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Lilydale to Warburton (Yarra Valley) Rail Trail - Trail Description

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Trail

Lilydale to Warburton (Yarra Valley) Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: Yarra Valley, east of Melbourne
Start/end: Lilydale to Warburton and Yering
Status: Open
Length open: 47.5km
Surface: Fine gravel
Terrain: Open forest, farmland, hills
Best seasons: All seasons
Public transport: Train
Features: tourist
Contact Region: Melbourne, Yarra Valley, Geelong, Bellarine & Mornington Peninsulas
Nice new track at Yering
Nice new track at Yering
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes Suitable for horse riding Suitable for prams
legend

Details

Features

  • NEW EXTENSION NOW OPEN - Stage 1A of the extension is now open. 7.5kms of new track has been laid from Lilydale to Yering. 
  • With a backdrop of mountains including Yarra Ranges National Park this trail passes through a scenic landscape following the Yarra River Valley.
  • Plenty of good places to stay and great things to consume in the region’s cafes, pubs, wineries and restaurants.
  • The trail has a climb up to Mt Evelyn from both directions.
  • There are still some crossings of busy roads remaining requiring care and patience.

 

Support Services and Attractions

Pedal pickups logo web
Pedal Pickups

Pedal Pickups is a tour transport service to walkers & cyclists in the Yarra Valley area & surrounds

 

 

carriage cafe logo webCarriage Cafe Seville  

Experience dining in a 100 year old carriage by accessing it from the Railtrail, the Old Seville Station (6 minute walk) or the carpark (3 minute walk)

 

 

 

vinetours tours.logo webVine Tours

Leisurely bicycle tours of the Yarra Valley wine areas including farms, local produce stores and several wineries. Self guided or with expert guide.

 

 

Description

The Victorian Railways connected Warburton and Healesville with Lilydale on separate branch lines. The Lilydale to Warburton rail trail has been operational for many years. The Yarra Valley Trail, connecting Lilydale, Yarra Glen and Healesville is developing, with Stage 1A to Yering now complete.

The Lilydale to Warburton rail trail is one of Australia's most popular, starting from the end of the metropolitan rail network at Lilydale then heading through increasingly rural landscape to the resort town of Warburton nestled in the mountains.  

Other significant infrastructure on the Rail Trail  is the Red Bridge over the 6 lane Maroondah Highway at Lilydale which links the Warburton leg back to Lilydale railway station.  Traffic lights are operational at York Rd, Monbulk Rd. and Birmingham Rd, Mt Evelyn. Trail head hubs have been constructed at Lilydale and Warburton with seating, bike racks, information boards and water refill stations.

Most of the original station platforms are still present with replica station signage, however many station buildings have been lost through time. The Station building at Yarra Junction is the original building from Lilydale Station and is now a museum.

Stage 1 of the Yarra Valley Trail follows the alignment of the railway line between Lilydale and Yarra Glen that operated for almost one hundred years until it closed in 1980. The trail commences, just like the original railway, at Beresford Rd Lilydale, heading north toward Yarra Glen.

Stage 1a – 7.5 km – NOW OPEN - Lilydale to Yering via Coldstream.
This stage will have equestrian access as well as in future stages where feasible.

Stage 1b – 4.5 km – Yering to Yarra Glen. This stage will feature new bridges to replace the heritage bridges across the Yarra Flats that were tragically destroyed in the 2009 Black Saturday fires. There will be a new bridge over the Yarra River with an elevated trail leading to the Yarra Glen station precinct. The newly reinforced and repaired bridges will keep the existing character in line with heritage guidelines.

Access Points

  • Yering Station – Parking available with other facilities planned in the near future
  • Coldstream Station – Parking available
  • Lilydale Station, Terminus of the Melbourne metropolitan train network. Car parking on holidays.

  • The Lilydale Hub at the site of the Beresford Rd. level crossing. Car parking available in Creek Rd. This is the junction of the new extension to Yarra Glen.
  • Old Gippsland Rd. Lilydale. Good car parking available.
  • My Evelyn, Wray Crescent. The site of the original Mt Evelyn station has plenty of car parking and community facilities with toilets nearby.

  • My Evelyn, Monbulk Rd. Car parking available, Trail Cafe.
  • Wandin, off the Warburton Highway, Near the site of the original Wandin station. Car parking and picnic areas available.
  • Seville Station, Car parking available near the original station site on the north side of Victoria Rd. Carriage Cafe is a short walk on the south side of Victoria Rd.
  • Killara Station, between Seville and Woori Yallock. Car parking available in Kylie Lane. Picnic tables available also.
  • Woori Yallock station. Car parking and horse facilities available at the bottom of Syme Rd.
  • Launching Place General Store, plenty of car parking available near the former station site. A hotel is also nearby.

  • Yarra Junction. Plenty of car parking available.
  • Warburton Hub. Car parking at the former station site the town. Cog Bike Cafe and Cog Bike Shop both trade at this point, as well as plenty of other options in the town.

Background Information

The Warburton railway line was opened in 1901 to ferry farm produce from the Yarra Valley to Melbourne. Timber was also a major commodity being transported on the line after many tramways through the Yarra Valley forests were linked with the line at Warburton and Yarra Junction. The line closed in 1965 and the track removed in 1969. Rails are still be visible at some of the level crossings.

 

An historic bridge near Anderson St. Lilydale is on the original alignment of the road over the railway until the road was moved. The new Maroondah Hwy Bridge has been designed to resemble the original much smaller bridge removed many decades ago.

Extension to Yarra Glen and the Yarra Valley Trail

The railway line from Lilydale to Healesville was closed by the Victorian Railways in 1981. The Yarra Valley Railway has access for the Yarra Glen - Healesville section and currently run services between Healesville and one of the major features of the line, a tunnel about 4km away.  Reconstruction of the line on to Yarra Glen to connect with the rail trail is underway.

Heartbreakingly, the impressive wooden bridges across the Yarra River flood plains were burnt to the ground in the February 2009, “Black Saturday” bushfires. These bridges were almost 500m long and were on the Lilydale side of Yarra Glen. The Yarra Glen rail trail extension will provide a safe and convenient commuting and exercise route to Lilydale for Yarra Glen residents. The rail trail would also complement the Yarra Valley Railway as currently occurs on the Bellarine Rail Trail near Geelong.

 

In April 2019 work started on extending the rail trail to Yarra Glan to allow a real rail trail experience of the beautiful Yarra Valley, as both Yarra Glen and Warburton are on the Yarra River. This extension will bring the rail trail to over 50kms in length. Stage 1A is now complete with a high quality trail connecting Lilydale with Yering.

In April 2016 the Shire of Yarra Ranges authorised design of the Yarra Valley Trail to proceed, which will include extending the rail trail to Yarra Glen.  The Yarra Valley Trail will continue on a side path to Healesville then by aqueduct and other means to Woori Yallock on the Lilydale to Warburton rail trail, forming a huge picturesque loop for cyclists and other users. There will also be north and south Yarra Glen loop rides connecting to the Yarra Valley Trail, leading to amazing scenery, many wineries and the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie.

The Feasibility Study (15MB) can be downloaded here, which contains full details of the proposed Yarra Valley Trail.

 

Links

Download a brochure with map.

The Warburton Rail Trail and Yarra Valley Trail are managed by the Yarra Ranges Council. Contact them via the link below regarding damage to the trail from flooding or fallen trees, etc. Please note, however, when reporting issues with the trail do not quote the Emergency Marker numbers to identify the location because the Shire's maintenance dispatch system is not compatible. They are for use by Emergency Services only.

Other Support Services and Attractions

Cog Bikes Australia - Not only can you hire bikes at Cog Bike Cafe in Warburton, you can now also organise pick up and drop off of your hire bike at Gracious Grace Cafe, The Trail Cafe, Carriage Cafe' Seville and Launching Place General store.

Goldfields Bike Tours & Hire - Unique opportunity to experience hybrid or E-bike riding to explore the rail trails and in conjunction with our air conditioned bus and 15-bike trailer.

January 2020

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

Contact Us About This Trail

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

Photos

Videos

Comments

Comments

16 comments

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09 March , 2020 by wayne.watson8@icloud.com

Rode this trail today from where I live in Warburton to Seville and enjoyed it greatly. We need to lobby our politicians to build a bike overpass at Yarra Junction to take away this extremely dangerous road crossing Its disaster waiting to happen on a busy weekend or even a set of lights would be great to reduce the risk. Lots of families with young kids ride this trail and the bike bridge they built at Patterson Lakes in Thompson Rd is exactly whats needed.All that said its a beautiful ride and despite a very sore bottom from saddle ache I really love this ride. Its so very peaceful with magnificent mountain scenery. Looking forward to riding the Lilydale end section of the ride in coming times

28 January , 2020 by Martincousins

Rode this trail again over 31/12/19 & 1/1/20. Deservedly a popular trail, with great scenery, trail condition, facilities. To and from Lilydale by train. Hired a normal bike and an e-bike from Cog bikes who delivered to Lilydale for us to pick up, and collected afterwards. Overnight at the lovely Warburton - lots to look at and a variety of food and accommodation. Day 2 we went via the also popular O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail between Warburton and Millgrove - highly recommended.

29 December , 2019 by RobertI

Dec 2019 mid-week it was fantastic! I got an early Met train from far north of Melbourne. Quiet day not many people around so it was perfect for the ride. I agree with all these wonderful comments my only concern would be avoid a really busy weekend with too many walkers, horses & cyclists. Coffee cafe stops everywhere and spent lunchtime laying on the green grassy river bank in Warburton before riding back to Lilydale station.

28 November , 2019 by warwickdymphna@gmail.com

23/27 I have changed my mind. I thought the Great Southern RT was the best in Victoria, but now I think Lilydale to Warburton is better. A great well-maintained surface for the entire length, with the last few kms from Millgrove to Warburton recently sealed with smooth bitumen. The rest is hard-packed gravel so good I even used my road bike part of the way. Apart from the steep pinch at the Lilydale end near the beginning, the hills are the smooth gradient you would expect from a rail trail. Going downhill on the other side was fun. It was a beautiful spring day, sunny and no wind. The views are stunning, and endless. There are plenty of nice towns along the way to stop and explore, and indulge in whatever takes your fancy. Warburton itself is a beautiful picture and worthy of the effort to get there. You are well catered for with bike hire options, bike shops, and pick-up services too. If you only ever do 1 railtrail in your life, do this one. This was my 23rd railtrail in my challenge is to ride every trail in Victoria this year as thanks to my donor in this the 30th year after my liver transplant. Only 4 to go!

14 November , 2017 by Edwardes

I've just finished a 3 day return trip with two 7 year olds and this is a great introduction to overnight cycling for kids. There's more information about our trip here https://afamilycyclist.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/lilydale-to-warburton-rail-trail/

12 March , 2017 by philam

Completed this trail yesterday. Probably the best rail trail that I have done so far in Victoria. It is well-signed, wide and generally well-maintained. Most of the major road crossings are signalised which make it much easier and safer to cross. However, the crossing at the Warburton Highway in Wandin North is quite hazardous and can take a long time to wait for the road to be clear of vehicles. The other major hazard is in some sections of the unsealed path where gravel washes up on the sides making it very unstable and slippery. Other than these two grips, the trail is very scenic and has many facilities along the way. Highly recommended journey.

08 December , 2015 by Gary

Rode to Warburton for the second time yesterday and returned today. If anyone is contemplating the ride, this is a great one to do. Beautiful scenery all the way, good safe road crossings for all ages. Plenty of views of the Dandenong and Yarra Valley Ranges and also the Yarra River. There are side tracks to explore if desired and a Museum at Yarra Junction. Some of the Stations still have the Railway house nearby. There are plenty of eateries along the trail and all within easy distance, and staff are friendly. An interesting feature along the trail is the fruit trees. They range from plums to apples, peaches to nectarines and an occasional citrus. Fire preparedness in full swing with slashing. This is causing grass sticks and stones to be on the trail and hard to see in the cut grass. However it is essential work. Great to see so many other riders and walkers and even a horse rider using this facility. Commencing and finishing at Lilydale makes is so easy when using the MET System. Extending this trail to Yarra Glen would be the cream on the cake and put it in a higher use no doubt. This trail has a marvellous emergency locator system if ever needed. The reference points are approximately one kilometre apart. A beautiful flat surface all the way making it suitable for young ones. Works currently underway around Mt Evelyn Wandon to resurface it. Even these workers are friendly. I stayed at the Warburton Alpine retreat with it's good food and friendly staff. The town has a walking track along the river and was a great way to relax after the ride. I would highly recommend this to all ages, and I am sure that you will not be disappointed. Well done to the friends of the trail for their work. Will see me again.

22 May , 2015 by cascho

I rode this trail on Sunday 17th May 2015, and it was magnificent all the way from Lilydale to Warburton and back. This rail trail is my favorite, which I have done many times. The best are the sunny autumn days – like Sunday was; where you can see all the way up the Yarra valley as you come off Mt Evelyn at Serville, out into the open. It is good to see maintenance work being done to the trail to improve the surface in parts (especially the bridge) – but I’m glad it remains gravel and hasn’t been sealed. The hardest part is the climb back up Mt Evelyn, but the downhill into Lilydale makes it worthwhile. Plenty of places to stop and eat – a great day out.

10 November , 2014 by smithy1000

Hi if people are a bit weary of horses, best thing to do is ride on the opposite side slow until you have passed them both good for riders and on bikes and horses, and please be patient.

02 June , 2014 by Kaz

I had a wonderful ride from Woori Yallock to Mt Evelyn on the weekend ... perfect weather, no wind. I have to agree with some of the other comments regarding horse poo, it was everywhere, and also there were a group of horse riders and the biggest horse in the group was kicking its back legs out, very scary if you're on a bike.

17 March , 2014 by stanford67

Rode the whole trail in early March. A great trail. I left the car at Killara (Gruyere?) and rode to Lilydale, then to Warby, then back to the car (80km all up) - riding up the Mt Evelyn grade towards the end of an 80km return trip didn't sound like something I wanted to experience! Plenty to see along the way, from suburban scenery to farmland to mountain ranges. Trail in good condition, but was an abundance of horsey poo in some places. This trail is used a lot, especially between Woori Yallock and Lilydale so watch out for other trail users.

05 May , 2013 by nickbarker

Excellent ride this weekend with a perfectly maintained trail. Great weather too - not too hot or cold. We stayed overnight in Warburton at Oscars on the Yarra (excellent by the way) before returning the following day. Lots of "horse manure' around though which was a shame. Some sections were like a poo slalom!

19 February , 2013 by bike tourist

On Saturday the 16th of February 2013 we rode the trail from Lilydale to Warburton and it was fabulous. We are from interstate on a cycling holiday based in Melbourne and over the last 12 months we have enjoyed riding about 9 of the Victorian trail trails following the set of Rail Trail maps. On advice from that map were intending to catch the Martyr's Bus service back from Warburton " if the driver had room" the brochure said. Well the truth is that the bus can only carry one bike. Luckily at 4.30pm it was a very pleasant late afternoon because we found ourselves having to ride the return 38 kms unexpectedly to get back to Lilydale. We made it but we just wanted to alert others to this possibility. We were quite lucky because the train line at Lilydale had been restored after having been out of service that afternoon too and a substitute bus service provided, which is of course not much use to tired cyclists. The trail itself was excellent , very well maintained and picturesque .

21 August , 2012 by OTCK

Love this trail with some great wildlife on the way too.

18 March , 2012 by rickp

Some minor storm damage to the new section of the trail around Mt Lilydale Mercy College was recently repaired by extending the sealed section further down the hill. Drainage was also improved along the length of this section to the top.

14 March , 2012 by LauraW

This is a great rail trail, I enjoyed walking on it as part of the Oxfam Trailwalker and it's also great to cycle on. I've written a write up of our ride on my blog: http://www.mycycle.com.au/blog/

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News

News

Yarra Valley Trail Stage 1a Officially Opened

(Posted: 29/02/20)

Last Saturday the 7.5km Stage 1a of the Yarra Valley Trail from Lilydale to Yering was officially opened.

More...

The Yarra Valley Trail in Victoria from Lilydale to Yering (stage 1A) is now open!

(Posted: 27/12/19)

Just in time for the Christmas and New Year break, the Yarra Valley Trail in Victoria from Lilydale to Yering (stage 1A) is now open!

More...

Yarra Valley Rail Trail to Start Construction

(Posted: 08/04/19)

Construction of the first stage of the Yarra Valley Rail Trail from Lilydale to Yarra Glen will start this month.

More...

Yarra Valley Rail Trail gets Council approval

(Posted: 29/05/16)

The Shire of Yarra Ranges has officially supported the development of the Yarra Valley Trail, which will include extending the Warburton Rail Trail to Yarra Glen.

More...

Lilydale to Yarra Glen Rail Trail Survey

(Posted: 22/11/15)

Provide your thoughts on the Yarra Valley Trail, which includes the extension of the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail to Yarra Glen.

More...

Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail Survey

(Posted: 28/10/15)

This is your chance to provide feedback on one of Australia's most popular rail trails, by Nov 6th

More...

Support the Rail Trail to Yarra Glen

(Posted: 26/02/14)

Local help is needed to support the extensions of the wonderful Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail to Yarra Glen

More...

Funding for Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail

(Posted: 02/06/13)

 

The Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail has received funding to get five heritage station sites transformed into visitor nodes.

More...

Champion Axemen Return for Crank-Up (Warburton Rail Trail VIC)

(Posted: 21/03/13)

The Upper Yarra Museum on the Warburton Rail Trail Presents the The Annual Crank-Up Wood Chop Competition. More...

Pre-registrations Closed for the Warburton Trail Celebration (VIC)

(Posted: 15/10/11)

But you can still register on the day of Run Walk Ride the Warburton Rail Trail.

More...

Warburton Rail Trail Maroondah Highway Bridge Completed (VIC)

(Posted: 09/07/11)

The long awaited bridge over the Maroondah highway in Lilydale is finally complete.

More...

Warburton Rail Trail Bridge Spans Installed (VIC)

(Posted: 19/01/11)

Central Span of new Bridge installed over night.

More...

Warburton Rail Trail bridge Installation Jan 15-17 (VIC)

(Posted: 12/01/11)

The central and southern spans will be installed on this weekend, weather permitting.

 

More...

Warburton Rail Trail Bridge – Final Stages of Construction (VIC)

(Posted: 01/12/10)

Final stages of Warburton Rail Trail Bridge Contruciton Fast Approaching.

More...

Warburton Trail Bridge (VIC)

(Posted: 08/08/10)

Construction of the Warburton Trail Bridge over Maroondah Highway has begun.

More...

Warburton Rail Trail (Vic) Maroondah Highway Bridge at Lilydale

(Posted: 22/03/09)

Following council approval construction is set to begin late 2009

More...

Warburton Rail Trail (Victoria) - Tourist Interpretation Shelter Opening

(Posted: 12/06/07)

A new tourist interpretation shelter will be officially opened at Wandin on Saturday 16 June.

More...

Funding for Maroondah Hwy bridge on Warburton Trail (Vic)

(Posted: 26/06/06)

Funding will be provided for the construction of a bridge over Maroondah Highway on the Lilydale - Warburton Rail Trail.

More...

Oxfam Trailwalker

(Posted: 11/03/05)

Oxfam are conducting a 100 km walking/jogging event in Victoria and part of the course is a rail trail. More...

Rail Trails on TV (Vic)

(Posted: 25/09/03)

Rail trails will feature on the Channel 7 Melbourne Discover program this Sunday 28 September at 5:30pm (rescheduled). More...

Rail trails on TV (Vic)

(Posted: 05/09/03)

The Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail will feature on Channel 7's "Discover" program on 21 September 2003. More...

Artistic Rail Trail

(Posted: 23/07/03)

The Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail at Yarra Junction will be the venue for a new art and environment project. More...

Warburton Trail Photographic Competition

(Posted: 11/01/02)

Winners of the Warburton Trail Photographic Competition. More...

Treasurer for Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail

(Posted: 14/08/01)

The Friends of the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail is looking for someone to fill to role of treasurer. More...

Warburton Trail Photographic Competition

(Posted: 13/08/01)

The Friends of the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail are holding a photographic competition to celebrate the centenary of the Warburton Railway.

More...

Minister Puts Valley Tourist Icon Under Threat

(Posted: 18/12/00)

The information below was provided by the Warburton Rail Trail Committee of Management. More...

Rally calls on Gov’t, School to "bridge the gap"

(Posted: 18/12/00)

"Bridge the Gap" was the resounding message protesters delivered to the Minister for Conservation & Environment Sherryl Garbutt and the Mount Lilydale College. More...

Save the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail

(Posted: 18/12/00)

The Committee of Management and Friends of the Warburton Trail appeal for your support to save this trail after a decision by the Minister for Environment and Conservation. More...

Warburton Trail: No Connection to Lilydale

(Posted: 12/11/00)

The Minister for Conservation, Sherryl Garbut has notified the Warburton Trail's committee that the Government will not to allow construction of the railtrail on the original alignment into Lilydale. A protest rally is being organised on Sunday 19 November 2000. More...

Victorian Railtrail News Update

(Posted: 02/07/00)

Sealing of the East Gippsland Rail Trail is under way. Progress on the Ballarat Skipton Rail Trail.

More...

Warburton Trail News

(Posted: 17/06/00)

The Warburton Trail is conducting a user survey, to our knowledge the first such survey conducted on an Australian railtrail. More...

West Warburton Wander

(Posted: 31/03/00)

The Light Railway Research Society will be conducting a walk on former tramways in the West Warburton area on Sunday 16 April 2000. More...

Warburton Trail Developments

(Posted: 22/12/99)

The section of the trail from Lilydale Station to Anderson Street is now trafficable. More...