Scamander the demander . . . Scamander is the name of a sleepy beach town on the ride. But the only thing sleepy about this mixed gravel ride is the first half of it . . . just you wait for the second half!
The ride starts in St Marys and the first half is easy like Sunday morning. You buzz downhill through the St Marys Pass State Reserve. You’ll drop 1,000 feet (305 meters) on the Esk Highway to get to Scamander and then a few miles past you reach the beach. The viewing area has a whale spotting station up the hill and a nice spot to watch the surfers. After a lovely stop, you turn around and head back to Scamandar, to the Upper Scamandar road. The road begins as tarmac but quickly becomes a wide gravel road that hugs the shoulder of the Scamander River.Read more
You will be thinking, “wow, I’m riding strong today. This ride will be over in no time. I’m in such great shape.” But keep those thoughts to yourself because you haven’t even started the ride.
The climbing starts with rollers … sort of like the waves on the beach, they keep hitting you. Steeper and steeper, with nice breaks. You will be sure a dozen times or more that you have reached the top. The gravel can be kind, the gravel can be cruel, so pick your lines carefully. Eventually, you are on the ridge which provides really nice views to the east and west.
From the ridge you make a left turn which offers up the longest and steepest climb of the day. The tsunami. It’s a good 1/2 mile (1 Km) of a plus 15% grade. We saw 17% and 20% on the GPS. When you see the coast line to your left, you are almost to the summit.
With 1000 feet (305 meters) of elevation gain in the bank, you fly down the last few miles … cutting through small farms and large trees.
Suddenly you are back at the St Marys’ Hotel and Bar. Right where you started.
Adventure / Gravel Route
– Loop with dogleg : 37 miles / 3400 ft gain (60 Km / 1036 meters gain)
– Mixed: ~ 50% gravel
– Location: St Marys, Tasmania
– Rideable: All year
– Route Author: Captain “O”
– Published: November 2018
Moderate+. Due to a demanding 0.5 mile (1 Km) section that is continuously at 15% or above.
The city park at St. Marys where A4 forms a “Y”.
Food / Water
Scamander at mile 10 (Km 16).
Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road