Warburton is a natural hub for recreational cyclists – and caters particularly well for families and recreational riding groups.
The Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail runs west from Warburton, for 40km, all the way to Lilydale train station. The trail provides a wonderfully relaxed and safe cycling experience. It is particularly well suited to families, being separated from traffic along its full length. It is an old railway alignment, so contains only easy grades – particularly along the eastern portions immediately west of Warburton.
The surface is well-maintained, hard-packed gravel, making riding easy and safe for adults and children alike.
Start your ride at the old Warburton station site, behind the Police Station adjacent to the town centre. There is safe parking available, and the COG Bicycle Cafe is right there on the Trail, ready to supply great coffee and food, and to attend to all of your bicycle needs.
Remember that the Rail Trail is a shared-use facility, and is used by walkers, runners and horse-riders as well as cyclists.
For a more detailed description of the Rail Trail, visit the Rail Trails website here enter Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail into your search engine.
The O’Shannassy Aqueduct, was built in 1914, and after delivering water to the Melbourne metropolitan area for 82 years, was fully decommissioned in 1996. The access track (which runs along side it) provides a wonderful cycling experience.
Parks Victoria (who are responsibile for the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail) have upgraded several sections, and opened them for public use. The well-developed sections provide a magnificent ride through enchanting mountain ash and tree-fern forests, with wonderful glimpses down into the Yarra valley.
The best-developed section, which is particularly well-suited to family outings, is from the Yuonga Rd car park at Warburton (northern end of Yuonga Rd), through to the Dee Rd car park adjacent to Millgrove. This section is 7 km long, but makes a perfect out-and-back family ride. Being adjacent to the aqueduct, this results in a virtually flat ride the whole way as the trail winds its way along the contour of the forest.
The Aqueduct trail is also accessible for more than 20 km east of Warburton, through to the old O’Shannassy Weir, which was the entry point for water coming in to the aqueduct from the O’Shannassy River. This is slightly more challenging in respect to the surface conditions, and there are some steeper slopes involved, but is a highly enjoyable mountain biking and recreational biking experience.
Read more about the history of the Aqueduct here.