Rail trails can help support bushfire affected communities

It may be a little difficult carrying an #EmptyEsky on your bike, but you can still make a #RoadTripforGood using a rail trail as the foundation for your trip.

Many communities in Australia have been devastated by the recent bushfires. This time of year is usually the busiest for these communities as people visit them on holidays. With the threat of fires and road closures, beautiful towns have turned into ghost towns. But as the roads reopen, they are warmly welcoming people to #RollOnBack.

What better way to help but plan to do that rail trail you have always wanted to do? Make a weekend of it – you can see some of this country’s most magnificent sights, visit pretty villages and by buying their food, accommodation and souvenirs there you are helping these small businesses survive. Every dollar you spend while you are there is directly contributing to the recovery of the local economy.

Some of the rail trails worth tackling over a long weekend are:

Murray to the Mountains – 116kms. Stay in picture postcard towns like Beechworth, Bright or Myrtleford. All are right on the trail itself.

M2M Beechworth Autumn
Spectacular Autumn colours near Beechworth (courtesy Ride High Country)

High Country Rail Trail – 80kms. Includes Tallangatta and the new extension to Shelley. Why not take some extra time to drive through to Corryong if the road is open.

V42 410 Derbyshire to Bullioh 2019 10 0563 1 High Bridge 2
One of the wonderful trestle bridges along the Derbyshire to Bullioh section of the High Country Rail Trail

East Gippsland Rail Trail – 94kms. Now re-opened this pretty trail has some of the most iconic views of historic old timber railway bridges in Australia.

V21 509 Orbost Snowy River bridge 2018 P1020206 2
Historic bridge near Orbost

There have been a number of brilliant campaigns launched to help provide information and inspiration for supporting these communities, including:

· Empty Esky is a massive social media movement encouraging Australians to take empty eskies (and full wallets), filling up on local produce to support regional economies.

· Road Trip for Good is a website that highlights fire-affected areas that are open and ready to welcome visitors once again, including a great interactive map listing areas and specific businesses that need our support.

As the situation can change, please check for local conditions and restrictions prior to heading off on your rail trail trip.

Pedal to Produce
Enjoy a picnic with locally produced food

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