Blackwood

Pictures of cemetery, mineral spring and Garden of St Erth. Pictures used with permission of Travel Victoria. www.travelvictoria.com.au

Blackwood is located 90 kilometres to the north west of Melbourne. Blackwood is nestled between the Lerderderg State Park and the Wombat State Forest and sits on the Lerderderg River. Back in the gold rush era, over 20,000 people lived in this region trying to strike it rich. Now the town is dramatically smaller but still retains a lot of the gold history. There is also a mineral springs reserve, a great little country sports ground and limited but good food options in town.

Mountain biking is largely restricted in the Lerderderg State park with riding only allowed on fire trails and a number of tracks reserved for horse riding and cycling. The Wombat Forest however surrounds the town for three quarters of the compass quadrant and has a stack of riding options on single track and fire trails. A lot of people discount fire trails in favour of single track but this area has a rock and clay base which makes for some fun rough trail riding. Add to this some serious hills in the area for those who like climbing and you can have a lot of fun in the area and can see some historic features just to top it all off.

Trail Areas

I have broken Blackwood trails down into a number of areas and these are just a grab bag of those available particularly if you're amenable to riding rough fire trails as they're are plenty of these around the area. 4WDs and motorbikes ensure this is the case and there are a number of trails with loose rock or clay surfaces which make for challenging drops down into the gorge area in particular.

Blackwood North There is some good single track from motorbikes up to the north of Blackwood. Sweet Nuggs is good all year round but Countess Track will get ripped up when muddy. There is quite a bit of mining history in the area particularly down around the Yankee mine area. There are stacks of fire trails in the area as this area was logged fairly heavily until recently so these tracks are still largely in place.
Blackwood East These trails take you into some remote sections of the Lerderderg Gorge and are for experienced riders only.
Blackwood South Trails to the south of Blackwood are largely fire trail based but there is some great riding out there. In the Lerderderg State Park, Kangaroo Track offers a great run down into the gorge. To the west of the Greendale - Trentham Road, the Wombat forest contains a plethora of fire trails and motorbike single track with a lot of gold history in there as well if you keep the eyes open.
Blackwood West The forest area to the west of Blackwood stretches all of the way across to Daylesford and there are many kilometres of fire trails and motorbike single track out there. I have documented a little of it but you can get a map and just ride and ride if you want too. Again there is a lot of gold and logging history in the area if you keep an eye out.
Weekend Warriors A series of motor bike loops around Wombat Forest area in GPS format. Some of these trails are already in the Bancoora website. Some sections of these can be quite steep and more suited to motos but get out there and give them a go. Loops are typically 60 kms or so long. Traffic on these trails is very low to non-existent and you can get off the trail readily as you'll hear them coming a mile off.
Blackwood History and Things to See

I have a fairly long association with Blackwood and know the area reasonably well although I still get surprised at what I find out as time goes on. I have listed some of the features in the link below so that you can build some of these features into your rides or just go for a bit of a drive after a ride and have a bit of a look.

Blackwood History A log of some of the more interesting features around Blackwood and a bit of history.
Maps and Directions To Get There
Blackwood (Recreation Reserve) Click on link for map showing how to get there.
Blackwood (Yankee Mine) Click on link for map showing how to get there.
Tourist Information

Blackwood is a small town and has limited services in respect to eating options and accommodation. Having said that, the Blackwood Merchant and the Blackwood Hotel have some good food and a warm fire as well in the winter. The Travel Victoria web page covers the area in reasonable detail so refer to it for further information. This website has limited options for accommodation so refer to Stayz web page, Air BnB for Martin on Main and the Mineral Springs Caravan Park website. Bush camping is readily available in the area.

There is a map of the general area (based on the Lerderderg Track which is part of the GDT) located to the right of the Blackwood Merchant store.