Wild Mersey just got a bit wilder.
Having opened an additional 15 kilometres of new trails in March, the North-West mountain bike network has firmly established itself as the most delicious value-for-money experience in the region bar the free chocolate tasting at D'Anvers.
The latest leg of the network completes the connection of Sheffield to Latrobe via Railton and threatens to rival murals, platypuses and hedges respectively as those towns' primary visitor drawcards.
Opened in 2018, the Latrobe wing of the estate is firmly established, Warrawee Reserve providing both an ideal starting point and also a fully-fledged mountain bike park in its own right, offering blue, green and black trails to suit all levels complemented by stunning views over the lower reaches of the Mersey valley.
The Railton Express connection (9.75km), while initially raw, is now a superb link through a variety of scenery with no shortage of vertical meterage to get the blood pumping.
Railton also cashed in early, with the state's largest pump track at Goliath Park and the excellent Teleport (3km) and Green Hornet (among the best 2km in Tasmania) loop providing equally-popular attractions.
Like the bride at a wedding, Sheffield was the last to arrive but wasted no time grabbing the limelight.
The trailhead, 2km out of town along Nook Road, created both a short, sharp network of climbs, views and descents (Upstart at 2km, Gold Rush 1.3km and Zen Garden 600m) and an ideal bookend to complement Warrawee.
Badgers Run, the 2km link from the newly-built car park to the early stages of what should eventually be a formidable network, is the perfect kick-starter, delivering just enough descent to avoid the need for either pedals or brakes as riders simply focus on steering through the forest.
Making good use of the existing rail trail, the newly-opened link with the rest of Wild Mersey is best enjoyed using Railton as a base.
This is because topography dictates the worst of the climbing is knocked off on the outbound leg and enables excellent post-ride sustenance and info exchange courtesy of the uber-helpful Callie and her marvellous mochas at Limestone Cafe Bakery.
Using Teleport, Sheffield Way (1km) and a short section of New Bed Road delivers riders to the fun zone, with trails so new they are yet to appear on the Wild Mersey website.
They are headlined by Super Hornet which lives up to its name with huge sweeping berms and jumps guaranteed to leave riders grinning inanely.
Easy Tiger then leads to a testing circuit of Back to School and Echidin Me which are well graded at blue-black as they offer more of a technical challenge than the standard trails but are not quite up to the imminent danger of the network's black offerings No Mersey and Double Trouble.
Pony Up, Woodhooker and Ewoks complete the link to Railton Rattler with a relentless but manageable gradient - the latter trail perfectly named as it passes through forest uncannily reminiscent of Return of the Jedi sets.
After enjoying all that Sheffield has to offer, the return leg involves Gnirvana and Green Mile before Green Hornet ensures a sting in the tail to four hours of 41km and 1000m elevation.
If Super Hornet claims the top gong, Gnirvana wins the best supporting role, offering a fun but testing gradual descent with several delightful rocky drops thrown in to stop you nodding off.
The latest 15km of new trails add to the initial $4.1 million 45km but clearly there is still much more to come. Another 30km is scheduled to open later this year taking the entire network beyond 100km.
We saw plenty of vehicles belonging to Trail Scapes, the South Australian company contracted by Kentish Council to build the network, but no sign of the actual builders, suggesting they were deep in the Badgers Range constructing those trails.
Having put so much time, money and thought into the trails, it's a pity not as much went into the signage.
It may sound a trivial gripe, but appears to be a constant theme on the network's social media streams.
The original map for the Railton trails is dreadful, defying any form of logic with an indeterminate scale and incomprehensible insets.
But it does have pretty cartoons of eagles in treetops, crayfish in creeks and cows in paddocks.
Accurate information telling riders where trails go would have been preferable.
The feedback appears to have been heeded, with a temporary sign at the beginning of Teleport offering far better instruction, although another at the end of Easy Tiger required someone to write: "You are here" in black pen to make it understandable.
Poor signage aside, Wild Mersey is a magnificent addition to the state's mountain bike agenda and looks like only getting better in the future.