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Fernleigh Track – Adamstown to Belmont Rail Trail - Trail Description

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Trail

Fernleigh Track – Adamstown to Belmont Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: Near Newcastle , 160km from Sydney
Start/end: Adamstown to Belmont
Status: Open
Length open: 16km
Surface: Sealed
Terrain: Undulating
Best seasons: All
Public transport: Train, Bus
Contact Region: Newcastle Area
Typical scenery on the trail (2009)
Typical scenery on the trail (2009)
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes Suitable for wheelchairs Suitable for prams Suitable for scooters in line skates
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Details

Features

  • A high quality rail trail through a range of landscapes from suburbia to dense bushland.
  • The rail trail is gently graded.
  • All busy road crossings have facilities to cross safely.
  • A major feature is the 180m long curved brick lined tunnel under the Pacific Highway.
  • Considerable effort has gone into preserving the history of the corridor with rail track being left in place where practical, and removed rail and sleepers used for features along the trail.

Description

Access Points

  • Adamstown - railway station

  • Whitebridge - Station street car park

  • Redhead - Colishaw St car park

  • Jewells - Railway Crescent car park

  • Belmont - Railway Parade

Adamstown to Whitebridge (6km)

The trail climbs on a slight gradient passing through the 180m brick lined tunnel under the Pacific Highway. It then runs through bushland in the Glenrock State Recreation Area.

  • From the south side of the Adamstown railway station head south west along Park Avenue to the roundabout to the start of the trail.
  • Follow the trail through the tunnel and then across Burwood Rd.

Whitebridge to Redhead (4.5km)

The restored station platform at Redhead is a major feature of this section. Here 'up' and 'down' traffic take different sides of the platform!

  • From Whitebridge the trail gently descends to Redhead through native bush.
  • From Collishaw Street it is only 1.5km down to the locally renowned Redhead surf beach.

Redhead to Belmont (5.5km)

This section is basically flat and the scenery predominantly coastal bushland, the highlight being the boardwalk across wetlands. The platform and surrounds at Belmont have had considerable landscaping making it quite a feature.

  • The rail trail finishes in Railway Parade, a few hundred metres from the picturesque Lake Macquarie harbour at Belmont.

Belmont is the best place along the trail to buy refreshments having a large range of place to eat and drink.

Background Information

The railway opened in the late 1880's. It was used to transport coal from mines in the Lake Macquarie area to the Port of Newcastle. Evidence of some of the mines is still visible from the track. It was also used as a passenger service between Belmont and Newcastle with stations at Kahibah, Whitebridge and Redhead. The last passenger train ran in 1971 and during the 1980's as coal mines along the corridor began to close down the line ceased to be used in 1991.

The Newcastle City and Lake Macquarie councils bought the land of this former private coal railway to Belmont and opened the first section of the rail trail, Adamstown - Kahibah (Burwood Rd), in 2003. Stage 3 of the Fernleigh Track from Whitebridge to Redhead opened in 2009. Stage 4 from Redhead to Jewells Station was completed in mid 2010 and the completed rail trail to Belmont was opened in March 2011.

The councils are now planning to further enhance the trail with some toilets and interpretive signage.

Links

The trail is managed by the Lake Macquarie Council and the City of Newcastle.  Refer to their websites below to report issues.

Lake Macquarie Council website

City of Newcastle website

May 2011

To advertise your rail trail support business on this page, please click here.

Contact Us About This Trail

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

Photos

Comments

Comments

3 comments

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26 March , 2016 by cascho

I rode this trail this afternoon (26/3/16) with my brother, as part of doing the three main rail trails around Newcastle. This is a fantastic trail and I really enjoyed it. The highlight is the Fernleigh tunnel – which is the best rail tunnel I have come across on the trails I have undertaken. It is clearly a popular trail with a lot of other users on the whole of the trail. The trail is sealed and in very good state, though there a few road crossings that don’t provide good visual of the oncoming traffic. There is one long hill up to Whitebridge – and a great downhill, I don’t think I needed to pedal for 4 kms. I thoroughly recommend this trail and will be back.

09 January , 2016 by KarenH

I love this rail trail. It is well maintained and is easy to get to the start by train, which is just near the roundabout on Park Avenue just behind Adamstown Station. Once I get to Belmont I ride around the northern side of the lake and then link up with the Glendale to Wallsend track and onto Jesmond and Lambton and home.

25 October , 2013 by su4care

The Address of the starting Point and End Point is not very apparent. For the benefit of the users the address should be provided in more detail along with GPS location, Street number and Street name

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