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Birregurra - Forrest 'Tiger' Rail Trail - Trail Description



Birregurra - Forrest 'Tiger' Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: 136km south west of Melbourne
Start/end: Birregurra to Forrest
Status: Open
Length open: 7km
Surface: Fine gravel
Terrain: Hilly
Public transport: Train, Coach
Features: tourist
Contact Region: Western Victoria
Start of the trail at Forrest (2011)
Start of the trail at Forrest (2011)
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes Suitable for horse riding



  • 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.


Start Point.

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 

Background Information

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.


Bob Brooks Committee Member (03) 5236 6322

Alan Winter Committee Member (03) 5236 6383

Colac Otway Shire (03) 5232 9400

Friends of the Tiger Trail Brochure (0.9MB)

February 2019

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09 April , 2015 by Dookie

Having overnighted at Dandos Campground, we set off on what we thought was the forest road to Beech Forest, only to discover that somehow we ended up in the pretty little town of Forrest, way to the east of our intended destination What a great surprise therefore to discover that there was a Rail Trail here, 'The Tiger' that we had never heard of. So bikes off the camper and away we went. The photos accompanying this site are excellent and accurately reflect the atmosphere of the ride. It will be great to see this RT extended if and when finances become available.Some of the best historical info. signs we have seen are along the 'Tiger'....great to provide info for people like us who have come from outside the area Whilst in the area, don't miss out on the walk to Lake Elizabeth, just a few km's out of town. Saw lots of people and also school groups utilising the excellent network of mountain bike trails in the area too.

05 February , 2015 by cascho

I rode this trail yesterday (4th Feb 2015) on the way home from doing the Port Fairy Rail Trail. This is a great short trail starting in the town of Forrest that goes into the surrounding forest. It is essentially downhill out of Forrest and then uphill back. The end of the trail is not much – but there are other trails to continue on and do a loop back to town. I would recommend this ride to families with young children, as the trail surface is good and wide. The most interesting section is over the river and the bridges. Don’t miss the 101 mile post.

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Tiger Rail Trail Feasibility Study

(Posted: 14/06/14)

Feasibility Study for the Birregurra to Forrest Rail Trail - known as the Tiger Rail Trail, in western Victoria is well under way.


Fundraising Concert for the Tiger Trail (VIC)

(Posted: 26/01/13)

Fundraising Concert for the Tiger Rail Trail (VIC) More...

Tiger Trail Officially Opens (VIC)

(Posted: 06/06/11)

The official opening of the Forrest Tiger Rail Trail will be held On June 12.


Funding for Forrest (Vic) Rail Trail

(Posted: 12/08/09)

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. More...