CYCLING IN HARRIETVILLE
Whether you're after a relaxing ride on the bike path or a challenging mountain road climb, Harrietville has the best of both. The village rests at the far end of a 150km sealed bike-path network that stretches to Bright, Beechworth and beyond. It also marks the start of one of the most challenging, but visually spectacular, road cycling routes in Australia: the Mount Hotham ascent along the Great Alpine Road.
The long steep climbs of the Victorian High Country have become synonymous with Australian road cycling, playing host to annual events like the Alpine Classic and the Peaks Challenge and, each summer, attracting pedaling pilgrims to complete the 7 Peaks Challenge – a self-paced program of seven rides that take cyclists on some of the most challenging but rewarding road rides in the country. Harrietville marks the start of the Mount Hotham 7 Peaks ascent – the most spectacular of all mountain road rides. The 30km ride along the Great Alpine Road (60km return) cranks its way up a 1,321m climb with an average 4% grade, of which the steepest section tops out at 18%. Expansive views of the Australian Alps burst forth as you rise above the alpine ash and snow gum forests to the high peaks of the Alpine National Park, passing the iconic landscapes of The Razorback and Mount Feathertop. While in Harrietville, riders can also complete the Omeo to Dinner Plain leg of 7 Peaks, which crosses to the southern slopes of the Great Dividing Range.
For those looking for a flatter scenic ride, the 48km-return ride to Bright from Harrietville along the Great Alpine Road is an enjoyable sprint.
GREAT VALLEY TRAIL
Connecting with the Murray to Mountain Rail Trail, this scenic shared path provides a safe and sealed ride for over 150km between Harrietville, Bright, Myrtleford, Beechworth and Wangaratta.
There are many dirt roads and 4WD tracks that cut their way through the rugged bush-clad mountains around Harrietville. Roads like the East Ovens River Track, or Wet Gully Track between Freeburgh and Harrietville, provide rewarding but challenging adventure and gravel bike rides. These trails are remote and include steep and difficult sections. Mobile phone coverage is scarce, so always ensure you are fully self-sufficient, have a detailed topographical maps or GPS and have told someone about your plans.
Harrietville is a great off-mountain base for riding the Dinner Plain Mountain Bike Park trails that weave in and out of the snow gums and rocky outcrops surrounding the alpine village. Located just past Mount Hotham, the MTB park is open in summer and has a range of professionally built beginner, intermediate and advanced flow and cross-country trails that are easily accessed from the village centre. All trails lead to a climbing trail that loops back to the top. Entry is free and bikes can be hired in the village.