Words: Sebastian Jayne                                                                             Photos: Dominic Hook

Lying in the shadows of the classic alpine riding locations are some hidden gems that can hold their own with the bigger resorts and offer some added extras. Small country towns can provide a sense of community and rustic charm. Their trail networks are just as charming as the towns and you can feel the effort that has gone in to hand crafting the magic. These attributes are no better represented than by the Victorian country town of Yackandandah.


 

Yackandandah
 
Something a little sweeter to the crunchy rocks of Beechworth is the tiny town with a big name, Yackandandah. This little town just down the hill from Beechworth carries the old-world charm along its beautiful streets while also looking towards the future.

 

Yackandandah has the aim of being powered 100% by renewable energy by 2022. What is also good for the environment is riding bikes and sitting just a few kilometres from town is the dedicated Yackandandah mountain bike park.

 

The Park
 
The Yackandandah mountain bike park offers a great range of intermediate trails based around the old mining infrastructure. Some trails take in old mining races used to divert water while others take you deep into sunken mines which is a very unique experience for the region.

 

The park is split into three loops of between 15–18km long and they are all signposted with either red, yellow or purple arrows starting from the main trail head. What all these trails have in common is fun and flowing singletrack.

 

Epic technical riding or super gravity trails aren’t really Yack’s aim and that’s fine especially when they pull off flow so well. Going for a group ride or a solo ride where you can switch off and just ride your bike on a loop for 1–1.5 hours with mates or your thoughts is sometimes better than getting smashed up and down hills.