The ride out to the top of Pelverata Falls is a fun, but at times challenging, ride with lots of big puddles and rocky sections to navigate through.
It is probably more for local riders looking for a short bit of technical riding with some nice views at the end. However it can also make a great day out for less experienced riders (just so long as you are willing to walk your bike a bit) and there are plenty of options to extend this ride for those looking for more hours in the saddle.
Also a great winter option near hobart for those thinking of a ride in the snow.
Head to Margate, 20kms south of Hobart. Once in Margate travel 250m past the BP Service Station / Banjos Bakery and look out for Van Morey's Road heading off to the right.
Those looking for a longer ride can park in the carpark here (there is a public toilet behind the big red building).
Otherwise, turn up this road and drive about 10kms to the top car park. The last 2.5kms of the road just get rougher and steeper, and the last 1.2kms is recommended for high clearance vehicles only, however with careful driving most cars should be able to drive to a small flat area on the right hand side of the road about 9kms from the start of the road. It's up to you how far you go.
The top car park is a small open quarry area 10.2kms from the start just where the road flattens out. If you see a white gate and a map of the Snug Tiers then you've gone too far.
Other than extending your trip by starting at one of the lower car parks, there are also some other cycling and walking options you can consider up on Snug Tiers.
2.2 km from the start, the main track branches to the left. You used to be able to follow this all the way through to Cygnet, but the private landowner at the far end no longer allows access across their property. However, you can still follow this trail across the plateau and visit one of Snug's water storage dams (4.5km from junction) and Grey Mountain (junction 5.8km from junction) before returning the way you've come. There's track notes for this route here.
The actual trail comes out near the top of Pelverata Falls, and you have to walk down to the top of the falls from where you leave your bike. You can actually cross the creek and head up the slippery flow stone on the other side from where you can pick up a cairned foot pad that will lead you steeply down to the base of the falls (joining the walking track that comes in from Pelverata). This track is hard to follow, and pretty dangerous. It should only be contemplated by very experienced walkers who bring some decent walking shoes in with them. Don't even think of carrying your bike down here. Allow at least an hour to do this return walk.
There is another track which heads down to Kaoota about 0.7kms from the start which allows you to connect with the Kaoota Railway track and head back to Margate that way. Unfortunately it crosses private property and the track is signed as closed down at the bottom. If you are keen to ride this route, then I'd suggest touching base with Wild Bike Tours who I know have permission to go down through here and are happy to take locals along on their rides at a discounted price.
This ride is at altitude (above 600m) and the winds can get biting up here, so have some good warm clothes and wet weather gear. You will get wet feet on this ride even in Summer - accept this early and you'll have more fun.
This can be a great place for winter snow riding near Hobart, but only for those who have the right winter gear.
Lots of opportunities up here for accidents as the trail is very rocky in places, the puddles can be very slippery and deep, and you might not always have phone reception. Despite it's proximity to Hobart treat this as a remote area ride, carry a first aid kit and let someone know where you've gone.
Assuming you start at the top car park (otherwise from wherever you start just ride uphill until you get to the top car park, and yes the last 2kms is steep) continue down the 4WD track. You will pass a sign on your right with a map of the area just past the car park.
It's slightly uphill for the first half a kilometre, and you'll get your first taste of the puddles to come. 0.5km from the start you'll come out into an open area with tracks leading off to the right and left. Continue straight ahead. The track starts heading downhill from here.
2.2kms from the start you will pass the turn off to your left which takes you out to Grey Mountain. Again continue straight ahead. 3.0kms from the start you will come out to an old sawmill site on your left. Continue straight ahead.
Just past the sawmill site (3.2kms) you'll come to a Y junction. Take the right fork and cross the creek and start heading up the hill on the other side. From the top of this little climb (3.6kms) the riding becomes pretty technical (muddy and rocky) and don't be surprised to find yourself pushing for sections. It is however all downhill until you come to an obvious junction on your right (4.6kms).
Turn right at this junction and follow the track (ignoring the turn off to the left 100 metres further along) all the way to Pelverata Falls (6kms). You can get good views out over the falls from the end of the car park, or follow the foot pad down to the top of the falls.
Return via the same route.