The Youngtown Regional Park is a pleasant little park on the outskirts of Launceston. Although the ride is only a short 2.6km loop, the track has a good surface and makes for a nice ride if you're in the area. It is mainly easy riding with a spot or two that will challenge beginner riders, but nothing technical. The circuit would also make for a pleasant hour or so with young kids able to ride the distance.
GETTING THEREThere are several ways to get to the start of this ride, and if you're from Launceston I'll let you figure out the quickest way for you.
If you don't know your way around Launceston, the easiest (though not the shortest or quickest) way to get there from a navigation point of view would be to head south out of launceston and follow the Southern Outlet (A1) until you see a well signed turn off to your left onto the C403 to Kings Meadows.
Turn onto this exit ramp, then turn right at the T junction you come to. This will put you onto Kings Meadow Link heading into Kings Meadows. Follow this road for 1.4 kms until you come to some raffic lights (Hobart Road). Continue straight across Hobart Road onto Quarantine Road. A further 1.3kms from Hobart Road, at a roundabout, take the third exit onto Opossum Road and, ignoring a junction on your left about 500 metres along (where this road becomes Poplar Road), continue for 1km from the roundabout until you see the Youngtown Regional Park Sign on your right.
There is a gravel parking area next to the entrance.
If coming from the South into Launceston on the Southern Outlet, again just look out for the Kings Meadow off ramp then follow this around under the Highway and then just follow the directions above from the T Junction.
If coming from Burnie then as you come onto the Southern Outlet just follow the signs to Kings Meadows and then once on the Southern Outlet follow the directions as if you were heading there from Launceston.
FACILITIESThere's a small childrens playground at the top (western) end of the park, but otherwise there are no facilities here.
ROUTE OPTIONSWithin the Park there is really only the one main circuit (shown in blue) and you could get onto the circuit at any of the many entrances to the park (alternative entrances shown in pink).
There are also a few short cut tracks across the reserve, but unless the trail notes indicate otherwise most of these are more suitable for walking than cycling.
If you're looking for a longer ride, check out the Launceston City Councils brochure "Trails in and around Launceston" . Just looking at the map, it appears you could potentially link this ride with the Glenwood Trail, Carr Villa Trail, Kings Meadow Trail and Punch Bowl trails, however I have not ridden these and so cannot vouch for them or their connectivity.
WARNINGSThis is an inner city multi-use park, so ride slow and enjoy it. Be friendly and respectful to other users.
The Launceston Mountain Bike Club hold races here as part of their racing program, so if you want to ride these trails fast, wait for their next race and go for it.
Dogs off leash, children and snakes in the long grass are probably the greatest risks in this park.
ROUTE DESCRIPTIONStarting at the north-eastern end of the park, go past boom gate and head off in a clockwise direction
This park is pretty easy to get around, so follow the obvious singletrack track keeping the local houses on your left and the creek to your right. You will pass a couple of tracks heading into the reserve on the right as you go around, but just ignore these and stick to the main trail.
About 0.8km from the start you'll come out into a grassy area with the track heading down across a small bridge to your right. Cross this bridge and go left as you come off the bridge continuing to head upstream (the right junction as you come off the bridge is a shortcut back to the start).
There's another junction 1km from the start, where you need to take the left fork and head back over a second bridge and up the track on the left side of steps. From here follow the trail along the creek and out into an open park area 1.4kms from the start.
The circuit goes right here behind a small boom gate and along under the power lines, but if you have young children and want to have a break, there are swings and a small playground here.
Following the trail under the powerlines, ignore the track heading off to you right about 100 metres past the boom gate which takes you back down to the junction between the two bridges. Instead carry on down hill along the top of a meadow, again ignoring a junction on your right at the bottom which takes you back to the first bridge.
Carry on downhill through some bushland, cross the creek again about 2.1kms from the start, and follow the main trail around to the left (there are several other tracks leading into the reserve here which all just cut through the reserve onto the tracks you rode in on).
Follow the track as it sidles around the hill, and before you know it you'll have one last tiny little climb that will bring you back to your car (2.6kms).
OTHER LINKSLaunceston City Councils brochure "Trails in and around Launceston"
tassierambler.org blog visit 30 November 2013