Whether you’re holidaying interstate or looking for a day trip closer to home, bring out the bikes and explore lesser known bike tracks and hidden delights along Australia’s rail trails.
Following the routes of abandoned rail corridors, rail trails cut through hills, under roads, over embankments and across gullies and creeks. Most rail trails have a gravel or dirt surface suitable for walking, hybrid bikes and horses. Some are sealed and are great for bike touring too. Rail trails are especially suited to families, groups and the not-so-confident rider as they are easily graded and are away from busy roads.
As well as providing pathways for leisurely exploring, rail trails are linear conservation corridors protecting native plants and animals. They often link remnant vegetation in farming areas and contain valuable flora and fauna habitat. Wineries and other attractions are near many rail trails as well as B&Bs and other great places to stay. The rails are usually removed when a railway is closed, but remnants of the past such as railway cuttings and bridges still remain.
Powered by volunteers, www.railtrails.org.au is a fantastic resource for rail trail cycling enthusiasts all over Australia, featuring detailed descriptions, trail maps, images and information to help you enjoy the journey.
For rail trail visitors in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, guidebooks are available so you can put trip information in your pocket.
For more information on rail trails, visit www.railtrails.org.au or phone (03) 9306 4846.
For bicycling information and fact sheets, visit www.cyclingpromotion.com.au