Portland Reserve and Plantation Loop
Awesome gravel ride with terrific scenery
4 - Arduous
A tad hilly
At a Glance
This is an awesome gravel ride with terrific scenery that starts and finishes in Portland NSW. We rode it on our gravel bikes, and took it steady on the descents and through the water crossings.
Diversity of landscapes in such a short distance feature on this interesting lap. Eucalypt woodlands, plantations, water crossings and the old Portland water supply dam are highlights out of town. When back in town, check out the street art and silo precinct.
Click here to see more photos on the Ride with GPS route.
Portland is undergoing a transformation from its recent industrial heritage to a location for artists and outdoor experiences. Check online for opening hours of The Grove (cafe) and The Coronation Hotel (food and accommodation), as well as the Foundation.
Enjoyable ride through woodlands and plantations
Old Portland water supply dam
Portland street and silo art
Sights on Route
Quiet gravel roads and steady climbs
Coasting or fast descents
Traps For Young Players
Wildlife – kangaroos and wombats
Creek crossings after heavy rains
Sketchy phone reception in places
Take it steady on rougher sections of gravel road
Best Time to Ride
This route can be ridden at any time of year. I wouldn't ride this course when it's really windy (falling limbs), just after heavy rains (there are two creek crossings) and during summer on days of total fire bans.
What’s the best bike for this route?
We rode our gravel bikes with 38mm and 40mm tubeless tyres, and comfortably completed the loop. An XC MTB would also be suitable, but any bikes with narrower tyres than 38mm would struggle. E-bikes would be great on the climbs.
Do I take anything special on this course?
Phone reception can be marginal, so taking an alternate form of communications is always a good idea in the bush. I always take a snack with me too.
I rate this course as 4 - Arduous, especially with the steady climbing. The route is not that long but there are some tricky bits through the Crown Reserve (Town Common) just out of Portland, the creek crossings and some of the gravel in the plantations.
This route is not well signposted and so it's best to download the route to a device and follow it. A little bit of exploration off route is something I always do, but I know I can return to course and then ride back to town.
Good parts: A beautiful part of Wiradjuri country. The views, the old Portland water supply dam, the industrial heritage of Portland, and quiet gravel roads.
Tough parts: Some of the climbs, and the creek crossings can be tricky.
Crappy parts: Blackberry canes on the roads in the plantation. The thorns will puncture tyres.
Would I do it again? Yep. We are taking more mates with us next time.
Traps for young players: Creek crossings after heavy rains.