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Red Hill Rail Trail - Trail Description

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Trail

Red Hill Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: Mornington Peninsula, 90km from Melbourne
Start/end: Merricks to Red Hill
Status: Open
Length open: 6.5km
Surface: Compacted earth, Coarse gravel
Terrain: Hilly
Best seasons: Dry
Contact Region: Melbourne, Yarra Valley, Geelong, Bellarine & Mornington Peninsulas
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes Suitable for horse riding
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Details

Features

Wineries, galleries, peaceful rural and sea views and fine beaches combine to make this a great trail for a day trip or weekend visit. The bottom section from Merricks is popular with horse riders and partly does not follow the original alignment  - so it's steeper than a typical rail trail. The trail is managed by the Mornington Peninsula shire.

Options

  • Cycle or walk up the trail from Merricks and return on-road visiting wineries, galleries or beaches on the way back.
  • Continue towards Arthurs Seat, following more off-road bike path.

Description

  • The start of the trail at Merricks is to the north side of the Station Ground Recreation Reserve outside the parking area which is 230m along Merricks Rd.  Follow the cyclone fenced pathway / narrow track in the roadside reserve to the start of the trail proper. Beware of mud in winter.
  • The trail climbs steadily for 2km providing good views over Western Port to Philip Island the Nobbies.
  • After a sharp right turn, the trail continues down the steep hill and through a horse jump to the end of Tonkins Rd. The trail continues to the left.
  • The trail is now on the original railways easement and ascends more gently to Red Hill, first through pine trees (look for colourful fungi in autumn), then two small cuttings.
  • At Red Hill look for the plaque at the former station site just before the first shop. This commemorates the 75th anniversary of the railway opening. The trail continues to Point Leo Rd behind the shops. Explore the shops (including a bakery) then return via the trail or other local roads. Frankston-Flinders Rd carries a lot of very fast traffic, so take care.
  • For more information on this trail see the book Rail Trails of Victoria and South Australia.

January 2013

Background Information

Like so many other Victorian railways, the line to Red Hill was built after a long campaign by local people, beginning in the 1880s. Opened in 1912 as a branch from Bittern on the Stony Point line, it mainly carried fruit such as apples, pears and strawberries to market in Melbourne. Six hundred people gathered to greet the first steam train climbing the steep 1 in 30 gradient to Red Hill.

However, as roads were improved, the train timetable was soon reduced to one train a week. The line was closed in 1953 after only 32 years of operation. The rest of the former railway land between Bittern and Merricks is now in private ownership but may perhaps be restored to public access one day.

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Contact Us About This Trail

Email or click here: melbourne@railtrails.org.au.

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Comments

Comments

2 comments
March 10, 2014 by trail rider

A small pleasant trail that runs uphill from Merricks to Red Hill, on a dirt/pebble/tree root covered trail, used by horse riders and dog walkers. You need to be careful coming back down the hill from Red Hill as you pick up speed and there are a few corners that present trouble if people are coming the other way. It is difficult to find, with little to no signage marking the trail start and end. If you park at the winery and head towards station ground reserve the trail begins on your left before the reserve entrance. Enjoy!

March 24, 2013 by horseyvon

Although this is a great trail, I have found lately that there are alot of dog owners who are using this rail trail as a leash free run. I had a dog have a go at my horse, the dog came off alot worse than the horse. I asked the owners "what if a child was riding a bike past and the dog got nasty" they stated that I should get lost and mind my own business.

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