If you want to get your kids active in the outdoors but bushwalking just isn’t their thing, there are plenty of other outdoor adventure options to get kids active and breathing the fresh air.

Watersports like swimming and paddleboarding, adventure sports like abseiling or rock climbing, and more strenuous options like mountain biking are just some of the outdoor sports available to Aussie kids.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the three best spots to take kids mountain biking in Melbourne, with easy access and fun trails. Before you set off on your mountain biking adventure, make sure you have suitable helmets and all the recommended safety equipment. It’s also important to make sure the kids aren’t riding just any old bike – there are plenty of tough mountain bikes for kids available that will be more suited to the task.

Lysterfield Park, Lysterfield

Lysterfield Park Kangaroo

Image courtesy of R. Reeve, on flickr

Under an hour from Melbourne’s CBD, Lysterfield Park offers beautiful leafy surrounds and a glorious lake to get acquainted with. The Lake Circuit Trail is perfect for all ages and abilities, with a mostly flat surface ride and ample opportunities to spot the local bird and wildlife.

For more experienced riders, the Park offers a choice of trails from easy beginners trails to the more challenging black-graded trails, one of which is the State Mountain Bike Course which was used for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

There are a huge range of riding opportunities here, including steep descents, timber boardwalks and rocky sections that will test your technical mountain biking skills. There’s even a small skills park at the base of the dam wall – perfect for gaining confidence before you hit some of the more difficult trails.

While the Lake circuit track is shared with walkers, all blue-graded trails are single direction. Make sure you stick to the trails – Lysterfield Park is managed by Parks Victoria they’ve been cracking down on off-trail riding.

Check out more about Lysterfield Park in our Ultimate Guide.

You Yangs Regional Park, Little River

You Yangs Mountain Biking

Image courtesy of Dominic Hook, on flickr

The You Yangs is a must-visit spot for Melbourne-based outdoor explorers. Nestled roughly between Geelong and Melbourne, it’s worth the hour and fifteen-minute drive just to experience the beautiful views from Flinders Peak. But it’s also an enticing spot for mountain biking, whether you’re an expert or you’re taking your kids who are just starting to learn the basics.

With four easy green-graded trails that range from 2.5 to 7.5 km, you can visit the You Yangs Regional Park time and time again, starting on green trails and working your way up to the two blue-graded and one black-graded trail. The black-graded Junction Track leads all the way to the Stockyards and includes a challenging uphill climb that becomes a thrilling descent on the return trip.

The You Yangs is a great place to see native wildlife and birds, as well as spot horses and cattle on the adjacent farmland. Again, it’s important to stick to the trails, as they are often bordered by private property and areas designated for horse riding. Keeping noise to a minimum means everyone gets to enjoy the peaceful quiet of the You Yangs, and both native and farm animals remain undisturbed.

Kinglake Forest Adventures, Kinglake

Kinglake Forest Adventures
Kinglake Forest Adventures is privately owned and therefore pay-to-use, but for beginners and experienced mountain bikers alike, it is well worth the cost. Their property and its surroundings offers a selection of trails and, even better, a selection of bikes available to hire if you’re still determining whether mountain biking is right for you.

While you are welcome to bring your own bike to Kinglake and ride the available forest trails (whether that be a full-sized mountain bike or a child’s no-gears cruiser), there are also kids and adult bikes available to hire, as well as e-bikes for easy uphill riding, balance bikes, and ‘shotgun seat’ bikes for kids who are too little to ride by themselves.

Kinglake Forest Adventures can supply you with a helmet and will inspect all bikes before you’re given the all-clear to ride the trials. There are ample food and snacks available at the Forest Adventures kiosk, and make sure to check out the other adventure activities on offer at the park.

With plenty of close-by options available for mountain biking, there is no better way to get your kids – big, small or adult – out and about and exercising in our beautiful local surroundings. Mountain biking is a family-friendly, relatively cost-effective way to explore the great outdoors, especially when doing it on foot feels just too slow.
Have you taken your kids mountain biking somewhere amazing near Melbourne? Got any questions, comments, updates or corrections? Let us know by commenting below.

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