Great Single Track Muni Day Ride (Victoria, Australia)

I had a great muni day ride this week on a 35km section of the ‘Great Dividing Trail’, which is a walking trail that runs ~280km from Bacchus Marsh - Blackwood - Daylesford - (Ballarat branch) - Castlemaine - Bendigo (Victoria, Australia). The bulk of the track is through forest. LOTS of great off road riding to be had, 1/2 day rides, full day rides, also well suited to unsupported multi day muni adventures hopping from town to town.

The section I rode was from Mt Franklin to Castlemaine, virtually all through forest with ~25km of single track out of the 35km, ranging from fast and flowing to technical drops through steep gullies, obstacles, climbs etc - overall awesome uni terrain.

I took the 29" initially set at 125, then swapped to the 150 holes for the bulk of the ride, back to 125’s towards the end.

The only water along the section I rode is the excellent swimming hole at Vaughan Springs, which is conveniently half way more or less - great place to stop for lunch (or break the route into two separate rides), lots of technical riding around the springs too.

The Great Dividing Trail is intended to be a walking track, though it looks like it will be officially open to bikes etc in the future - it’s unofficially ok to ride on it now afaik. I hope to have ridden the entire 280km of trail before summer kicks in.

All of the sections of trail I’ve ridden so far are clearly marked, but there are also printed maps available. Here’s the section I rode:

Sorry to ramble, but I was really surprised by how great this section of track was - so much singletrack, lots of forest and not a person to be seen. I’ll be checking it out again soon.

Looks like a ton of fun!

Totally awesome… something to dream about for the future!

Hey, nice.

I did that last year from Daylesford. The springs were super handy too, when I ran out of water. Was a lovely ride. The first bit out of Daylesford is mental, very hard. Has no bike signs in parts though.

Have you talked to the guys in Castlemaine cycles, they had some other nice riding round there too.


hey cool Joe!

We live about 10 mins from Daylesford on the edge of the Wombat Forest which is great for off road uni rides. I don’t ride around Castlemaine much as the forest here is outside the front door vs a drive to Castlemaine, plus it’s cooler (temperature-wise) here, greener, more water and hills, and generally less pillaged by gold mining, more logging though.

The Daylesford-Hepburn-Mt Franklin section is neat, 24" country for me, best avoided on weekends due to bush walkers visiting the mineral springs. I’m fairly sure that stretch of land is managed by a different government body, officially ‘no bikes’ but is a fairly popular ride for locals.

The GDT organization seem fairly sympathetic (or at least realistic) re bike use of the trail overall:
and are holding a meeting this month in Daylesford re use and promotion of the GDT for MTB etc. I’m planning on going to fly the muni flag :slight_smile:

If the weather holds up this week I’m hoping to ride the Daylesford-Blackwood section. I’ve criss-crossed parts of it on other rides, should be awesome!

I meant to say in my first post - if anyone is interested in a ride around these parts and would like some local info to help plan it, or someone to ride with etc, drop me a line. Always up for some uni adventure!

ps. I’ve added a couple more pics of the Mt Franklin-Castlemaine trail. I didn’t take many unfortunately as I started the ride in the afternoon, was a bit of a squeeze time-wise, got into Castlemaine just on dark - DOH! :stuck_out_tongue: