O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail West Loop

See & Do

Between the valley and mountain views, riders cruise through towering stands of mountain ash and gorgeous tree fern forests that give the area a powerful sense of peace and tranquillity.

Whilst it can be ridden fast, the environment rewards a slower, more contemplative pace so that you can take in the flora and fauna, you don’t want to miss a lyrebird because you’re racing. You may also see wallabies, eastern rosellas, yellow-tailed black cockatoos and fairy wrens. Remember that the Aqueduct Trail and Rail Trail are shared-use, be aware that you may come across walkers, runners and horse-riders in addition to other cyclists.

For the most part the loop ride is within the abilities of an intermediate cyclist, with the majority being on a mixture of flat, open trail and sealed road with a very gentle gradient, but its position above the valley floor means access is a via steep roads that will definitely get your heart racing.

Quicklook

TrailO’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail West Loop
ActivityTouring, Town, Mountain or E-Bike
TypeLoop
Grade (if available)Moderate
StartWarburton Main Street
FinishWarburton Main Street
Distance30.3 km (or 15.2km)
Ascent906 m (or 563m)
Descent906 m (or 563m)
Max Elevation329 m
FeaturesCruisey rail trail, moderate hill climb, native bushland, historic water race, hard-packed aqueduct trail, views of the Yarra Valley
FacilitiesToilets: There are no toilet facilities along the trail, toilets located in Warburton township, Launching Place, Wesburn
Car parking: Warburton township
NotesCan be undertaken all year though in winter be prepared for muddy, slippery sections and cold temperatures


Ride it

Through Launching Place to Don Rd. through Don Valley for:

  1. You can ride the loop in either direction but we suggest tackling it anti-clockwise. This means you do the toughest climb at the start.
  2. From town ride east with care along the Warburton Hwy until you turn left onto and up Donna Buang Rd.
  3. After 500m turn left into Yuonga Rd and climb steeply for 800m until you reach the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail. Turn west (left) here.
  4. Cruise along the easy gradient of the trail that tracks the disused water race, passing before walls of tree ferns and under massive, plumb line straight trees. Bird song only adds to the serenity.
  5. 12km along the Aqueduct Trail you reach Don Rd, exit here by turning left.
  6. Ride 4.7km down Don Rd, enjoying the wind through your hair on this fast downhill section but be aware of traffic as it is a public road.
  7. Cross the Warburton Hwy with care and turn left onto the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail.
  8. From here it’s 10.8km of hard-packed cruising through Yarra Junction passing behind Wesburn and through Milgrove before arriving back into Warburton to refuel with a coffee and something to eat.

Alternative

To cut the ride distance in half (dropping it from 30km to 15km) follow the Ride It guide to the join the Aqueduct Trail. At 6.5km along this trail, exit onto Dee Rd. Follow Dee Rd downhill for 2.5km before carefully crossing Warburton Hwy to pick up the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail then peddle back into Warburton.

In order to avoid the climb up from the valley floor, riders may also join the Aqueduct Trail at one of the many hop-on/hop-off access points such as at Dee Rd in the Don Valley. From here you can ride out-and-back along sections of the Trail or do a car shuffle. Another option to make the ride a bit easier is to hire an E-Bike, otherwise known as a (Pedal Assist bike), it will take the sting out of the hills but you’ll still get all the fun of biking.

Walks e Guide Cover

Walks eGuide

The Walks eGuide features over 200 walks and trails in the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley. Covering all ability levels, whether your walk is dog-friendly or where to find your nearest toilet is covered in the Walks eGuide. At $15, it's a steal so grab your copy now!

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