The Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail (GRHCRT) is the longest continuous rail trail in Australia traversing 134 kilometres through north and north east Victoria. Set on a former railway easement, this trail can be cycled, walked or ridden in either direction. If a shorter trip is more your style, there are loads of sections accessible from carparks and villages dotted along the rail trail, all with their own personality from which to choose.
The rail trail meanders through farmland, along the Goulburn River and in the foothills of the magnificent Victorian High Country.
The completed rail trail traverses the Mitchell, Murrindindi and Mansfield Shires, connecting towns and communities including Tallarook, Trawool, Kerrisdale, Homewood, Yea, Yarck, Molesworth, Cathkin, Alexandra, Koriella, Kanumbra, Merton, Woodfield, Bonnie Doon, Maindample and Mansfield.
The Rail Trail promises many exciting adventures as it winds along the heritage-classified Goulburn River, through the Trawool Valley, classified by the National Trust for its scenic beauty, crossing over Lake Eildon at the Brankeet Arm, on its way to the magnificent High Country and Mts Buller and Stirling. Towns and settlements along the way offer unique experiences and places to explore, including historic landmarks and buildings, art galleries, museums, food and wine, shopping and markets.
The gradients are mostly gentle which makes walking or riding the rail trail suitable for all levels. Although there are some long climbs that the not so fit may find a bit challenging. The highest point is 397 metres at Merton Gap and the steepest climb is from Alexandra to Eglington Cutting – well worth the view once you reach the top.
The surface is either chert (a compacted black stone that looks like bitumen) or granitic sand. A bridle path meanders beside the trail where there is chert and is marked with blue posts or where there is granitic sand it is a shared pathway. Bike wise, the rail trail is best suited to mountain bikes, hybrid and touring cycles.
The Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail was officially opened by Simon Crean MP in June 2012.