A muddy ride down the O’Shannassy Trail

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The O’Shannassy Trail runs parallel to a large section of the Lilydale Warburton Trail.  This trail follows the old maintenance road of the O’Shannassy Aqueduct.  Which was built, between 1911 & 1914.  The trail stretches 30 kilometres in its entirety and offers spectacular views of the valley below.  Commencing north of Woori Yallock on McMahons Road.  And finishes at the O’Shannassy Weir coming out at a Waterfall.

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I took a week off to cycle, and had an idea of doing a really hard ride one day, an easy the next to recover.  This one was supposedly the easy one……..

The O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail
Oshannassy Aqueduct trail

Heading straight out from McMahon’s Road. I was walking  my bike.  There were quite a few sections over the first 10km’s which went well over 20% on the gravel.  If you ever consider doing this ride & you start from this part be prepared to walk.  It felt like going back in time riding this trail.  There was a feeling of isolation, and feel a sense of adventure.  I was glad that the trail eventually flattens out, and has a false flat.  You climb the base of the Yarra Ranges, and work your way up Mount Donna Buang.  There had been a lot of rain recently and the trail was a incredibly muddy. 

The real steep sections weren’t bad.  As soon as the road flattened out it became a mud heap.  My easy ride wasn’t so easy, as it rained, it was cold.  I got covered from head to toe in mud, and every single pedal stroke was a grind.  It was tempting to pull the pin, and turn around and head back.  The only thing stopping me was the fact that I would have had to ride further in the mud coming back.  This turned me off the idea.


From Mount Donna Buang Road, I started to descend, and hoped that my pain would be over.  I was horrified to find that the downhill sections had more mud.  It was just as hard downhill.  This was turning out to be one of those days I wish I stayed indoors.
Oshannassy Aqueduct Trail


O’Shannassy Weir

I got to the O’Sannassy Weir, and under different circumstances I would have been stoked.  It was awesome to finish a ride at a waterfall.  Feeling completely spent after a sad 30km’s of riding, had no hope of riding back down the trail as I originally planned.  I didn’t know how I’d be able to get back with how I was feeling.  Instead I came up with a plan to ride out to the main road.  And head back into Warburton and then return via the Lilydale Warburton trail.  I knew this could add an extra 20km’s of riding which sucked.  But was easier than returning the way I came.

Oshannassy Aqueduct Trail

It rained a fair bit of the ride back.  It was a relief to get back to Warby where I stopped in at the Warburton Bakery (love that place).  I copped some WTF looks as I was completely covered in mud.  It was a relief to get onto the Lilydale Warburton trail as its completely flat.  I was that tired that I was able to cruise at a snails pace.  From Woori Yallock, I had a short climb to get back to the car which was hell.

What doesn’t kill us just makes us stronger

Yes this is one of my least favorite rides I’ve ever done.  Which is such a shame as it is an incredible trail.  If I ever returned I would probably realize this, but given the hell I went through I haven’t wanted to return. I didn’t have much in the way of wet weather kit back then either, which made the ride worse.  I had high hopes to ride a lot that week, and instead I really exhausted myself on this ride, and didn’t end up doing that much riding.  Them’s the breaks I guess.

Here is a link to my Strava Activity here:

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0 thoughts on “A muddy ride down the O’Shannassy Trail

    Ole Dirty 2015 « The Dandenong Ranges said:
    August 31, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    […] history on this thing. Back in 2012 when I was still discovering cycling I ventured out here on a muddy winters day. This was before I had any wet weather kit, & had one of the hardest short rides that I’ve […]

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