You’d struggle to find an Australian mountain biker who hasn’t at least heard of Mt Beauty, if not ridden there. Smooshed into the upper reaches of the Kiewa Valley, Beauty is hemmed in on three sides by steep hillsides, with the hulking Mt Bogong looking down on the town. This town couldn’t really be more ideally located for riding – in addition to its own great network, Bright and Falls Creek are both only half an hour away – and that’s perhaps why it has bred so many champion riders over the ages.
Mt Beauty was the fourth stop on our Dirty Dozen road trip, an exploration of twelve iconic trails across Victoria’s north-east. And while Mt Beauty officially only has one trail in the dozen, don’t think for a moment that it’s a light on singletrack – there is a huge amount of riding here, though it does help if you’re with a local to unearth all the real gems.
The You Beauty loop has been assembled to really give you an overview of what Mt Beauty is all about, provide you with the lay of the land so you can continue your exploration of the endless spiderweb of trails. All you’ve got to do is follow the blue arrows.
Like all the destinations in the Dirty Dozen, the trails are right on the edge of town – it’s only a two-minute pedal from the cafe to the trail head of the Big Hill Mountain Bike park. The riding is true old-school singletrack, all hand built, with a lot of character. Don’t expect the groomed flow of Buller or Falls Creek here at Beauty – these trails have more in common with Bright, with a raw, challenging edge that won’t forgive riding on autopilot.
Because Mt Beauty’s trail network has evolved over such a long period of time, with volunteers and club members each adding their own touches, the trails all have their own personality and the network has a more random, organic layout to it. As such, if you can nab a local to play guide for a morning or afternoon it’s a great help.
A day in Mt Beauty will give you a good feel for the trails, but allow for two to really get into the vibe of the town – head to the rock pools for a dip, visit the Sweet Water Brewery. If you’ve got time, we highly recommend taking in a particularly epic run from Falls Creek back to Mt Beauty down the legendary Fainter’s Track too, for an amazing back country experience.