The Best Bike Trails in Melbourne
- All Ages
The most fun you can have on two wheels is waiting just around the corner as your backyard is home to some of the best scenic bike trails in Melbourne.
Whether you're looking for sealed tracks for little learners, unpaved passageways for a bit more of a challenge, or a seaside track to take in the beauty of the coastline, Melbourne has them all so grab your helmets and get ready for a welcome dose of fresh air - ding ding!
8 Scenic Bike Trails in Melbourne
1. Royal Park, Parkville
For a wide, flat, short circuit with two playgrounds to hit up after your little one has cycled enough, you can’t go past the bike trail through Royal Park. This popular bike trail in Melbourne is excellent for those days when your little ones just want to have a scoot or bike somewhere that's not too big and not too small. The Royal Park track goes around a lake though, so keep water safety in mind!
2. Jells Park, Wheelers Hill
Between three and four kilometres around native bushland, Jells Park is a popular bike trail in Melbourne for biking families. The trees turn a hundred gorgeous shades of orange in autumn and are super-shady and pretty in summer. One of the bike tracks circles the man-made lake in the centre of the park, which is an awesome spot to lay out a picnic blanket and rustle up some grub before heading down yet another stunning trail.
3. Ruffey Lake Park, Manningham
Pop your two wheels onto the 2.1km Ruffey Creek Trail, exploring both the Ruffey Lake Park and the Ruffey Creek Linear Park. The ride is doable for even the youngest members of the family to keep up with the pack. Start at one of the three playgrounds and bike to the next before heading home to do it all again another day.
4. Maribyrnong River Trail
If you can drag the kids away from the epic Polly Woodside sailing ship, you can jump on the Maribyrnong River Trail through Docklands and up to Footscray Road. For incredible views though, you want the part of the trail that the Lily St lookout is on, however, it’s the reward for quite a steep climb, so that might be better for older, more experienced riders.
For a ride with a pleasant detour, try a little break at Pipemaker’s Park to have a gander at the historic buildings and the Living Museum of the West, which documents the 40,000 years of the Wurundjeri people’s history there.
The bike trail is concrete for the six kilometres between the Canning Reserve Tea Gardens and Footscray, and from Steele Creek at Essendon West up the hill.
5. Merri Creek Trail
The Merri Creek Trail does wonders for those who want to feel like they're leaving the city behind for the day. From the Ring Road where you ride past estates and horse paddocks, through the tightly-packed inner north suburbs, and eventually, out at the Yarra River, it’s hands down one of the prettiest bike trails in Melbourne.
Merri Creek Trail does get busy through Coburg on the weekends with prams and families and serious cyclists, but it’s no wonder as the Merri trail is super-accessible and a really beautiful place to play.
If you’ve got bike issues, head to Ceres, where there is the volunteer-run Bike Shed, where you can borrow tools, get a bike-fixing lesson, buy parts, or even a fully-restored recycled bike!
6. The Bayside Trail
It can be hard to choose where to go when there’s so much Bayside Trail to choose from between Geelong and Carrum! The St Kilda area makes a great pitstop to explore Luna Park or the famous Acland Street but it can resemble a mosh pit on weekends, so if you have a nervous rider it might be best to find another spot or ride during the week.
If you’re looking to avoid walkers (I try to, my kids aren’t 100% in control of their riding contraptions!), the trail above Brighton splits into separate tracks for cyclists and pedestrians.
7. Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail
For one of the longer bike trails in Melbourne, the ride from Altona to Williamstown is 23 kilometres of safe bike paths that are great for older, experienced riders but way too far for little legs to pedal all the way. The difficulty level of the Hobsons Coastal Trail is low-medium and with wetlands, beaches and the Bay, there are waterbirds aplenty to look for along the way. Break it down into shorter rides for younger ones and build up to the whole distance.
Nautical-themed signs along the way add to the seaside outing vibe and if you’re not in a rush, you can learn interesting facts about the area as you ride.
There are enough decent cafes nearby to make sourcing refreshments easy enough, so whether you’re longing for a summer day’s icy-pole or a cold-weather hot chocolate to warm you up, this can be a fun family ride for all seasons.
8. Dandenong Creek Trail
The difficulty level of the Dandenong Creek Trail is medium, thanks to some decent ups and downs. It'll be tough for little ones to tackle the full 44-kilometre stretch of trail with any ease but there are plenty of short chunks to explore bit by bit on weekends.
The Dandenong Creek Trail begins in Kilsyth South and winds its way through the south-eastern side of Melbourne all the way to Patterson Lakes, offering plenty of wetlands watching along the way. On the way through it connects to Scotchman’s Creek Trail at Jells Park.
For older teens training for the Great Vic Bike Ride, this track can definitely help them find their endurance but be aware that some sections connecting different parts of the trail are interrupted by bursts of general roadways and traffic on these major arterials can be heavy.
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