Time: You can complete the Watershed ride comfortably in 3 hours (including stops).
Grade: It doesn’t matter – you will be on an e-bike!
The Watershed is a breathtaking ride following the flow of water from Beechworth down to the Woolshed Valley and back up again. The ride will take you deep into the Beechworth Gorge where you will witness how Reedy Creek has carved its way through the honey granite, creating spectacular pools which the locals use to cool off during the hot summer months, before descending down through farmland to the Woolshed Falls.
- 3 hours’ hire of a Giant Fathom E+2 Pro or Giant Liv Valle E+2 Pro Electric Mountain Bike
- A coffee, tea or cold drink before the ride
- Pizza and beer at the Bridge Road Brewery after the ride
- A cuesheet to guide you through your ride, including information about the key points of interest
- We will provide you with a link to a Google map that you can follow while out on your ride. Please make sure you have Google maps loaded on your phone if you want to make use of this added directional support
- Your riding group will be provided with a bike lock and spare tubes and equipment to change a tyre if needed
- On call Cycling Concierge to answer any of your questions before, during and after your adventure
- This is a self-guided ride, but you can request a Guide when you book ($165 per group)
The Watershed ride commences at the Old Beechworth Gaol in the heart of Beechworth. The first section takes you around the Beechworth Gorge via the Chevalier segment on an enjoyable half bitumen, half gravel segment through the Beechworth Historic Park.
After exiting the Beechworth Gorge you will ride down to the Woolshed Falls via the von guerard segment and return the same way. This segment meanders through a quiet rural landscape and delivers you at the Woolshed Falls. After taking some time to explore around the falls you will then return the via the same route.
This ride is steeped in history and if you are feeling adventurous you could add the Woolshed segment onto your ride. The Woolshed segment can be ridden from the Woolshed Falls and is deeply connected to the Kelly saga. Speak to our cycling concierge to see how this could be added to your adventure.
The Watershed adventure is so much fun on our electric mountain bikes with a decent climb back into Beechworth ready to test even the most serious cyclist.
If you book this adventure with Ride Republic we will provide you with the route so you can monitor your progress on Google maps. If you would be more comfortable with a guide on this backroad adventure you can request one when you book.
The Watershed tour includes a pizza and beer at the Bridge Road Brewery. Why don’t you try the Chevalier Saison that was created in the shed on the site of the Chevalier Mill House.
Points of interest
The Beechworth Gorge
Once a hideout for members of the Kelly Gang, the Gorge provides views over Beechworth town. The landscape has large granite outcrops, native forest, magnificent rock pools and cascades and wildflowers in season. You will see the start of the Rocky Mountain Tunnel which was constructed under Beechworth so that the upper Spring Creek Goldfield swamp could be drained for mining. Then on to the Newtown Bridge which was crafted by a Scottish stonemason in 1875. Beside the bridge is a mining race 2.4 metres deep and 410 metres long. Check out the information board with details about Chevalier’s Mill. – explorebeechworth.com.au
The Chevalier Mill House
In 1853 Louis Chevalier built a sawmill at the head of the Newtown Falls with the tailrace still visible under the Bridge Road bridge which you cross as you enter Beechworth from the Wangaratta side of town. The mill was later converted to also produce flour and the mill become the towns primary supplier of both materials.
Chevalier spent two years cutting the tailrace through the solid granite with the effort not lost on those who look down on it from the bridge today. The harshness of the Australian Goldfields was a long way from the estate of Prince Ludwig, a Russian aristocrat which was where Chevalier spent his youth while his father was the overseer of the property.
In 1856 Louis’ brothers Alexandre and Nicholas, the renowned landscape artist, visited Beechworth to assess their fathers investment in the mill and after quickly realising it was not worth their effort, returned to Melbourne, where Nicholas crossed paths with Eugene von Guerard with both painters going on to explore and produce works that are considered some of the most significant Australian landscape paintings.
Located in the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park, Woolshed Falls are a popular destination for nature lovers and history buffs.
The area was once the centre of one of the richest goldfields in Australia, where up to 8,000 prospectors camped along the banks of Spring Creek, in search of their fortune.
The falls are a ten minute drive north from Beechworth, where you can view the cascading falls, enjoy a leisurely picnic or take a self-guided walk around the alluvial gold workings. An observation deck provides views to falls and the valley below, which is particularly spectacular after heavy rainfalls. Please be very careful on the rocks as they are slippery and kids should not be left unsupervised in this area. Suitable, sturdy footwear is advised.
Chimney in Paddock
The steeper gradient of the tarmac climb finish, and consequently the slower pace, will allow you time to firstly be surprised and then to marvel at the magnificent brick chimney that seems extremely out of place in a paddock on the edge of a residential part of Beechworth. The chimney is the last remnants of the tannery which produced all of the leather products required for a bustling goldrush town of the mid 1800s. The old tannery is now just a paddock with an enormous brick chimney for the cows and passing cyclist to be intrigued by. It also provides a glimpse into the scale of industry that was needed to sustain a fast growing goldrush era community.