Tasmania isn't very large, yet it is littered with stellar trail networks from top to bottom. There's so much on offer, that many Tasmanian riders have not yet managed to ride the trails scattered close to their homes, let alone heard of some of the epics that cover our state. Many of these gems are deep in the bush and forests, far from civilization, and it's often a long trek to get to these amazing tracks. Although, it is safe to say, it is so worth it.
There had been talk of organizing a group of avid riders to travel over and ride the Blue Tier track, nestled up in the north east of the state, a trail that never seemed to get off the to-do list. It’s not far geographically from Launceston – it’s less than two hours to the Weldborough Hotel, the central hub for the region, nestled snugly at the tail end of the trail the perfect base for those who ride the trail to come home to.
On the road out to the Blue Tier the scenery changes from loamy soils to the dolerite boulders and slabs strewn across Mount Stronach, flowing to the east of Scottsdale and it’s quartz laden soils and typical Australian bush. Before entering Weldborough itself, monstrous ferns and dense vegetation cover the road sides rising high above you on either side of the windy little road, providing a very different feel to the trails in comparison to most of the riding in the state.
The Weldborough Hotel is the perfect place to set up camp, wind down and either recover or prepare for a day of riding. The smiles of our crew were made all the wider thanks to the micro-brewed local ales that the hotel proudly has on tap. By 9pm, everyone had called it a night, ready for a Sunday of shredding.
The Blue Tier trail originated around late 1800’s, originally pushed in to allow access to the valuable the tin ore strewn amongst the rock. The tier became a mining area, and now is scattered with remnants of old mine shafts.The descent traverses across the side of a mountain range, with the bottom section of the trail being filled with big rock rollers, boulders the size of your head, sticky ruts and bomb holes the whole way down. It’s the kind of trail that makes you stop and push back up, sessioning sections again and again, to rail some of the rutted, rocky sections of trail. It’s difficult riding, for sure, as multiple flat tyres attested, but nothing could dampen the mood.
All up, we clocked roughly 50km of descending, with breaks in between runs to recuperate and get our senses back together. No injuries, just a lot of laughs. The Blue Tier reminded us once again that it’s almost always worth the effort to leave your backyard and seek out something new and epic.