22km Road or Road and Trail
With the Old Glenlyon General Store cum cafe as a base, there are some good rides to be had for hybrids and mountain bikes.This 22km circuit takes in tarmac and gravel roads and for mtb riders, its into some forest on dirt tracks.
Back Glenlyon Road
Heading anti-clockwise from the store, first check out the Glenlyon Hall down the road for any activities you might want to visit when you get back. Then a tad of gravel road before you hit tarmac Back Glenlyon Road. The views to th north just get better and better as you ride along here, especially on an early morning with mist or low cloud covering the forest. Mt Alexander (Leanganook) at the back of Castlemaine stands out on a clear day.
Not long after a sweeping L bend you plunge down to the bridge over Kangaroo Creek. Great view of the rapids on L and maybe fish on the R. Cruise on then take great care crossing the highway as sight line to the L (east) is poor. Onto a dirt track, across a bubbling brook, turn L and at the next junction (hybrid riders stay on the good road to R while mtb riders go straight ahead onto a dirt track) you are entering the well hidden Wheatsheaf.
More precisely Wombat Estate but no-one here bothers with that pretension. Wheatsheaf locality is on the highway you crossed earlier but residents of this lifestyle subdivision adopted the name. Historic Wheatsheaf in goldmining days had an incredible number of pubs but only a few houses and a mineral spring in the locality now.
There are 177 sections, mostly 5 acre. The first block you ride by has the 10 acre sections. In the last few years, Wheatsheaf has arisen from dormancy and much building is in hand.
At the end of Wallaby Rd you cross Kangaroo Ck for the second time. Up the hill on the corner is the location of the second Wheatsheaf fire started by a floating ember from the main fire 8k to the S. It took 8 days to extinguish using fire trucks and aerial water bombing.
The dashed track second separation takes you through the NE part of Wheatsheaf, past a llama farm, an old timber mill, a potato farm and just after you hit tarmac again go R onto grass then L past the chestnut plantation (buy here in season). If tired continue straight ahead and you pass the back of the fire brigade and Glenlyon Hall then R to the store.
Otherwise, R and head down to the shady Glenlyon Recreation Reserve. Toilets and at the E end of the reserve is a mineral spring. If no shooting or horses then continue around the racetrack to the NW end, up a track towards the road and follow the track back to the store. Else backtrack to the ‘tired’ route.
After the first split from the hybrids you head down Griffiths Lane. Past a gate on the L, just ahead and to your L, is where embers drifted 8km and started a fire during the Feb 2009 fires. The lowest part of this lane can be very muddy and wet in winter but is always passable on foot.
You leave the hybrids for a second time onto Noname Tk which might be still a bit shingly. Then L onto Bridge Rd and make sure at the Bridge Rd right angle bend that you keep straight onto the dirt track. R at T onto another dirt track that takes you to a rickety looking but solid bridge. 4WDs recently ruined the surface so probably best to walk across. L at next T and you start passing more lifestyle blocks on the L with massive Wombat Forest still on your R.
When you L onto the Glenlyon road, watch for single track on your L just before the bend. Swoop down that (if fallen trees permit) until forced back onto the road. Swing right then straight ahead onto a red dirt road and soon L into the mineral spring reserve where you can refresh.
Then its into the Glenlyon Recreation Reserve with toilets and shade. If no shooting or horses then continue around the racetrack to the NW end, up a track towards the road and follow the track back to the store. Else take the dotted alternate route.
Another MTB Ride from Old Glenlyon General Store
See also the previous General Store to General Store ride, linking this store with another country store.