deal. Come to The Bike Vault and mention this article for 50% off the cost of hire. What a great way to experience the region!
If you’re coming to the area we even have our own bike friendly accommodation. Tread Harcourt offers unique cycling-centric accommodation close to everything. They can sort you out with maps of the local trails, take you on a tour, organise a shuttle and help you really make the most of your stay.