Friday, February 27, 2009

Route Improvement Update: Mullum Mullum Creek Trail - Tindals Road to Park Road

The Mullum Mullum Creek Trail has the potiental to become a major trail in the near future. It is currently split into two sections, with difficult terrain and land to conquer in the middle gap area. At the moment you can ride from Croydon North through Ringwood and to the Mullum Mullum Park to connect with the Koonung Creek Trail which takes you along the Eastern Freeway to the city. There is also the forgotten section. This section of the trail gets minimum usage due to lack of access, especially from the southern end, although alot of Templestowe residents use it to get to the Main Yarra Trail, which leads to the Diamond Creek Trail and Westerfolds Park. I have tried three alternatives to reach the trail from the Mullum Mullum Creek Trail from Mullum Mullum Park, which I will detail below.

The first option had me leaving the Koonung Creek Trail at Mitcham Road and travelling on the shared path north west to Springvale Road, which I then went north up, before taking a right turn down Old Warrandyte Road (which had fairly recently been reconstructed with bike lanes :) ) to the trail entrance. This was the easiest way by far but the Springvale Road section was annoying since the two lane road with no proper shoulders forced me to follow the rough gravel path alongside the road and on some grass at some points.

The second option I will NEVER do again. I left the Koonung Creek Trail at Park Road, soon after leaving the Mullum Mullum Park and headed north. Park road is wider and has much less traffic which meant I could actually ride on the road here and I enjoyed the downhill to the tight corner, which just before this corner you will notice a short section of bike track and a car park. This is where the Mullum Mullum Creek Trail will eventually cross Park Road. I continued north through the corner and then turned left down McIntyres Road (Melways Ref 35 A12) and headed north. I spotted this route on the Melway and although it had "Steep" written next to the road, because it seemed to be a direct route to the trail entrance, I decided to give it a crack. I'm not the fittest cyclist (I also ride a MTB and don't wear lycra!) so it was abit of a struggle, even in low gear. There was a nice downhill in the middle, but the road surface changed from asphalt to gravel half way down the hill so I had to slow down :( . Then, when I thought I had reached Tindals Road, I had another steep hill ahead of me. I eventually got there, but then I had to turn left and travel west past Donvale Christian College. I got to the trail after all that.

Then there was the third option, which I took before taking the above second option. I decided to go down the incomplete Mullum Mullum Creek Trail section which started from the car park I talked about above on Park Road. The Manningham Council had a sign erected saying that there was no access to Tindals Road via the incomplete trail, but I naturally ignored it! The path was formed and gravel had been laid ready for asphalt to go on the top, a completed bridge allowed me to cross the creek once, and a small section already had been asphalted which was heaven to ride upon. The path then quickly turned back to grave and I approached a dilapidated wire fence with a "Private Property" sign as well as another Manningham Council sign, the same one as at the car park. I climbed my bike over the somewhat broken wire fence to have a peek. I got about 100m on natural earth before I had to stop. There was a roughly 3 metre cliff drop to the creek below. A footbridge is going to be constructed here. When I visited, the path supports on both sides of the creek had been constructed but that was it. I assessed possible options for me to cross the creek. I could have possibly done it by leaving my bike behind, but I decided against it. It would have been impossible with a bike so I had to abandon my curiosity trip and turn back. There was an adjoining natural earth trail which went up a hill between the wire fence and the cliff, but since I was on private property, it probably went to a residence so it would not be the right thing to do.

View Larger Map
Note: Map may be buggy. Pressing the zoom out (minus) button three times should fix it.

So that concludes my little trip out to Park Orchards / Donvale way. The section of path should be completed by the end of 2009. After that, only the section from Park Road to the Mullum Mullum Park to go, then we will have a handy link to the Yarra River from Ringwood!


Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the path from Park Road to be completed. In option 2, do you think my road bike will make it through the unsealed road section?

Luke W said...

It should be OK in my opinion. The road seems to have a a reasonable amount of vehicle use which has made the sides fairly flat. If you want to check it out yourself before going riding, go to Google Street View in Google Maps or Google Earth and have a look at the photos along the route to judge for yourself.

Anonymous said...

If you want a good way to go from the Eastern Fwy/Koonung Ck Trail onto the Tindals Rd end of the Mullum Mullum trail... instead of going up Springvale Road, you can go through the bike path that runs approximately parallel to Tunstall Rd. From there you can get to the intersection of Tunstall and Doncaster Rds quite easily, and turn through the slip lane into Old Warrandyte Rd.

Much nicer this way, and far less traffic!

Anonymous said...

I went down this path yesterday and it seems the only progress is that the second bridge is almost complete, but still fenced off. It also appears that work on the path from this bridge to Tindals Road has not even started yet.

Luke W said...

Thanks for the update. I plan to go on another trip there to check the progress in the near future.

Anonymous said...

It is now Feb 2011 and guess what.

The trail is still incomplete from Park Road to Tindals Road. As per your map.

Anonymous said...

I went along teh path from Park Rd towards Tindals road over 12 months ago and there was a council worker there clearing some rubbish. I asked him about the completion and he said works were being held up as council needed to access private land to complete the trail but residents weren't allowing them access. How hard would it to get a dingo or small bobcat along the proposed route to complete the trail? Whoever did the planning for this needs to be shot for not factoring in access to actually build the trail.

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Steve said...

Sigh. Checked out the section north of Park Rd recently. It's an absolutely stunning area, full of birds etc, and a high quality trail. There are a couple of bridges, then it's suddenly fenced off - there's still zero progress beyond the bridge. No broken earth, nothing.

I went around via McIntyres Rd, but it's a tough ride.

Duncan said...

August 2013 Still no progress at all fence at the end of the second bridge says some issue with subdivision of land and sale from private owners.

Macintyres lane is now completely sealed so while hilly is a great ride.

Interested whether the land to the east of this section is private or owned by the power utility.

Duncan said...

Update from Bicycle network Vic:

Tindals Road - Park Road, Donvale

This year will see the completion of Stage 4 from Tindalls Road to Park Road, Donvale. The 700m of works required from Tindals Road south towards Park Road will connect the completed sections to the north.

This section was held up pending access to some land along the creek via a subdivision and rezoning. However, the rezoning is complete and access agreements are being finalised. The tender process is also nearing completion, with construction works to start soon thereafter. These works are expected to be complete in mid to late 2013.

Anonymous said...

Any more updates on the Tindalls to Park road section is it complete yet?

Anonymous said...

They are currently working again on the remaining part of the Park Rd to Tindals Rd section (coinciding with the new housing development on Tindals Rd). I've been waiting for this 700m section ever since reading 'Due for Completion 2009' in the Melways about 5 years ago! Finally, it looks like it is only weeks (or months) away! With the improvements along Park Rd completed last year (on-road bike lanes and concrete path alongside), it will actually become a workable bike option from the Eastlink trail to Mullum Mullum Creek Trail.

Anonymous said...

Its open!

Probably not officially open as there are still a few sections of compacted gravel (ready for the final layer or tarmac), but its open and functional. Nice job too, several small bridges and boardwalks make it nice and smooth.

They are also still fixing the sidewalk on the Northern side of Tindals Rd. Like the previous poster said, it should only be a few weeks before its all done!

Its been a long wait, my last post on this blog was April 10, 2009.

Well done to all involved in getting it done!