Yarra Valley

Myers Creek Road (Healesville)

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Length: 6.7 km
Average Gradient: 6.5%
Total Ascent: 437m
Climb Category: 2
Surface: Sealed

Click here for the link to the Strava segment.

The Myers Creek Road climb follows the Myers Creek valley, which the road is named after.  This is a stunning climb, which winds its way through Paul’s Range.  A temperate rain forest which is full of Mountain Ash, and fern gullies to either side of the road.

This is a challenging climb as the gradient continually fluctuates, and has one of those coarse road surfaces.  This gets you working that little bit harder.  The average gradient for this climb is highly deceptive as the road will hit sections in excess of 15%.  Myers Creek Road will feel a lot steeper than its average gradient suggests.

Start: Enger Myers Creek Road (Healesville) off the Maroondah Highway.  The climb begins approximately 3 km up the road.

You will want to pace yourself as this is an unforgiving climb that is not pleasant if you end up cooking yourself too early.

As you near the top of the climb, the road opens up and to your right you will see the peak of Mt St Leonard.  You will see a very distant phone tower, and if you are ever feeling adventurous.  There is an extremely steep climb up a gravel 4WD track up Monda Road to reach there.

Myers Creek Road is one of the best roads to climb in the Yarra Valley.  Offering stunning scenery and quite a challenging climb. This climb is located a short distance north of Healesville and can be combined with several of the areas other great climbs. Such as Chum Creek Road, Panton Gap or Badger Creek Road.

Finish: Corner Myers Creek Road and Monda Road (Toolangi)

At a glance

  • If you’re coming down from Melbourne, heads up that it is always considerably colder in & around Healesville. Best to check local forecasts
  • Narrow, windy roads
  • Stunning rainforest
  • Little traffic
  • Challenging climbing
  • Toolangi Pub situated at the end of Myers Creek Road

During fire season

Paul’s Range is in a fire district. Anyone entering parks and forests during the bushfire season needs to stay aware of forecast weather conditions. Check the Fire Danger Rating and for days of Total Fire Ban at www.cfa.vic.gov.au or call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.

Mount Tanglefoot

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Distance:  8.6 km
Average Gradient:  4%
Elevation gained:  352 meters
Surface:  Gravel
Traffic: Minimal
Category 1

Click here for link to the Strava segment.

Mount Tanglefoot is located in the Toolangi State Forest, approximately 10 km north of Healesville.  There is a fair bit of climbing to get to the base of this climb with the choice of climbing this from either Chum Creek Road or Myers Creek Road.

Whilst this road is relatively free of gravel, if you were to give this one a go expect a bumpy ride.  There are quite a few corrugated sections all throughout the climb.  A CX or Mountain bike would be advised.  The road is wide enough to allow two cars to pass, however the edges of the road aren’t suitable to ride a bike on.  It’s easy to find a riding line, but you’ll want to ride as far into the middle road as you can.

Start of the climb

Mount Tanglefoot climb

The climb starts at the intersection of Sylvia Creek Road and Myers Creek Road.

This climb takes you through the Toolangi State Forest and to either side of the road is a forest of tall Mountain Ash and tree-fern.  This area receives a fair amount of rain and is always stunning.  This is a climb of two parts.  The climb begins with the steepest section, with the first 800 meters averaging close to 10%.

The road eventually flattens out until you pass the Wirrawilla Rainforest car park around the 4.6 km mark where from here there is solid climbing until you reach the peak.  Overall this section offers a fairly consistent gradient, and is by far the most scenic part of the climb.

On the far side of the climb is a campsite, and the area offers some challenging hikes.  Mount Tanglefoot has also inspired Yarra Ridge (wine) to produce a nice Shiraz which they named after the mountain.  If you head to the bottle shop first, maybe you can celebrate in style at the top.

Mount Tanglefoot

Chum Creek Road

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Length: 8 km
Average Gradient: 4%
Total Ascent: 295m
Climb Category: 3

Click here for link to the Strava segment.

Chum Creek is located a little upstream from Healesville.  The name originated as ‘New Chum Creek’.  This was a reference to traces of gold found in the creek in 1859.  By 1860 Chum Creek was a village, however due to the creation of tracks to the distant Gippsland and Yarra Valley goldfields, the main settlement was formed at Healesville.

Beginning of the climb

Chum Creek Road climb

The Chum Creek Road climb begins at the corner of Heath Road and Healesville-Kinglake Road (see photo above)

The climb up Chum Creek Road offers a gentle consistent gradient, which meanders its way up towards Toolangi through Paul’s Range State Forest.  To either side of the road is a dense forest of spectacular tree ferns, Mountain Ash, and native gums which offers protection from the wind and offers shade on a really hot day.  This is a climb which is as much a pleasure to cruise up as it is to smash yourself against.

From Healesville the road undulates a bit until you reach the start of the climb proper.  This is a good chance to warm your legs up.  Pretty much the gradient fluctuates between 3 -5% and is a climb which is easy to find your rhythm, with the road turning left, then right then right then left as it winds its way gently up the hill.

When you are nearing the end of this climb, the forest opens out into grassing pastures and you’ll pass open farmlands.  The road straightens up and the gradient dips which is a good enough excuse to get out of your seat to have a sprint to the finish the climb strong.

The climb ends at Healesville-Kinglake Road and Myers Creek Road

If you want to continue climbing then turn right onto Myers Creek Road where there is a further 3.4 km of climbing with an average gradient of 3%.

What to expect

  • Stunning scenery
  • Gentle gradient
  • Windy roads suited as a race circuit
  • Chum Creek Road is very popular with Motorcyclists.
  • If you want to celebrate at the top there is the Toolangi Pub

Directions:

53 km north-east of Melbourne (and immediately north-west of Healesville)

Californian Redwood Forest East Warburton

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There is a truly magical forest which is off the beaten track and is only a short ride from Warburton East.

Californian Redwood Forest

Following the clearing of the original Eucalypt Forest in 1930’s.  There were over 1476 Californian Redwood trees planted by the Board of Works. These are trees which range from 20 meters to the tallest being 55 meters in height. The trees are planted in a grid and look like a setting straight from J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. When you walk in amongst the trees you may feel like you’re on the set of some exotic Hollywood film.  Its a truly magical place to wander about.

There are hiking trails, which were originally the access tracks which pass through and around the Californian Redwood forest.   These are a must do if you get the chance, and link up to the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail.  One of the Yarra Valleys most popular walks.

Directions

Follow the Warburton Highway east out of Warburton until it becomes Woods Point Road. Around 7 km out of town you will find Cement Creek Road to the left side of the road. The road is unsealed and a little rough in places.  But suitable to ride a road bike. Shortly up the road you will find a small parking area on the right hand side.  This is along a fence line and small gate barrier. Walk through the barrier and be prepared to be transported to a place which is purely magical.

Californian Redwood Forest

Details

  • Please respect the environment when visiting this special place.  Keep it clean and take your litter with you.
  • The Californian Redword forest is now heritage listed.
  • Parking available on Cement Creek Road.
  • Please note there are no public toilets at the Redwood Forest.
  • The forest is Pram friendly
  • Dogs not allowed.

Cycling Warburton

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Beauty, serenity, adventure.  These are all things which you can experience when you take a ride out to Warburton.  This beautiful little town is situated to the east of the Yarra Valley and is a stunning place to visit, and an amazing place to ride.  The town lies in a valley at the base of Mount Little Joe and Mount Donna Buang.  The Yarra River flows through the town, and these are elements which are mixed beautifully in the one area.  Warburton is close enough to easily come down for a day trip, but also has enough variety to justify booking a night or three to spend some time in cycling paradise. 

Lilydale Warburton Trail

Here are 8 of the best rides you can do around Warburton:

1. Mount Donna Buang

Mount Donna Buang is one of Melbourne’s most popular climbs. It is 16.8 km in length with an average gradient of 6.4%. A high level of fitness is required to make the ascent to the top of Mount Donna Buang. This climb takes you through a stunning Rainforest.  Which is home to some magnificent tall Mountain Ash trees and ancient Myrtle Beech Trees.  Ferns, Mosses and other plants and an array of wildlife.  If you get lucky on a clear day you pass several lookouts.  Where you can see views of Warburton and the Yarra Valley which is a sight to behold.

Mount Donna Buang

2. Lilydale Warburton Trail

The Lilydale Warburton trail follows the old Warburton Railway line which was originally built in 1901.  And closed down in 1965.  The trail runs a distance of 40 km between Lilydale and Warburton.  Which passes through the beautiful Yarra Valley offering stunning scenery throughout. The trail provides a wonderfully relaxed and safe cycling experience.

The trail is suited to riders of all abilities and the surface is well-maintained, hard-packed gravel.  And can be ridden on any type of bike (including a Road Bike). This makes riding easy and safe for adults and children alike. The trail is fairly flat overall.  However there are a handful of climbs along the way that should be able to be climbed by riders of most abilities. Just be mindful that it is a shared trail, and you may come across walkers, runners & horse-riders.

The ride begins behind the Warburton Police Station.  Which is just behind the Visitor Tourist Information Centre.

Lilydale Warburton Trail

3. The O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail

The O’Shannassy Aqueduct, was built in 1914.  It was instrumental in delivering water to the Melbourne metropolitan area for 82 years. The Aqueduct was decommissioned in 1996, and is now use as a recreation trail.  Which stretches 30 km in its entirety, and offers a wonderful cycling experience.  There is access to the car park at the top of Yuonga Road in Warburton. The trail is suited to a CX or Mountain Bike. The trail is quite isolated.  So make sure that you bring adequate supplies as there are no shops along the trail.

O’Shannassy’s Trail

4. The Reefton Spur

A short distance out of Warburton East is the Reefton SpurThis is a 20 km undulating climb which has an average gradient of 3% which is a pure joy to climb.  The climb winds its way through the Yarra Ranges National Park.  You’ll find several lookouts along the way which offer great photo opportunities.  You’ll soon discover why the Reefton Spur has a reputation as one of Victoria’s most popular tourist roads. 

The first 7 km of this climb is quite challenging.  Before the road flattens out and becomes quite undulating till you reach the Cumberland junction.  It is important that you bring adequate supplies and equipment as there is only one shop Between Warburton and the end of the Reefton Spur.

The Reefton Spur

5. Old Warburton Road

Old Warburton Road “aka Little Joe” is a tourist road which runs between Warburton to Millgrove.  It is an excellent detour if you want to avoid the traffic on the main highway.  The climb up Old Warburton Road fromWarburton is 4.3 km in length.  Even with a steep descent in-between has an average gradient of 5%. A high level of fitness is required.   This road will take you across the lower slopes of Mount Little Joe and is a must do by bike. 

After reaching the peak the descent down to Millgrove is fast & furious.  Please take care on the descent as there are several high speed technical corners. 

Old Warburton Road

6. Dirty Donna (part gravel)

The dirty Donna is fast becoming one of Melbourne’s most popular dirt climbs.  Which will venture through the western slopes of Mount Donna Buang.  There are many amazing photo opportunities along the way.  This road can be accessed via Don Road, which can be attempted from two directions:

  1. From Healesville, via Panton Gap.  The first 9.5km of this climb is sealed before hitting the gravel section. This climb is 24.5 km  in length with an average gradient of 5%
  2. From Launching Place via Don Valley.  This climb is 24.3km in length with an average gradient of 4%.  Whilst this side isn’t as steep as Panton Gap.  It has a much longer section of dirt road to contend with.  Offering a much more scenic ascent than the Panton Gap side.

Both sides require a high level of experience and fitness, and either may be climbed using a Road bike.  We recommended that you run at least a 25 mm tire. During the winter months Mount Donna Buang Road is closed to motorists.  And not maintained over the winter months.  This has become a popular ride for the adventure seekers to do over winter.  The road is covered in debris from fallen trees.   Offering a number of challenges and is a bucket list ride.

Mount Donna Buang Road

7. The Acheron Way (mainly gravel)

The Acheron Way is a 28 km gentle climb which joins onto the Mount Donna Buang climb at Cement Creek.  The views along the way are amazing.  Through dense Rain forest and a seemingly endless array of giant Ferns.  The Acheron Way is a pure joy to ride. The road is sealed over the first 14.6 km out from Narbethong.  This has a consistent false flat with an average gradient of 2%.  The last 13 km of this road is over gravel, and its a great road to ride.  You’ll have to keep an eagle eye on the road. Loose gravel, animals, corrugations and the odd pothole are all dangers that you will want to avoid. I’ve ridden this road on a Road bike with 23 mm tires.  But would recommend that you run at least a 25 mm or 28 mm tire yourself.

Whilst there aren’t many steep pinches along the way, this is a long climb and will test you.  The gravel section has subtle gradient changes throughout, and is a pleasure to climb. When you get to Cement Creek.  If you’re a hill junkie you might want to turn right and climb to the summit of Mount Donna Buang. 

The Acheron Way is quite secluded and if you attempt to ride this road you should bring adequate provisions to get you safely home.

Acheron Way image taken by Greenalias

8. The Roads less travelled

Some of the best climbing that Warburton has to offer is within the town itself. The town has dozens of sealed and unsealed backstreet climbs.  All are incredibly steep! Martyr’s Road is the most famous of these climbs.  Holding the reputation as one of Victoria’s steepest residential streets which peaks at close to 30%. This is a climb will sort the men from the boys.  Its one of those climbs which will cement your reputation as a mountain goat if you can get up it in one piece.  There is a number of backstreet climbs which we could recommend.  If you want the most fun you would have is by getting out there and exploring them for yourself. 

Martyr Road Image taken by Ewan Hilsdon

Cylcing around Warburton

There isn’t another town within the state of Victoria which has as many great riding options that Warburton has on offer.   There are a number of other great ride options that I haven’t mentioned.  Such as taking the dirt ride out to the Ada tree.  This is a giant Mountain Ash that is estimated to be at least 300 years old and stands about 76 meters high with a circumference of 15 meters.  You can visit the Californian Redwood Forest in Warburton East.  Or take a pleasant stroll across any of the three historical bridges in town.  Not to mention there’s some truly amazing Mountain Bike experiences.  Next time you’re out here go and explore. Do a choose your own adventure ride. Warburton is quite a special place to ride all year round.

Californian Redwood Forest

Directions:                                           Warburton is approximately 72 km east of Melbourne

                                                              on the Warburton Highway

Accomodation Options:                      Visit Warburton Info Website

Information Centre:                            Warburton Highway

Cog Cafe:                                              For all of your bike needs, the Cog Café offers great

                                                               food & Coffee.  Bike rentals as well as bike repairs. 

                                                               You’ll find the Café located just behind the Police

                                                               Station at the start of the Lilydale Warburton Trail.

                                                                Visit Cog Café Website

The O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail

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Location:      Woori Yallock – O’Shannassy Weir
Distance:      30km one way
Surface:        Mainly patches of grass and dirt (some sections of gravel track)
Access:         Car Parks available at McMahon Road, Dee Road, Ewarts Road, Yuonga Road or O’Shannassy Weir

O’Shannassy Aqueduct trail

The O’Shannassy Aqueduct trail is one of the best ways to can experiencye the beauty of the Yarra valley.  The Trail follows the historical old maintenance road of the O’Shannassy Aqueduct.  This was built between 1911 and 1914 to carry water from a weir on the O’Shannassy River.  Which would be used to supply clean, fresh drinking water to the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.  The Trail is home to many native animals and is surrounded by tall Mountain Ash.  Fern gullies and offers some spectacular views of the Yarra Valley.  The O’Shannassy Aqueduct trail gives you a chance to experience the natural beauty of the flora and fauna in the area.

 Where to start?

If you wanted to ride the entire O’Shannassy Aqueduct trail.  The trail starts north of Woori Yallock off McMahons Road.  For those wanting to do a shorter portion of the trail.  There are quite a few access points along the way where you can start or finish your ride.

Over the first 10 kilometers there are some extremely steep ascents.  Some well in excess of 20% in gradient.  No matter how good a climber you are.   Be prepared to walk your bike up some of these sections.

A high level of fitness is required if you want to start from McMahons Road.

If extreme climbing isn’t part of your diet then are several access points along the way where the track is a lot flatter.  A number of riders prefer to start at either the Ewart’s Road carpark or the Dee Road carpark.

The trail

The O’Shannassy Aqueduct trail stretches 30 kilometres in its entirety.  The scenery is simply stunning.  Particularly the section alongside Warburton.  Here you will be treated with incredible views of Mount Bride.

The trail crosses over the famous Mount Donna Buang Tourist Road.  One of Victoria’s most popular climbs.  Before descending down to the O’Shannassy Weir.  Which takes you through quite a beautiful valley to the O’Shannassy Weir waterfall.  This offers stunning photo opportunities to set your bike up for a great looking shot.

At a glance

  • Most of the O’Shannassy Aqueduct trail is on a gentle grade.  However getting onto it from the valley floor can be more challenging. There are car parks provided at key access points which can be used to avoid steep asceents
  • No toilet facilities available along the trail
  • Picnic tables available at the Dee Road carpark (Millgrove) and the Yuonga Road Carpark (Warburton)
  • Car Parks available at McMahon Road, Dee Road, Ewarts Road, Yuonga Road or O’Shannassy Weir
  • The trail goes through National Parks; No dogs allowed
  • There can be an encroachment of vegetation, fallen trees, branches, and weeds in sections of the Aqueduct trail.  Caution is advised
  • Sections of the trail don’t get much light.  The trail can receive trail damage due to heavy rainfalls.  These can take quite a while to dry out

Trail Notes, and detailed maps, may be downloaded from the Parks Victoria Website:

 Recommend

The O’Shannassy Aqueduct trail trail is more suited to a CX or Mountain Bike.  The trail is quite isolated, so make sure that you bring adequate supplies as there are no shops along the trail.  As an option you can return through Warburton & return back to your car via the Lilydale Warburton Trail.  Just be mindful that there are some steep ascents to get to all of the access carparks.

O’Shannassy Aqueduct trail

The experience

This isn’t a bike track.  It’s an adventure!

With stunning views, beautiful forests, riding this trail feels like you’re moving back in time.

History of the Aqueduct Trail

The O’Shannassy Aqueduct trail was designed to have a constant gradient and to operate completely by gravity, without the need for any pumps or other mechanical devices.  Construction began in 1911 with a total cost of $853,780.  Much of the aqueduct was dug by hand and took a little over 3 years to build and completed in October 1914.  Just in time to help Melbourne avert a major drought which affected most of Australia at the time.

help
Click here for further information on the history of the Aqueduct Trail.

Lilydale Warburton Trail

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Lilydale Warburton Trail
Distance:   38 km one way
Surface:     Fine compact gravel suitable for all types of bikes
Start:         Lilydale Railway Station
Finish:        Behind the visitor center, Warburton

About the Lilydale Warburton Trail

Take a trip back in time when you ride down the Lilydale Warburton Rail Trail.  This track follows the old Warburton Railway line which was originally built in 1901, due to the increase in population in the Yarra Valley, and in order to support the further expansion of the timber industry in the area.  The opening of the railway heralded a massive increase in sawmilling activity in the region, commercial development, new schools, a shopping strip, service organizations and the start of the Warburton Football Club.

The ride

The trail takes you through forests, farmland, vineyards, rolling hills, billabongs, historical railways and wooden bridges, with the backdrop of the Yarra Ranges. There are plenty of places to stop along the way, including Cafes and picnic rest stops.  The trail is well maintained.  However there are a number of bridge crossings throughout.  Several of these can be quite bumpy. The full trail is 76 km return, however you can start or finish at a number of points. This is a great ride to do all year around.

Lasting memories

The views along the Lilydale Warburton trail will leave lasting memories.  And a desire to come back to do this ride time and time again.  The ride takes you out to Warburton which is a special little town which lies in a valley at the base of Mount Little Joe and Mount Donna Buang.  The Yarra River flows through the town, elements which make this such a beautiful place to visit.  And is one of the best places in Victoria to ride.

Verdict

This was an incredible ride.  Easily one of the most stunning Rail Trails in Victoria.  The great thing with this trail is that it can be ridden on any type of bike, and the trail is fairly flat overall.  However there are a handful of climbs along the way that should be able to be climbed by riders of most abilities.  We found the track is wide enough to easily overtake others.  And is one of those rare rides that you can sit back and really appreciate the scenery.

Plan your ride

  • Multi-use trail used by cyclists, walkers and horse riders
  • Surface is fine compact gravel suitable for all types of bikes
  • Train services are available to Lilydale.  See PT Victoria for details
  • Car parks are available in all towns along the trail
  • Public toilet facilities available in Mount Evelyn, Millgrove, Yarra Junction and Warburton
  • Benches are provided periodically throughout the trail if you need a rest
  • Lilydale Warburton Trail is a ride which can be enjoyed all year round
  • There is a Carriage Cafe located directly on the trail in Seville which is bike friendly
  • Food is available in towns along the way
  • Bike rentals are available at Yarra Valley Cycles, Lilydale and COG Café, Warburton
  • There are water taps on the trail at Mt Evelyn (outside Penny Olive), Seville (‘the waterhole’) and at  Yarra Junction (at the public toilets)
  • Dogs allowed

Segments

Click here for link for Lilydale to Warburton

Click here for link for Warburton to Lilydale

The trail runs a distance of 38 km between Lilydale and Warburton through the Yarra Valley, and passes through the towns of:

  • Lilydale
  • Mount Evelyn
  • Wandin
  • Seville
  • Killara
  • Woori Yallock
  • Launching Place
  • Yarra Junction
  • Milgrove
  • Warburton
Lilydale Warburton Trail

 

 

Mount Donna Buang (Warburton)

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Mount Donna Buang
Distance: 16.8 km
Average gradient: 6%
Elevation gain: 1,084 meters
Category: HC
Surface: Sealed

Click here for link to Strava segment

About

Mount Donna Buang is a Mountain in the southern part of the Great Dividing Range. It is located in Warburton and is one of Victoria’s most popular Mountain climbs to ride. The drive is only around 90 minutes from Melbourne.  Which takes you through the beautiful Yarra Valley.

View of Mount Donna Buang from the Visitor centre

Mount Donna Buang

Mount Donna Buang is 16.8km in length and has an average gradient of 6.4%. The climb can be broken down into two sections. The first section up to Cement Creek is 7km in length, averaging 7%. This section is quite challenging as the road gets steeper and steeper as you near Cement Creek.  And peaks at over 12% just before the junction. It is always a welcome relief when you reach Cement Creek.  Which offers a small flattened section before turning left onto the turn-off for the Mount Donna Buang summit.

Base of the climb

You are able to ease into a steady rhythm over the next 8.5km.  There is a fairly consistent gradient snaking its way up. Make sure you save some energy for the last km which averages close to 10%.

The ride

A high level of fitness is required to make the ascent to the top of Mount Donna Buang. You will climb though magnificent forest, which has a diverse eco-system. This includes 65 metre tall Mountain Ash trees.  Ancient Myrtle Beech Trees.  Ferns, Mosses & other plants which makes up this diverse Rainforest. Keep an eye out for Lyrebirds as you may see one to the side of the road.  Particularly in the cooler months. If you get lucky on a clear day you pass several lookouts.  Which offer stunning views of Warburton and the Yarra Valley.  These are a sight to behold.

Overall

The Yarra Valley is an amazing place to ride.  If you haven’t been out there we would highly recommend it. Test yourself against Mount Donna Buang, or cruise up & enjoy the scenery. If you’re adventurous you could try a bucket list challenge such as a trying for a double or triple Donna.

How to get there

Warburton is located approximately 72 km east of Melbourne on the Warburton Highway.

Mount Donna Buang at a glance

  • Can break climb into two parts
  • Expect to see tourist traffic
  • Well shaded during the summer months
  • Toilets at top
  • Lookout tower at top (not cleat friendly)
  • Rainforest lookout at Cement Creek
  • Picnic shelter which is good to shelter from the cold
  • Temperatures at top will always be colder than at the base. Bring adequate clothes to keep you warm on the descent
  • Please use extreme caution on the descent
Mount Donna Buang lookout tower

 

Cement Creek turnoff

 

The top of the climb

Cog Cafe climb

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Distance:  500 metres
Average Gradient: 16%
Elevation gain: 90 metres
Traffic: Light traffic
Terrain: Residential/Forest
Road Surface: Gravel

Here is a link to the Strava segment here:

The Cog Bike Café lies at the end of the Lilydale Warburton Trail.  This is one of Victoria’s most popular rail trails which stretches 38 km in length.  You’ll find a great hidden climb directly behind the Cog Café which is quite a brutal gravel climb.  It’s not for the feint hearted and one for the pure climbing enthusiasts as well as the gravel grinders.

Start of the climb: Corner of Warburton Highway and Station Street

The climb to the entrance of the Cog Café is sealed and peaks in excess of 20%.  This is the easy part of the climb!  The road flattens out briefly as you turn onto Madeline Street and turn onto Croom Street.  You’ll soon find that the road turns to gravel and there is only a limited racing line that you can ride on.  This makes it extra challenging to get up.

Along the way you will be treated to some stunning views of Mount Donna Buang to the left hand side of the road.  It’s unlikely that you will see a car, but if you do the road is very narrow and would suggest you pull off the road to let them by.   This is a dead end road.  Once you reach the gate at the end of the road you will have to backtrack.

When you reach these gates you will have to turn back

Cog Café

The Cog Café has everything a cyclist needs.  Great Coffee and a Bicycle Workshop to boot. Several times they’ve saved my bacon with helping me out with emergency repairs and helped me get back on the road.  The Cog Café also has suitable bikes to rent out to ride the Lilydale Warburton Trail which is 40 km one way, and easily one of the best rides you can do to truly experience the Yarra Valley and a great ride to take the family on.

Link to Facebook page here:

The Cog Cafe climb was a popular inclusion as the opening climb in the 2015 & 2016 Warburton Dirty Dozen ride.

Details

Directions:                                           Warburton is located approximately 72 km east of Melbourne

                                                                on the Warburton Highway

Accomodation Options:                  Visit Warburton Info Website

Milners Gap

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The Yarra Valley is world famous for its Wineries. It’s relatively cool climate makes it suited to produce high-quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Sparkling Wine.  The Yarra Valley is the perfect spot to ride through rolling hills strung with vines, secluded natural valleys set against blue mountain backdrops and lush greenery and pastures, past towering trees and pristine rivers to verdant villages like Marysville and Warburton. The Yarra Valley has riding which appeals to riders of all abilities such as the Lilydale Warburton Trail & O’Shannassy trail which offers great scenic rides.

If you’re willing to go off the beaten track, the Yarra Valley has some amazing hidden wonders.  If you’re travelling through Yarra Junction consider a detour to the south of town and visit Milners Gap which offers two incredibly challenging climbs.  Both have a real bite to them and are short, sharp and nasty. Their steep gradients made them a popular feature in the 2015 edition of the Warburton Dirty Dozen ride.

 

Milners Gap East

Distance: 1.3 km
Average Gradient: 9%
Maximum Gradient: 14%
Elevation gain: 119 metres
Traffic: Light traffic
Terrain: Forest
Category: 4
Road Surface: Good

Here is a link to the Strava segment here:

Milners Gap West

Distance: 900 metres
Average Gradient: 9%
Maximum Gradient: 20%
Elevation gain: 89 metres
Traffic: Light traffic
Terrain: Forest
Category: 4
Road Surface: Good

Here is a link to the Strava segment here:

Milners Gap is well shaded and a great climb to do on a hot day.  Both sides of this climb offers a fairly consistent gradient.  Given that the climb is off the beaten track its one of those roads that you’re not likely to see much traffic.  Whilst neither side is overly long, you’ll be guaranteed a decent workout.

Head to my Yarra Valley page for further information on other climbs around the area:

Link to page here: