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Overview of the bike trail

The Arapiles Bike Trail starts near Natimuk’s central parking area opposite the National Hotel near the skate park. Toilets and electric BBQs are located beside the car park. An Orientation Sign about the trail is located here.

The trail is a 33km off road recreational trail looping through the natural landscape of Natimuk, Natimuk Lake, Mitre Lake, Mitre Rock and Mt Arapiles. You’ll find ten interpretive signs with stories along the trail. Mountain bikes are the most suitable for this trail.

The trail can be completed as a loop or divided into smaller sections.

Natimuk Lake to Natimuk

Natimuk Lake to Natimuk is a 3.7km flat ride on compacted gravel. This section follows Natimuk Creek between Natimuk Lake and Natimuk. Start this trail next to the old courthouse building in the Main Street.

Natimuk to Mt Arapiles car park

Natimuk to Mt Arapiles car park is a 10km relatively flat ride on compacted gravel. Start this trail next to the rotunda and the artillery gun just near the skate park. At the rotunda the path follows Natimuk Creek out of town to Gladigau Rd and then winds its way to the camp ground at Mt Arapiles. The picturesque Mt Arapiles is always in sight.

Mt Arapiles car park to Mitre Rock

Mt Arapiles Car Park to Mitre Rock is a 3.3km undulating ride along a predominantly 4-wheel drive track. The track follows the base of Mt Arapiles on the Centenary Park Access Track before heading out of the park crossing the Natimuk-Frances Rd to reach Mitre Rock.

Mt Arapiles car park to Vinegar Hill

Mt Arapiles Car Park to Vinegar Hill is an 8km undulating ride along an unsealed surface. This trail follows the Centenary Park Access Track before heading towards Mitre Rock. From Mitre Rock, the trail heads north through the Mitre Lake Reserve toward Vinegar Hill with magnificent views. There is no formed trail and riders may have to negotiate fallen trees and variable ground conditions. This section of the trail is not suitable in wet conditions.

Mt Arapiles car park to Natimuk Lake

Mt Arapiles Car Park to Natimuk Lake is a 23km ride on mixed undulating terrain including quiet shared dirt roads, specific bike trail, some unused road reserves and on-road sections. This scenic section takes you along the base of Mt Arapiles, past Mitre Rock (if time allows take in the view from the top of ‘Vinegar Hill’) and Mitre Lake and back along the edge of Natimuk Lake. This section will take you right to the Natimuk Lake Caravan Park, with shower, barbecue and camping facilities. This section of the trail is an off road section. There is no formed trail and riders may have to negotiate fallen trees and variable ground conditions. This section of the trail is not suitable in wet conditions.

On the trail

The Arapiles Trail is unique in Victoria in that it traverses mainly broad acre farm land. In this area crops include wheat, barley, canola (yellow flowers) and various beans, lentils and pulses. You may also see sheep or cattle grazing in the paddocks. Farming operations vary from season to season. In autumn and winter many farmers are sowing crops. During this time emerging crops may be sprayed. Spring will see the cutting of pasture and crops for hay. People who suffer from hay fever may wish to take appropriate precautions before riding at this time.

Ploughing of strips beside fences is still common practice for containment of fire and riders may see this happening in late spring and early summer. Summer is harvesting time and farmers are busy day and night. You’ll see farm equipment such as headers harvesting crops. If you see machinery adjacent to the trail, it may be better to wait until it has moved away before continuing.

Bike repairs

Before you leave, take a bicycle tube repair kit in case of puncture. The nearest bike shop is in Horsham.

Horsham Cyclery
87-89 Wilson Street
Horsham 3400
Phone 5381 1899
www.facebook.com/HorshamCyclery

Phone coverage

You may not be able to get coverage in some areas of the trail. To be connected to Police, Ambulance or Fire Services key in 112.

Acknowledgements

This trail was built from funding from Horsham Rural City Council, Macpherson Smith Community Alliance, the Victorian Government and the Australian Government.

Some content for this site was developed by SHP (Sue Hodges Productions) for the trail’s interpretive signage.

Land owners along the trail are acknowledged for their support of the project.

Photographs from Mark Radford, Donna Bridge, Simon Mentz, Eddie Mofardin and Horsham Rural City Council.