The grand vision for this trail is for it to start in Birregurra, on the main Melbourne - Warrnambool rail line, meander along the old railway formation, through Deans Marsh, to the existing section near Barwon Downs and on to Forrest. Total length - 30 kms.
The trail's "Tiger" moniker comes from the days when trains stopped running between the towns. A converted Dodge sedan, painted black and yellow, ferried passengers instead.
Currently 7km of the trail is completed from the Forrest end.
Forrest - The trail begins in Forrest, across the road from the Forrest Hotel on Henry Street. (The original railway station site can be seen 500m further south, down Station St.)
Forrest to just south of Barwon Downs
The trail runs through the road reserve, parallel to the original aligmnment. This provides an excellent view of a former railway bridge.
At the Barwon River, the trail passes over a restored bridge incorporating the original pylons. The trail thus follows the original alignment from here.
The trail crosses Yaugher Road which provides access (to the right) to a recreation reserve, or (to the left, then following Boundary Rd) to the Yaugher mountain bike route trail head.
The trail then winds through the Yaugher State Forest for about 4km, ending around two kilometres south of Barwon Downs. The walk/ride through the forest is a real treat and the surface is good. There is a picnic table at the current end of the trail. The trail then connects with mountain bike trail 16 "Tiger Loop". This non-technical trail can be followed back to the rest of the mountain bike network.
It is a short trail to date, but well maintained, with interpretative signage along the way.
The next stage to be completed will be the 2km to Barwon Downs. Eventually the trail will meander another 23 kms along the old railway formation to Birregurra, on the main Melbourne - Warrnambool rail line. Total length - 30 kms
Construction of the branch line to Forrest begun in 1889 and was completed at a cost of 96,000 pounds. It was opened to Deans Marsh on December 19, 1889 and to Forrest on June 5, 1891. The line was used by tourists bound for the coastal resorts of Lorne and Apollo Bay. The Forrest line was closed in 1957. The Railway to Warrnambool runs through Birregurra, hence the station where the Forrest line branched from is still there.
A grant has been made available for the Rail Trail which will connect this town with two sections of local MTB tracks. Eventually this south western Victoria Rail Trail will connect to Birregurra.
Rail Trails Australia - rail trails connecting communities