One Tree Hill, Bendigo, VIC, Australia
18.8 km / 450 m
Singletrack, rocky trails and sealed.
I am fortunate to live in one of Victoria’s, if not one of Australia’s most famous cycling towns. Bendigo has a rich history of successful cyclists of all disciplines hailing from the region, and there’s no surprise why. Weekly road bunch rides are starting from 8 am during the week to the famous ‘7’s’ swap to you drop ride that starts at, well, you guessed it, 7 am Saturday. But it’s not just the road riding scene that’s popular here. Bendigo is surrounded by bushland with kilometres upon kilometres of single track and fire roads to explore. I can ride out my front door and be on single track within minutes.
One of my favourite areas to ride is One Tree Hill. The terrain is challenging due to its technical rocky trail features and steep gradients. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend someone relatively new to Mountain biking ride in this area until confidence and skills improve. Still, I find it the perfect location to practice my skills or high-intensity training to simulate race day and get me out of my comfort zone. Also, hot tip, run slightly higher tyre pressures than you would normally. This will save you from rim bashing on sniper rocks and ruining your ride, speaking from experience here.
I start my rides on the Strathfieldsaye side of One Tree Hill, just off Guys Hill Road on Pioneer Road. From there, you follow the fence line to the top of the first rise, which will lead you onto true Goldfield’s style singletrack, which is narrow, rocky, and generally very dusty. You then find yourself following the track along a ridgeline. If you want to try and keep your ride ‘easy’, I would recommend staying on the main track and not deviating onto the very tempting tracks that veer off to the left or right. They’re undoubtedly ridable but will test the average rider and require a certain level of skill and fitness to navigate. Don’t take my word for it. See for yourself!
This ridgeline track will take you to the top of One Tree Hill. If you’re feeling super touristy, you can stop and walk to the top of the old Poppet Tower Lookout. Otherwise, you can start your descending journey. Now is not the time to relax because the descents are just as challenging as the climbs. You’ll need to be switched on and constantly surveying what’s coming up ahead. You’ll be greeted by deep water ruts and exposed rocks which will have you darting all over the place and using every inch of your suspension. But it’s the challenge that makes it fun. Now that you’re at the bottom, you can head over to the well-known Spring Gully trailhead, which is only a few minutes away, or you guessed it, head straight back up to the top.
This ride from start to finish will be about 1.5-2hours. So always carry some food, water and spares with you.
- Courtney Sherwell
You can find the GPX file HERE