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Crusty Mark

20 December, 2017 Journal

Mountain Biking Creswick- Big things are coming!

Creswick is a small town in the Central Goldfields area around 20 minutes from Ballarat. If you drove through town you wouldn't think much of it. Many shops are closed or look run down and there isn't a whole lot of movement and colour. It looks like a tired old mining town...But lurking below the surface is an adventure wonderland of tracks and trails that could turn Creswick into a major mountain biking destination. In fact, the Victorian State government recently announced the funding of 2.5M dollars for a 100Km mountain bike park in Creswick so all things going well, Creswick is about to change...

As mountain biking has continued to grow in popularity over the last ten or so years, there have been lots of areas to ride pop up around Victoria. Some riding areas are unofficial and small such as the trails around Plenty George, while others such as Lysterfiled and the You Yangs have been built in partnership with Parks Victoria and are favorites among the Victorian mountain biking community. Then of course you have those areas further from Melbourne such as Forrest where locals riders led the development of a fantastic destination riding spot and Mt Buller who have continued to invest heavily in their world class trail network.

So why another trail park I hear you say? 

And it's a fair question... How many mountain bike parks can Victoria support, especially when you consider there are more under construction as I write this. Harcourt and Mystic in Bright are just two that I know of off the top of my head.

There are a few things that make the Creswick location perfect for a large scale mountain bike destination. They are very straight forward and easy to understand. Here goes...

* Creswick is located 90 minutes from 1 major city (Melbourne)

* Creswick is located 20 minutes from Ballarat, another small city and 60 minutes from Bendigo, yet another small city. 

* The town is accessible by train

* The trail-head is around 100 metres from the town high street and around 500 metres from the train station.

* There are already more than 50Km of trail in the area.

* RACV Goldfields resort is based just out of town and fully supports mountain biking. So much so that they have 6Km of singletrack within their grounds.

And that is just the obvious stuff. There is more... 

The goldfields track that effectively runs from Ballarat through to Bendigo passes through Creswick. But more importantly, the 240Km trail also passes through Black Hill Park, just out of Ballarat and Harcourt which is on the way to Bendigo. So what you end up with is the potential for a weeks worth of epic riding on >400Km of single track that starts in one city and ends at another, both accessible by train from Melbourne. Are you feeling it now? 

VOGA Cycling Club has been instrumental in making the project a reality and hold regular cycling events in the area throughout the year.

The total project cost is estimated to be close to $3 Million dollars and should be completed by the end of 2019. Construction is set to start in April of 2018 with the first component being a pump track at Hammon park which will be turned into a purpose built trail head and event center.

As someone personally involved in the project I'm really excited to see the positive changes a mountain bike destination such as this can make to the town of Creswick, and even more excited to ride the trails once they are completed. You will hear the term "world class" thrown around a lot when you read media stories on the project and that exactly what the project is aiming to deliver a world class riding experience; from travelling to the park, to the trailhead and trails themselves.

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