Although it’s been around for while, the Eildon MTB Park is in the process of getting a revamp so I thought it was worthwhile checking out the main downhill track at Eildon, Karalika Express.
Trail custodians Murrundindi Cycle Club (MCC, https://murrindindicycle.club) self-funded a trail audit recently and along with a council grant have created a new trail map to help encourage mountain bikers to come out and ride the trails.
MCC are also involved with other trails in the Murrundindi/Goulburn Valley region including Buxton, Marysville (Cascades) and Lake Mountain. Word has it the club is working on re-establishing the trails around Eildon to provide a year-round destination. Considering Lake Mountain and Mount Buller are covered in snow, and Buxton closes for winter after the Queen’s Birthday weekend, it would be good to have another draw card for riding in these colder months. No doubt it would help the township generate additional income in the off-season.
Talking to a trail fairy, I asked if there was a reason why the trails aren’t on Trailforks yet and was told that they would be added after the official opening.
On this day I planned to film and ride Karalika Express and also explore the lower trails. Unfortunately my exploratory ride was cut short as you will find out at the end of the video. I did however venture back the following weekend to check out the lower trails but, unlike this downhill track, the lower section is mainly cross country oriented.
Eildon Mountain Bike Park is conveniently located in the heart of town with the trail head and beginner trail starting near the shores of the Eildon Pondage (there’s also a Eildon Pondage Loop). For Karalika Express you do have the option to self-shuttle to the top, but because I was on my own, I had to ride up.
On my first ascend I made the mistake of heading up a 4WD track which ended up being way too steep to ride. On my second climb I found it was much easier to stick to the fire trail, but there are still some pinchy sections along the way. The trail starts on top of the hill at the base of the mobile phone towers.
Not knowing what to expect for my first run I took my time and checked out some of the bigger features. I was pleasantly surprised, the first major cut-outs had some chunky berms with jumps leading in and out. The remainder of the trail was still very raw and technical and a little neglected in parts but so much fun to ride. A couple of steep damp section kept me on my toes and off the brakes and there were quite a few off camber corners, too.
The bottom section is a bit of a dog’s breakfast with little gap jumps popping up everywhere. I couldn’t keep my speed to string a few together in succession so didn’t really make much of this last stretch. I have been told that the club plans to put in a 4X track and jumps park in this stretch. Hopefully that would be enough to attract some of the more serious riders to come out and play.
In all I think the trails at Eildon MTB Park have a lot of potential. At the time of my visits it was hard to find my way in the lower trails but thoroughly enjoyed the downhill run on Karalika Express. If you’re looking for somewhere different to ride why not check out Eildon MTB Park.
Karalika Express on Trailforks.com