The St James Cycle Trail passes through the iconic backcountry of St James Conservation Area, near the tourist town of Hanmer Springs.
The official start of the trail is from a carpark at the top of Tophouse Road just before Lake Tennyson and the end is at St James Homestead. Between the homestead and the start is a distance of 25km. If you only have one car then it is maybe best to just start and finish at the homestead, enabling you to do it as a loop.
You will see it all on this trail; river valleys, high country lakes, beech forests and grassland valleys.
The trail takes 1–2 days depending on your level of fitness and you will need to be reasonably fit and experienced to undertake the full trail. The first section from Maling Pass to Lake Guyon is intermediate grade, with steep slopes and rough terrain. After that the track become increasingly difficult and remote – requiring river crossings and bike carrying in places and is suitable for experienced cyclists only.
Cycle hire is avaliable in Hanmer Springs and the town is an excellent location to rest weary legs in thermal pools while also enjoying a full range of quality accommodation and cafes.