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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Seven Rewarding Pit Stops to Make When You're Tackling the Maribyrnong River Trail

Punctuate your walk or run with puppy pats, plant-based treats and a trip to the steam room.
By Marnie Vinall
March 24, 2021
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By Marnie Vinall
March 24, 2021
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in partnership with

The Maribyrnong River Trail runs alongside the Maribyrnong River through the northwest suburbs of Melbourne and it's often populated with runners, walkers and cyclists. When you're taking the trail, you're on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Country, which has a rich history dating back over 40,000 years. Today, there are plenty of places to stop while pacing the route, whether to rest, check out some community gardens or to grab a green juice or cup of coffee to keep you going. To help you make the most of it, we teamed up with Adidas to bring you seven rewarding pit stops to make when you're tackling the trail. Take a look, then plan your own adventure using the map below.

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Parks Victoria

BRIMBANK PARK

Start off amid native grassland and wetlands at Brimbank Park, located in Keilor East. The expansive green space neighbours the Maribyrnong River, and it's home to diverse wildlife, including ducks, wallabies and native birds. There are plenty of picnic areas and open spaces where you can warm up with lunges, leg swings, arm circles and side shuffles. It's also right next to Horseshoe Bend Farm, a rural-farm space where, though there aren't any animals, you can peruse its original 1930s weatherboard cottage while you get blood flowing to your muscles.

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Elaine Casap; Unsplash

AVONDALE HEIGHTS COMMUNITY GARDENS

Make a pit stop at Avondale Heights Community Gardens to soak in some good community vibes and admire the local produce and plants. While you walk around the plots, take time to get some oxygen back into those lungs. You may even learn a thing or two about organic and sustainable gardening practices and principles. Or, if you're lucky, you'll find yourself at an open day with produce, preserves, seeds and seedlings on sale.

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PARTICLE CAFE

Particle Cafe is the perfect spot to pick up a green juice or mid-run coffee. The eatery on Military Road, in Avondale Heights, is 100-percent vegan — with gluten free options available, too. It also has nut-based milks, like macadamia, cashew, hazelnut and almond. Alternatively, try a chia pudding, healthy choccy bowl, tofu scramble or a 'Vegan is Possible' burger. Whatever you choose, it'll be jam-packed with plants, which can only fuel your run ahead.

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Moonee Valley City Council

CANNING RESERVE LOOKOUT

As you run on you'll reach Canning Reserve Lookout, just by Canning Reserve Playground. It's a great spot for a photo — or to stare out at the scenic views, including Melbourne's skyline in the distance. There's a walking dock so you can keep moving, or plenty of spots under gum trees to have a breather. Simply enjoy the fresh air while nodding to the other runners as they pass by.

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Samson Katt

FAIRBAIRN PARK

Mix up your run by stopping off at Fairbairn Park. The wide-open space is ideal for interval training on the sports fields. The park also has access to the river and dogs are allowed off-leash here, so be prepared to share your space with some cute, furry friends. While you're in workout mode, try not to be swayed by nearby Highpoint Shopping Centre.

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Maribyrnong City Council

MARIBYRNONG AQUATIC CENTRE

Take a break at Maribyrnong Aquatic Centre, adjacent to Thompson Reserve and Pipemakers Park. Take to a lane in the heated 50-metre pool and swim a few laps to get in some extra cardio, or hang out in the leisure pool for a while. Alternatively, head straight for the spa to start relaxing, followed by the sauna and steam rooms to sweat it out and unwind. Bookings are essential right now, so make sure to jump online and time your run to finish here. It's $12.90 for a spa, sauna and steam session. Access to the pool is $7.

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CAFE BOUTIQUE

Reward yourself at the end of your run by heading to Cafe Boutique, on Cumberland Drive at the corner of Harbour Park. It's time for a pancake and a well-earned latte with waterfront and Flemington Racecourse views. If you're there for brekkie, enjoy the likes of yoghurt-layered muesli, french toast or eggs florentine. Or, if stopping in for lunch, sink your teeth into a salmon salad, carbonara or greek salad with lamb. You could also grab a takeaway sandwich and head to the park nearby for a snack and a nap in the shade. You've earned it.

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In need of a new pair of runners? Take a look at the new Adidas Ultraboost 21 runners here. Launch the map below to start plotting your own running adventure in and around Melbourne.

Top image: Visit Victoria

Published on March 24, 2021 by Marnie Vinall

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