10 June 2023

The Indigo Epic Trail takes riders through spectacular country between Yackandandah and Beechworth

| Josef Winkler
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Rider's view on mountain bike on a trail

The view mountain bikers enjoy as they ride through Ferny Gully on the Indigo Epic Trail. Photo: Josef Winkler.

The ‘Indigo Epic Trail’ stretches 56 km between the historic bustling villages of Yackandandah and Beechworth, the town known for its iconic cobblestone roundabouts and the famous Beechworth Bakery.

This awesome mountain biking trail takes riders through a series of diverse landscapes and can be an all-day adventure or an enjoyable couple of hours depending on which loops you choose.

The Indigo Shire is a beautiful spot within easy reach for Riverina riders and every time you go, you’ll always find something new.

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Yackandandah, or ‘Yack’, boasts some awesome local whiskeys, with Backwoods Distilling Co and Yack Creek located on either side of town, and if you want to trade your helmet for a bespoke lid, the Feather and Drum Custom Hat Co. have you covered.

From the trailhead, you’ll experience the old-school trails that Yackandandah’s volunteers have put in and maintain themselves. Hand cut, single track winds through trees on the forest floor all the way to the start of the machine built trail passing through the Wallaby Mine heritage site.

The full single trail loops about 13 km and can be ridden from both towns depending on what you are keen on, and the “helix” network caters for all riders from beginners to experienced.

Mountain bike

The spectacular forests of the Indigo Shire. Photo: Josef Winkler.

Setting out from the Beechworth trailhead requires less climbing to get to a flowing downhill with plenty of berms and jumps to hit, but it’s still within reach of the everyday rider. TrailScapes have given the more capable riders ‘A-line’ features to hit.

Local rider James Lacey, who manages the Yackandandah cycling group on Facebook, said that he’d like to see this trail be pushed more as an “adventure” trail and an “achievement once you reach the end” or designed for the e-bike rider and not so much as a shuttle trail, although that is also an option for riders.

Beechworth is a lively little town and along with the bakery, is home to the famous Beechworth honey, Billson’s Brewing and Bridge Road Brewers, and all of them are well set up for tourists and worth a visit.

You could also venture a little bit further and check out Woolshed Falls just out of Beechworth or head to the Murmungee Lookout for a spectacular view.

For those aiming to hit the tourist spots there are local shuttle companies that can take you back to your vehicle either in Yackandandah and Beechworth or you can ride the Indigo Rail trail along a 31 km sealed pathway.


The Indigo Epic Trail is a “helix loop design” giving options for riders of all abilities. Photo: Ride High Country.

Attractions aside, the riding you’ll experience is like no other as you head through the ferns in the aptly named Ferny Gully. You really get that sensation of being in the middle of nowhere, riding beside amazing river networks, and in awe of the countryside.

You’ll traverse up to more than 700 m above sea level and descend the whole way back down into Yackandandah with 12 km of flowing machine-built trails.

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This trail network into Yackandandah is more for the experienced rider, with more features to hit and much higher speeds as you descend into the forest floor and through some gorgeous backdrops.

You’ll work the bike underneath you, flowing over humps and jumps and through the first 6 km of the descent, you pretty much don’t pedal. Just find flow and let the bike go!

TrailScapes is the company behind the two-million-dollar trail network, and it’s incredible they managed to get machines into such steep, rugged country!

Big thumbs up to the crew who completed it!

You’ll find more on this awesome trail here.

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