It was the last Friday for Summer 2020 and I was lucky enough to have the day off, and surprisingly to myself. The day had dawned cool but was warming quickly and I didn’t need any more motivation to get out and go for a ride.
Shepparton offers a range of different riding options, from on road routes for the serious roadie, to mountain biking at Mt Major near Dookie, to family friendly shared paths along the Goulburn and Broken Rivers. It had been some time since I rode or walked along the river so I opted to explore the natural beauty of the river and forest environs.
Having parked the car at Princess Park on the West side of the CBD, I headed off in a westerly direction along the sealed path, looping behind Princess Park, before beginning to head in a general northerly direction, alongside The Boulevard. Along this section is an exercise station, for those runners and walkers looking to add variety to their exercise regime. Today I pass by and before long come across the foundations of an historic pump. This pump supplied water to the first irrigated orchard on the East side of the Goulburn River way back in 1893.
I follow the path wedged between the Goulburn River on my left and The Boulevard on my right for a short distance, before veering to the left, in a North Westerly direction at Cudgee Park, leaving the roadside behind and following the course of the River. Cudgee Park is an Indigenous Community Garden with Aboriginal totems and means ‘a very good place to visit.’ There is stair access to the River at this point.
The magpies are warbling as I enter the River Red Gum forest of Shepparton Regional Park and wind my way through the bushland towards Jordans Bend. This habitat is important and home to cockatoos, galahs, parrots and squirrel gliders.
Having reached Jordans Bend I ride up a slight incline and follow the sealed path behind several houses before eventually spilling out onto The Boulevard. I continue on the road towards the Shepparton Cemetery before veering left into the Boulevard Bush Reserve, a unique parcel of River Redgum bushland. I stop briefly to admire the river, before heading back the way I came.
Having returned to Princess Park, this time I push on heading South towards Kialla Lakes. I follow the sealed pathway under the Causeway, the link road between Shepparton & Mooroopna. I quickly reach Aquamoves, the local pool and gym and push on heading South, behind the lake. As I reach the Caravan Park, I veer slightly to the right to re-join the shared path and head back into the forest. Before long I reach the railway overpass and the place where the Broken River, flowing from the East, joins the Goulburn River. The path swings left and I am following the Broken River in an Easterly direction, before passing under the Goulburn Valley Highway. Shortly I pass Jackson Park, a favourite park in Shepparton for weddings and numerous deb and school formal photos. I continue on and before long veer right and over the bridge crossing the Broken River and arrive at the Kialla Lakes Estate.
I take a breather before heading back the way I came, and this time do a loop of the Victoria Park Lake before returning to my car. The morning is getting on and I’m feeling a little peckish, so I load the bike up and head to Sheppartons Fryers St Café Precinct in search of something to eat.
The ride took me a little over 75mins and I covered just on 24kms along a generally flat and well sealed surface.