Flow Mountain Bike acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout the Alpine Region of Victoria. We recognise the connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.
One of the giants of Australian Mountain biking destinations, Falls Creek has had a tumultuous couple of years.
During the three years between 2020 and 2023, Falls Creek didn’t only have to endure Australia’s bushfire crisis and COVID’s spread but also a 70m high, 100m wide landslide, which just wouldn’t stop moving. Although traffic to the mountain halted for a good seven months, the World Trail team continued working tirelessly to rebuild and maintain the trail network.
You could still get to Falls Creek from the Omeo side, but it took a LOOOOOONG time and services at the resort were limited. There were no shuttles, no events, and the village was understandably quiet.
Now that the public has the green light to make it to the top of the mountain, we wasted no time planning a weekend away to put some tracks into long-neglected dirt. And with the promise of being able to ride the old favourites at Falls Creek, plus some newbies, the weekend was set to be a good one from the start.
Come along as we check out the Falls Creek’s newest trails
Mountain Biking in Falls Creek, and The Falls Creek facelift
Everyone loves a new trail. But what about three long, winding, fast new trails?
Falls Creek is loved for its enduro-style descents. The old faithfuls, Big Fella and Flowtown, have always been a massive attraction. Big Fella, with its rock gaps and jank, and Flowtown, with its wide rollers and eye-watering speed, were always my go-to for a shuttle day.
Offering a combination of the very best of both the old faves, excited was a definite understatement of how I was feeling after a day out on these new tracks. The dusty conditions made it all the better, but it was always a race to drop in first; at the back of the train, whoops of enjoyment were quickly replaced with screams of: “I can’t see a thing!”.
Dusty and fast soon became the words of the day, but they weren’t the only takeaways from the ride. Here are some of the standouts:
Watch out Flowtown there’s a new sheriff in town | Skyline
Skyline — what a treat of a trail. This track gives Flowtown a run for its money. It has flow. It has rocky sections. It has speed. And my personal favourite —no pedalling. This 5km long descent pays homage to the first lodge built at the resort in 1947, near where the International Poma lift runs now, and winds down the hill all the way from the summit to the Howmans Gap Shuttle Stop.
On the swift journey down the mountain, the trail loops through a smorgasbord of picturesque alpine vegetation. You will find yourself first barrelling past thick alpine snow gums, then swerving through tall mountain ash and vibrant wattles in bloom.
Sessioning the rollers and gaps on this track will surely get the adrenaline pumping by the end, making you keen for more.
Like the Macklemore song but with more flow | Downtown
Onto the next wonder of the mountain — Downtown. Traversing across the resort, this new trail has wide berms and gaps in spades, touching on the same mind-boggling speeds as those reached in Skyline, which it links into further down the mountain. More than anything, this is a link trail between Skyline and Heavy Metal, but just because it’s a connector doesn’t mean it’s not a ball of fun to ride.
The metal bridges dotted along the track provide a nice break from the dusty corners and straights, and a small waterfall halfway down makes for a great hydration station to refill empty water bottles. If you are game, the springs next to the track also provide a good place for a little dunk in some refreshing, ice-cold mountain water.
Note to reader: If you do not want your feet to be festering in soggy socks for the remainder of the day, as mine were after a little dip, I would advise you to resist the temptation to fully submerge.
Head bangin’ on Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal is another link track built by the amazing Falls Creek trail builders. It cuts off to the right at Downtown, finally popping you out at Flowtown.
With similar features to Downtown and Skyline, some high-speed fun will ensue when both wheels are directed toward this trail.
The berm at the entrance to Heavy Metal was a massive highlight. I think it was about here that Lyndon wondered aloud why none of us had brought a full-face dust mask with us, but it was too good to only do once, and a rapid straight into 180-degree berm directly after it created a rush of flying dirt and speed like nothing else.
Heavy Metal is an ideal warm-up track to prepare yourself for tackling the rest of the mountain. By the time you find yourself at Flowtown, more riding will be the only thing on your mind.
The christening of the new trails
It wasn’t too difficult to guess that there had been some sort of event at Falls Creek before the Flow crew ventured up to ride the trails. Saying it was dusty is a definite understatement — I will probably still be picking dirt out of my eyes come next January, and I don’t think my pores will ever be fully clean again.
This dust bowl on the mountain was due to one of the many entertaining mountain bike events that Falls Creek hosts each year: The Ignition Mountain Bike Festival.
Over 1,000 people ran wild on the trails and the surrounding village over the three-day-long festival, enjoying live music performances, shredding the resort and excellent local food and drink all day (and night) long. It’s a special thing when you can get a ‘UGE group of mountain bikers together in the same place, especially after so much time away from Falls, riders at the festival were not only waking up a little dusty from a big day of riding the day before.
Ignition is not the only event which Falls Creek is renowned for running during the mountain biking season. Falls Creek has also held a round of the Vic Enduro State series for successive years, Fox Superflows, and has hosted EWS (now Enduro World Cup, or EDR) qualifiers in its time.
If that doesn’t persuade you that the trails are worth the trip up the mountain, I don’t know what will.
I have spoken a lot about the new trails at Falls Creek, but I haven’t mentioned the eateries and drinkeries. Falls Creek doesn’t only have bragging rights for its riding and racing events but also for its array of mealtime delights.
After a morning on the hill, 1550 was our mid-day refuel rescue station, 1550 was the perfect midday refuel rescue station. An iced coffee paired with a decent-sized parma or parmy (I’m not here to get argumentative about the pronunciation… but it is definitely ‘parma’) got us up and ready to venture into the extensive network of trails once more.
Falls Creek’s local bar and grill, The Frying Pan Inn, was our next pit stop of the day. Around 4pm, right when everything is starting to move noticeably slower than on lap number one, happy hour at the Frying Pan Inn has begun. With a fully kitted-out bar offering a wide selection of craft beers and a kitchen serving hearty meals, you can grab your drinks and a snack and sit around with your riding buddies, retelling stories from the day.
When it comes time to lay your head down after a long day of riding, there are plenty of options in the resort village. However, these often fill up FAST, and slopeside accommodation can come with a premium price. We stayed at the Kiewa Cottages in Mount Beauty, it’s only about a 45min drive to town and there are plenty of options for accomation.
Falls Creek’s target audience
With all that said, what level of riders are the Falls Creek trails aimed at and is this mountain meant for you?
If you have ever skied at Falls Creek before, you will know that it provides excellent terrain for beginner and advanced riders, alike. Falls Creek in the summer is no different with its large variety of trails, ranging from flow trails to more rocky, technical descents, riders of all skill levels will find terrain suited for them.
All in all, if you enjoy riding on two wheels down a hill, eating good food and having a good time, Falls Creek is the place for you.
Meet the team
- Erika Hughese — Presenter and tyre plug aficionado
- Lia Ladbrook — Presenter and still scrubbing dust out of her ears
- Lucy Jackson — Trail Building legend who shreds
- Lyndon Lee — Turn bar expert who loves a dusty berm
- Sean Murphy — The best moustache this side of Humpty Doo
- Sam Purdie — Auto-focus master
- Murray Farrell — We call him Hollywood