Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby misterhorsey » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:34 am

Hi All

I'm contemplating a day trip with a friend on Wednesday from Melbourne (Northcote) to Warburton and back, going along the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail. Which is about 160km return, depending on which route you go.

We are hoping to go via trails for a long but relaxed day of riding.

I was initially thinking that it might be possible to start off on the Main Yarra Trail or the Eastlink bike path and get to Lilydale to join the trail, but it seems both tracks peter off well before Lilydale. Does anyone have any suggestions of alternative routes from Melbourne to Lilydale?

Alternatively, we could catch the train to Lilydale and go from there, but that would diminish some of the novelty of the ride and like most of you, I'd rather be pedalling for 3 hours than sit on a train for 1.

Also, anyone other recommendations en route would be most welcome. Or even alternate day trip suggestions!

Many thanks in advance.
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by BNA » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:57 am

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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby cyclotaur » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:57 am

We did this ride ... last year to get home from Warburton after a 3 day tour. We were in no hurry and it took about 5 hours (3:40 ride time) for me to get home the 70kms to Balwyn with a few stops along the way.

For you (in reverse) get onto the Koonung Trail near Burke Rd and head east up the freeway. Continue on the Mullum to Ringwood and turn left along the Mullum Trail along the Ringwood Bypass. Follow the Mullum Trail to Oban Rd and turn right, cross Maroondah Hwy and take Carcoola Rd to Mt Dandenong Rd, follow this to Montrose and then take Canterbury/Swansea/York Rd to Mt Evelyn and join the Warby Trail there.

There may be some better roads/routes between the Mullum trail and Mt Evelyn, others may advise. eg York Rd is steep-ish and a bit narrow, otherwise it's all very rideable.
Last edited by cyclotaur on Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby andione1983 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:04 pm

cyclotaur wrote:We did this ride ... last year to get home from Warburton after a 3 day tour.

For you (in reverse) get onto the Koonung Trail near Burke Rd and head aest up the freeway. Continue on the Mullum to Ringwood and turn left along the Mullum Trail along the Ringwood Bypass. Follow the Mullum Trail to Oban Rd and turn right, cross Maroondah Hwy and take Carcoola Rd to Mt Dandenong Rd, follow this to Montrose and then take Canterbury/Swansea/York Rd to Mt Evelyn and join the Warby Trail there.

There may be some better roads/routes between the Mullum trail and Mt Evelyn, others may advise. eg York Rd is steep-ish and a bit narrow, otherwise it's all very rideable.
I'm so doing that ride... In the next week or two looks good, did you do it in a roadie? Or mtb

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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby misterhorsey » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:16 pm

Brilliant. Thanks cyclotaur!

I've mapped it out. There's only 12 km on road on the 77km journey from melbs to warburton.

https://www.google.com.au/maps/preview# ... !4f1&fid=0

edit: It didn't like the short url link, so I've copied the full google maps link :(
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby cyclotaur » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:41 pm

I "light toured" on my CX bike with a back pack.

Ride report here ...
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby andione1983 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:04 pm

cyclotaur wrote:I "light toured" on my CX bike with a back pack.

Ride report here ...
do you think it would be doable on a road bike or use my mtb with semi slicks

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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby cyclotaur » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:14 pm

Road bike is fine, depending on the condition of sections of the Warby Trail. But if it hasn't been too wet in the week or so beforehand the trail is fine, though I rode it on my CX wheels/35c tyres. I think (IIRC) my touring mate rode 25s ....

So it's generally OK on 25s and I've ridden similar trails on 25s myself. I don't have an MTB so it's the CX for me, which probably makes for a slightly faster ride overall.
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby Uncle Just » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:36 pm

I rode Schwalbe Marathon 28s. The 28s were an ideal compromise for the road, GVRT surface and gravel/ occasional mud of the Acheron Way.
On a roadie 23s would be a little fragile in places. 25s are ok but slightly wider is best for traction in loose gravel and mud. Obviously depends on how much unmade stuff you are riding and if you desire more comfort/traction that wider tyres afford. An MTB with 1.5s Marathons or Vittoria Randonneurs are good tyres too and I've toured on them extensively.
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby Calvin27 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:30 am

About to do this with a few mates which bike do I use?

- Road/cross (spesh secteur) with 28c slicks, gearing is 34/50 x 12-30 - SPD-SL
- Mountain bike with FS with either 2.1" or Marathon plus 38 tyres (probably the 38s), gearing is 26/38 11-36, Flat pedals

I am hopeless at hills and so am leaning towards the mountain bike but not sure if the lower gearing will be better or a lighter bike overall, the pedals also come into play.
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby dalai47 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:11 am

It is a rail trail, so gradients are minimal. Either bike will be fine...
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby clackers » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:48 pm

Calvin27 wrote:About to do this with a few mates which bike do I use?

- Road/cross (spesh secteur) with 28c slicks, gearing is 34/50 x 12-30 - SPD-SL
- Mountain bike with FS with either 2.1" or Marathon plus 38 tyres (probably the 38s), gearing is 26/38 11-36, Flat pedals

I am hopeless at hills and so am leaning towards the mountain bike but not sure if the lower gearing will be better or a lighter bike overall, the pedals also come into play.


The surface is pretty good, Calvin ... rode on it again on Sunday on a cross bike, 28s.
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby misterhorsey » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:33 pm

So after showing my mate the route to Warburton, he remained unconvinced about the onroad section and suggested going elsewhere. We've ridden on road plenty times before, but I think he just wanted a break from it.

Anyway, I'm glad he did as we ended up going on the Goulburn Valley High Country Rail Trail. A superb trail and I highly recommend it to anyone who's enjoyed the Lilydale -Warburton and would like to try something different.

http://www.victorianrailtrails.com.au/

We drove up from Melbourne to Tallarook on the Hume. Considering the drive from Melbourne to Lilydale is not on a freeway, the driving time time to Tallarook is pretty comparable. Stopped off at Yea for an early lunch. In the end we did a 112km round trip to Molesworth and back through beautiful dairy country.

Passed one group of retirees on a hike, got swooped by one magpie, frightened 2 kangaroos, saw 2 lambs and many many very curious cows were passed. Admittedly the weather was cold, rainy and windy, but it was a wonderfully peaceful ride.

I did get one puncture on the return. I'm sick of getting punctures on my stock richie cyclocross tyres. I was thinking of starting a new thread about puncture proof trail tyres, but seeing that this is a trail oriented thread, wondering if anyone has any recommendations for puncture proof treaded touring type tyres suitable for trail riding?

I run gatorskins and GPS4000 on my commuter and road bikes. I know they have their detractors but I quite like them.
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby clackers » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:46 pm

I used Vittoria Randonneur 28s on my CX doing that trail a couple of months ago, MisterHorsey, but many brands will be fine.

Next time, start at Yea and ride to Alexandra (good dirt climb) or Mansfield (Lake Eildon bridge at Bonnie Doon) and back.

That end is also a bit more bitumeny than the one you rode. :smile:
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby misterhorsey » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:08 am

clackers wrote:I used Vittoria Randonneur 28s on my CX doing that trail a couple of months ago, MisterHorsey, but many brands will be fine.

Next time, start at Yea and ride to Alexandra (good dirt climb) or Mansfield (Lake Eildon bridge at Bonnie Doon) and back.

That end is also a bit more bitumeny than the one you rode. :smile:


Thanks Clackers. Would like to do the whole trail one day. Turns out there's a train from melbourne to tallarook at 6am and one back to melbourne from mansfield at about 6pm. Enough time for the ride, but quite a lot of time on trains unfortunately.
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby clackers » Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:39 pm

An hour twenty each way.

Much less than a drive to Phillip Island or Torquay! :smile:
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby cyclotaur » Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:48 pm

misterhorsey wrote:
clackers wrote:I used Vittoria Randonneur 28s on my CX doing that trail a couple of months ago, MisterHorsey, but many brands will be fine.

Next time, start at Yea and ride to Alexandra (good dirt climb) or Mansfield (Lake Eildon bridge at Bonnie Doon) and back.

That end is also a bit more bitumeny than the one you rode. :smile:


Thanks Clackers. Would like to do the whole trail one day. Turns out there's a train from melbourne to tallarook at 6am and one back to melbourne from mansfield at about 6pm. Enough time for the ride, but quite a lot of time on trains unfortunately.

I think you'll find there's, er, no train back from Mansfield **... maybe a long bus ride, though !!

** the name 'rail trail' may be a clue... :D
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby misterhorsey » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:01 pm

cyclotaur wrote:
misterhorsey wrote:
clackers wrote:I used Vittoria Randonneur 28s on my CX doing that trail a couple of months ago, MisterHorsey, but many brands will be fine.

Next time, start at Yea and ride to Alexandra (good dirt climb) or Mansfield (Lake Eildon bridge at Bonnie Doon) and back.

That end is also a bit more bitumeny than the one you rode. :smile:


Thanks Clackers. Would like to do the whole trail one day. Turns out there's a train from melbourne to tallarook at 6am and one back to melbourne from mansfield at about 6pm. Enough time for the ride, but quite a lot of time on trains unfortunately.

I think you'll find there's, er, no train back from Mansfield **... maybe a long bus ride, though !!

** the name 'rail trail' may be a clue... :D


Ah thanks for the heads up!

I looked on the Vline website and there is a service going to Mansfield, but for some reason I thought that the reference to 'Coach' was to the class of rail travel rather than the vehicle! You've saved me an embarassing day trip fail.
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby cyclotaur » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:17 pm

misterhorsey wrote:
cyclotaur wrote:
misterhorsey wrote:...
Thanks Clackers. Would like to do the whole trail one day. Turns out there's a train from melbourne to tallarook at 6am and one back to melbourne from mansfield at about 6pm. Enough time for the ride, but quite a lot of time on trains unfortunately.

I think you'll find there's, er, no train back from Mansfield **... maybe a long bus ride, though !!

** the name 'rail trail' may be a clue... :D


Ah thanks for the heads up!

I looked on the Vline website and there is a service going to Mansfield, but for some reason I thought that the reference to 'Coach' was to the class of rail travel rather than the vehicle! You've saved me an embarrassing day trip fail.

Consider an overnighter at Alexandra or even Mansfield and a return ride to Tallarook for the late train back to Melbourne. check the timetables, 'cos I haven't ! :lol:

Or do what we did... Tallarook by train, ride to Alexandra (day 1), ride back via Marysville and Acheron Way to Warburton (day 2) then home from there along the Warby Trail - two trails in one trip ! :wink:
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby misterhorsey » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:00 pm

Sounds like a great itinerary cyclotaur!

Certainly more interesting than the confusing 3 and half hour bus ride I narrowly avoided.
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby KenGS » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:35 pm

And subsequent drive back to Mansfield to get your bike that they would not take on the bus
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby VRE » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:19 am

KenGS wrote:And subsequent drive back to Mansfield to get your bike that they would not take on the bus

Yes, this is why I don't head up to the high country and Alps more often for cycling: the limited pubic transport options, and the fact that even on the train, there's no 100% guarantee they'll take your bike.
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby clackers » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:04 am

VRE wrote:Yes, this is why I don't head up to the high country and Alps more often for cycling: the limited pubic transport options


You do it by car, though, VRE.

Omeo-Falls Creek- Bright- Hotham has been a completely sealed road now for about three years.

My wife and I love to escape the heat in Melbourne by heading up there and to Buller/Beechworth in the summer. Accommodation in the ski resorts is actually reasonably priced at that time of year, too!
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby VRE » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:17 am

clackers wrote:
VRE wrote:Yes, this is why I don't head up to the high country and Alps more often for cycling: the limited pubic transport options


You do it by car, though, VRE.

Omeo-Falls Creek- Bright- Hotham has been a completely sealed road now for about three years.

My wife and I love to escape the heat in Melbourne by heading up there and to Buller/Beechworth in the summer. Accommodation in the ski resorts is actually reasonably priced at that time of year, too!

No, I don't do it by car, as I've never had a driver's licence.
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby clackers » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:19 pm

VRE wrote:No, I don't do it by car, as I've never had a driver's licence.


Does make it tough.
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Re: Melbourne to Warburton Return via Trails

Postby antigee » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:31 pm

cyclotaur wrote:We did this ride ... last year to get home from Warburton after a 3 day tour. We were in no hurry and it took about 5 hours (3:40 ride time) for me to get home the 70kms to Balwyn with a few stops along the way.

For you (in reverse) get onto the Koonung Trail near Burke Rd and head east up the freeway. Continue on the Mullum to Ringwood and turn left along the Mullum Trail along the Ringwood Bypass. Follow the Mullum Trail to Oban Rd and turn right, cross Maroondah Hwy and take Carcoola Rd to Mt Dandenong Rd, follow this to Montrose and then take Canterbury/Swansea/York Rd to Mt Evelyn and join the Warby Trail there.

There may be some better roads/routes between the Mullum trail and Mt Evelyn, others may advise. eg York Rd is steep-ish and a bit narrow, otherwise it's all very rideable.


thanks for this - been living in Balwyn for a year now and not managed to work out a good way to get to the "north" side of the Dandenongs - rather than head down the Eastlink/Dandenong Creek to Sassafras - Mt Dandenong Rd as a "highway" wouldn't be an obvious choice but that's seems to be how it works - no way to know except people suggesting! I've had a look at the link thru to yr blog and def will be doing the 'nong loop had sort of worked it out but wasn't convinced now I am - thanks
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