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Great Divide Rail Trail - Trail Description

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Trail

Great Divide Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: 110km north west of Melbourne, near Daylesford
Start/end: Leonards Hill to Wombat
Status: Partially open
Length open: 4.5km
Surface: Compacted earth
Terrain: Undulating
Best seasons: All, except winter
Public transport: Coach
Features: tourist
Contact Region: Western Victoria
Leonards Hill to Wombat (2006)
Leonards Hill to Wombat (2006)
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes
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Details

Features

  • The trail follows two short sections of the Daylesford to Creswick railway.
  • Two sections of this trail are open for walking, Leonards Hill to Wombat, and near Jubilee Lake. Both sections are used by the Great Dividing Trail (GDT), a marked walking route from Ballarat to Daylesford, Bendigo and Bacchus Marsh
  • At Jubilee Lake you can see the remnants of an interesting bridge. The train went across the top of the span, and the pedestrians walked underneath.

These sections are suitable for walking only. The trails are not maintained as rail trails, but as part of the GDT.

Neither of the trails are signposted and are difficult to locate.

Much of the terrain is dry, open stringybark forest.

The Daylesford Spa Country Railway runs tourist trains from Daylesford to Bullarto. They will carry bikes.

Description

Wombat to Leonards Hill (4.5km)

  • At the Wombat station site are remains of the station platforms. Follow the GDT markers east. The trail goes through large cuttings. A sign marks the site of the GDT opening in 1992.
  • Continue across White Point Track where the GDT leaves the railway formation.
  • The trail finishes at Sailors Ck, where there are remains of a rail bridge. Return the same way or via Wombat Station Track.

Further north a short section of this trail is open for walkers at Jubilee Lake.

  • From Jubilee Lake, 2km of the railway can be followed south through bushland to the site of an old timber road bridge (disused). Follow the GDT markers.  Continue straight ahead where the GDT turns east. At the start of a large cutting (now overgrown), follow the track on the left side to view the bridge.
  • The railway can also be followed to the north for 1.5km (see map). This section is not recommended for cycling

Background Information

The Creswick line had been built primarily to transport timber to major gold mining centres.  The decline in mining in the 1920s and the 1930s depression removed much of its traffic.  It was closed in stages between 1953 and 1986.

Farmland sections of the railways are now private property but the forest sections are generally accessible, albeit overgrown.

Links

Daylesford Information Centre (03) 5321 6123

Great Dividing Trail Assoc for maps of the GDT official website

Contact Hepburn Shire (03) 5321 6123 if there are any problems.

December 2013

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Contact Us About This Trail

Email or click here: vic-west@railtrails.org.au.

Photos

Comments

Comments

1 comment

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18 February , 2015 by cascho

I rode this trail today (18th February 2015) – and it is by far the worst rail trail I have ever been on. Firstly, finding the trail head is difficult – just look for signs for the Great Dividing Trail – as there are only two old posts on the whole trail that have the word “rail”. The trail should only be ridden by mountain bikes – hybrids will not get you through. Most of the trail through the railway cuttings has been churned up by trail bikes – in parts there is no level ground and you need to navigate around deep puddles and over very rough terrain. This is a real shame, because the whole Great Dividing Trail would make an excellent multi-day tour journey. Away from the cuttings, the trail surface is fine. The worst part was riding around the maggot infested fly covered kangaroo carcass that was just metres from the sign marking the site of the official opening of the trail.

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