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Guide Banner 4 2015

Robert & Jana W., members of Vic HPV. All photos by the authors.

We set out on our tandem recumbent to revisit the High Country rail trail in December, 2005. It is situated 300km from Melbourne. Our first ride on it was in December, 2003 just after its opening. The experience was worth repeating.

We have divided the ride into two days. Day 1: Wodonga – Huon and back, 48km return; Day 2: Just after the railway Bridge - Old Tallangatta and back, 42km return. We started from Wodonga shopping centre on the well marked bike lines. After passing Bandiana just on the outskirts of the town we had to endure a 2km ride on the Murray Valley Hwy. It had good shoulder but it is a very busy road full of trucks. We turned right into Pollards Rd where the trail begins. There was no signage. We only found this turn-off on an excellent Rail Trail map (it can be downloaded from the Trail website). From here it was just pure pleasure riding through a beautiful countryside.

This time the surface was well compacted and maintained, compared to our first ride. We learned from the Trail quarterly newsletter updates that there was a plan to redeck the railway bridge over the Lake Hume. We were very curious about this bridge as it would enable the rail trail to continue uninterrupted.

As it is, on our first ride we had to endure very busy highway with a very narrow shoulder and to pass on the Sandy Creek bridge with no shoulder at all.

On return to Wodonga we stopped for a swim in the Lake Hume to cool down as the temperature was reaching almost 40C that day.

As there was no sign about the continuation of the trail to Wodonga, we assessed how far the trail goes. It stops at Kiewa River. Hopefully it will be extended to avoid riding on the Highway.

Next day, to avoid riding on the road, we started just after the Lake Hume railway bridge and admired beautiful views on the way to Old Tallangatta. The surface from 'New' Tallangatta was excellent. It was asphalt with fine gravel and the signs every 2 km indicated the distance travelled. This time the Lake was full and it was not possible to see the old town’s remnants. To visit the Old Tallangatta we had to carry the bike over the fence just before the road bridge over the Mitta River. This was very unfortunate as we had to struggle with full luggage up the very steep embankment.

As is our usual ritual on all our rides, on return, we rewarded ourselves with cappuccino in 'New' Tallangatta.

In short, it was a very enjoyable ride. The surface is excellent. The High Country views were magnificent and the amenities offered a comfortable stay. Thanks to Anthea Packer (and all the rail trail volunteers) for her tireless work in getting the trail into operation and to the local people for their hospitality. We will return soon.

Thanks to Robert and Jana for providing this report. More information on the High Country Rail Trail including our trail map can be found in our trail description. The VicHPV website also includes reports on rides on several other rail trails.