Across the Melbourne Metropolitan region there are ample places to take your bike out and get amongst nature for enjoyment, fitness or that adrenaline rush. A long-time favourite with mountain bikers, Lysterfield offers a vast array of trails suitable for beginners and up. The relatively flatter terrain means the more hardcore descents are out, but also means the climbs aren’t overly arduous. Cross country enthusiasts will find a lot to appreciate here given the trail design, with plenty of opportunities to get the lactic acid right up hammering through singletrack.
Located within riding distance of the town of Harcourt, La Larr Ba Gauwa is a relatively new trail network that is already garnering a solid reputation among the mountain biking community. The well designed and utterly enormous park offers something for everyone. Split into two distinct halves, the Northern side offers trails 2-5 (with trail 1 a handy access track) and the Southern side trails 6-11. This is a predominantly blue -graded trail network and is quite accessible. The blue trails vary from flatter, more cross country orientated undulation to challenging, well designed climbs and pacey, well groomed descents filled with gloriously huge berms, jumps and rocky slabs to negotiate in places. The black trails are – considerably – more challenging with chunky rock sections to be scrambled over on climbs and some truly hair raising descents, including massive rock rolls and sections that resemble fresh artillery strikes over conventional trail design.
With the bulk of it nestled near the heart of Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula, the sprawling trail network at Arthurs Seat State Park offers both serious climbs and serious descents. Boasting an incredible amount of trail variety, this place is a must see for the discerning mountain biking enthusiast. Those seeking beautifully manicured and smooth trails may be in for a disappointment as Arthurs Seat offers a more natural, rooty, rocky and sandy environment. Every trail here is unique and every trail offers elevation, flow and serious pace through heavily wooded areas. Despite this, sightlines are typically very good and allow for the many drops and rooty, rocky sections to be taken with maximum enthusiasm. However the choppy, undulating terrain is also a good test of equipment – an entry level bike is going to be out of its element for most of here. This is most definitely an enthusiast environment – bring a full suspension bike and kneepads! There is only one dedicated climbing trail so access for most descents will be via some fairly steep and long fireroads.