There are not many places left in the world that have gravel roads that lead out to beaches, a gravel cyclist’s fantasy ride. This ride hugs the coast making several stops along the way to take in the stunning views of the Bay of Fires conservation area, then cuts inland through Doctors Peak Forest Reserve and finally rolls through farmlands back to St Helens.
The ride starts at the Visitor Center in St. Helens. It rolls out along a paved road giving views of Georges Bay. This road has a bit of traffic, so roll single file with caution (especially during silly season).
At mile 5 (Km 8) you take a sharp right onto a paved road that steeply climbs for a short distance. Now, you’ll wander the coast on dirt roads that bring you to viewpoints and finally take you through beachy neighborhoods and by a whale look out area. The route cuts inland to skirt around Grants lagoon, then parallels the coast along the Bay of Fires conservation area. The further you get along the coast, the quieter the road becomes until you reach “The Gardens”.Read more
When the road deadends, take the hike out to see more of the red rocks. It doesn’t look like much but do the hike!
Back on the bikes, make a u-turn and hug the coast for a short distance getting a dramatically different view.
At mile 24 (Km 39) you turn inland, cutting through a stunning nature preserve that has a good steady climb (undulating with an upward trend). You then bump into a larger gravel road which evolves into paved road where the scenery turns into farmland.
Note, the routing of this ride may appear a bit peculiar, but we have documented this route in such a way to give you the best riding experience and the best viewing experience. Some of the most spectacular sights of the Bay of Fires occurs in the beginning of the ride. Take the the time to get off the bike and see the views. At The Gardens, mile 13 (Km 21), the northern most point of the ride there are also some great sights. Riding the route a second or thrid time we would possibly eliminate several of the dogleg excursions, but we would keep the bubble from mile 5 to 14 (Km 8 to 23). The sights are just too spectaclular to miss!
Also, if you are an inlander, you might check the winds before you go. They can be brisk and brutal when coming across your front wheel.
Adventure / Gravel Route
– Lollipop with doglegs : 44 miles (71 Km) / 3000 ft gain (915 meters)
– Mixed: ~ 50% gravel
– Location: St Helens, Tasmania
– Rideable: spring thru fall, possibly winter
– Route Author: Captain “O”
– Published: December 2018
Moderate. One steep pitch at mile 5 (Km 8) and several short, steep pitches of ~ 15 % between mile 15 (Km 24) and 19 (Km 31) and
At St Helens Visitor Center. Parking available. Flush toilets. Note: the parking behind the Visitor Center has no time limit.
Food / Water
Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road