Beechworth Mountain Biking
As the morning fog lifts in this charming North East town, you can understand why Beechworth is grand jewel in this part of Victoria. For many years the area has been living off the spoils of tourism, fueled by its colonial streetscape, historical buildings and affiliations with Australia’s most infamous bushranger, Ned Kelly. In recent years Beechworth has attracted a new wave of motivated and driven entrepreneurs, cementing the town as a foodie hotspot in the North East Valleys region and attracting a changing and cashed up visitor that reflects this demographic shift.
Beechworth is also central to a wide variety of mountain biking and cycling infrastructure that is also helping to shift the visitors from pensioner buses to cycle tourists. Mountain bikers are well and truly a notable and welcomed visitor and with a variety of trails built, catering to all levels of riders and talks of further investment, Beechworth is on the brink to becoming a world class mountain bike destination in the years to come.
On multiple visits the terrain continues to surprise and inspire, whether that be from new trails cut by the passionate, local club ‘the chain gang’, the opening of new areas such as the Flame Trees trail, with singletrack edging the rail trail or discovering the singletrack through the pine plantations and down to Yackandandah.
All levels of mountain bike riders are catered for here, yet as with many mtb destinations, the intermediate to advanced rider will be rewarded with the trails on offer.
So where to ride?
Below are 4 reasons why this mountain bike destination is a favourite of many Australian mtb riders.
1. Beechworth Mountain Bike Park
The mountain bike park is nearby, an easy 3km ride from the centre of town. At the park you can choose from green, blue or black trails which are well signed throughout the park. The mtb trails at Beechworth are largely hard packed on a granite base, with loamy sections. Given the rock base and its hilly position, the trails drain well, providing year round riding access.
There are green and blue loops around the park, a downhill trail section and a variety of jumps. The ‘secret track’ section and it’s recent upgrades is one of the more interesting and flowing sections of the park, where you will be tipping your hat to the trail builders at the end. A map created by the local mountain bike club, can be viewed here.
The mountain bike park has hosted a variety of mountain bike races and events with the most notable being the Six Hours in the Saddle, which also happens to be held on the Harvest Celebration weekend, where a variety of regional producers descends on the town with a farmers market, local events and activities.
For those that don’t mind a bit of roadie action on the side, the Beechworth Gran Fondo is a new event coming to Beechworth in April 2013.
2. Flame Trees MTB Trail
The flame tress trails are some of the more exciting mountain bike trail developments near Beechworth. Designed by famed Australian trail builder Glen Jacobs and built by labour from Beechworth prison, the Flame Tress trails combine clever design, with careful planning and successful advocacy to produce an out and back trail that uses either side of the rail trail bike path. The beauty of this design creates an undulating, almost floating, trail riding experience using the natural features to propel you purposefully down and create the illusion of a moderately flat trail, when riding back towards the town.
The flame trees trail, highlights what is possible with many small towns that are interested in increasing their visitor numbers, by the ever growing cycling tourist, in particular mountain bikers. Something as simple as using the shoulder of the existing rail trail can still deliver a great singletrack experience, which is what the search is all about.
3. Pine Plantations & Yackandandah
The trails further afield are a little more difficult to find, and local knowledge will certainly help in directing you to key spots. There is a loop near towards Lake Kerford and back to town, in addition to a mixture of fire road and singletrack combinations towards Yackandandah, which is also worth a look.
If it is your first visit to Beechworth to ride, then the best option is the Mountain Bike park followed by a Flame Trees run. There are plenty of trails and loop combinations to keep you busy, in addition to plenty of après-bike activities.
4. Beechworth – Home of Quality Regional Producers
Avid mountain biker and world class brewer, Ben Kraus has established one of Australia’s finest craft breweries – Bridge Road Brewery in the heart of Beechworth, The brewery produces an enviable list of Bavarian beer specialties, serves great pizzas and makes authentic pretzels.
Espresso, Pilsner or Pinot Noir? Expect to fine quality fare in Beechworth. From the above mentioned Bride Road Brewers to well appointed cafes & restaurants such as the Provenance and Cellar Door Wine Store. You then also have options of quality vineyards surrounding Beechworth
Notable standouts include the recently two hat appointed and winner of best regional restaurant in Victoria, the Provenance. This is dining at its finest.
Another option is The Green Shed, which offers Asian and Middle Eastern inspired meals, in an impressive space.
Bridge Road Brewery and Tanswells Pub also have excellent lighter meals and pub fare that will no doubt nourish a hungry mountain biker
With a strong tourism led, local economy, there are a variety of options for accommodation in and around Beechworth. Some of the standouts include:
B&B at its finest, with exceptional attention to detail and easy riding distance to the mountain bike park.
The local tourist information bureau has a website dedicated to finding holiday rental properties in and around Beechworth. An easy to navigate website allows for seamless property booking, ideal for larger riding groups.
Beechworth’s location and natural beauty both from an urban and natural environmental perspective, has unique combination of well appointed mountain bike trails that are in close proximity to the town centre and serviced by excellent food and drink options and accommodation providers. The challenge going forward is to drive the further investment in trails and cycling infrastructure, inviting an increase in mountain bike visitor numbers and creating an exciting destination for the Australian mountain bike community. With many of the new cycling initiatives such as Flame Trees and scope & planning for future trail building being implemented, Beechworth will comfortably grow into a world class mountain bike destination.
Beechworth Mountain Biking – Details
Beechworth is located 45 mins drive from Albury, 30 mins drive from Wangaratta in North East Victoria, Australia. Travel distances: Melbourne (3.5 Hrs), Sydney (7.5 Hrs), Canberra (5 Hrs), Albury (45mins), Wangaratta (30mins)
Closest airport is Albury with Qantas and Virgin both offering several daily services. There are several rental car companies to choose from, to complete your journey.
Beechworth Mountain Bike Park
Alma Rd, Beechworth
Head along Alma rd, approx 2Km from the Havelock rd junction. Once you hit the dirt road, the Mountain Bike car park and trail head is approx 500m on your left.
Flame Trees Mountain Bike Trail
Near junction of Diffey Rd and the Rail Trail
To locate the flame trees trails you can start from the town centre, riding on the rail trail toward Everton. Once you reach Diffey Rd (approx. 5km / 3 miles), the Flame Trees trail is a couple of hundred metres on your left.
Predominately catering to an intermediate to advanced rider, the park has plenty of flowing singletrack, and technical trail sections. Expect plenty of granite rock gardens, roots, log jumps and slab drop offs. A steady grinding climb is also thrown in, to bring you back to the trail head.
Local Bike Shop:
Beechworth Cycles & Saws
17 Camp St,
03 5728 1402