- Rail Trail
- On Road
- Possible Rail Trail
- Other Trail
- former Railway
Why visit the Ballarat – Skipton Rail Trail?
- Mining sites
- High standard trail with historic small townships of Smythesdale, Scarsdale and Linton providing points of interest and facilities
- Visits Nimons Bridge, third tallest surviving timber trestle bridge in Victoria
- History boards with trail information sited at various points
- Ballarat is Victoria’s largest inland city with many magnificent buildings from the gold-rush era
- The childhood home of Sir Henry Bolte, Victoria’s longest-serving Premier, can be seen beside Emu Creek in the township of Skipton
- Ballarat to Smythesdale is 20 km, from Wendouree railway station to the township of Smythesdale
- Smythesdale to Linton is 17 km long and crosses historic goldfields and native grasslands
- Linton to Skipton is 20 km long and features pleasant Australian bushland and a kaolin mine at Pittong
Ballarat is a major town with a wide range of services.
Emergency markers are located along the trail. In an emergency, call 000 and quote the emergency marker code where you are located.
Ballarat to Smythesdale (20 km)
- The trail starts on Wendouree Parade south of Wendouree railway station then runs on Gregory St west to Ring Rd, its officially starting point. It then heads south where it crosses the Ballarat to Burrumbeet road (Avenue of Honour). Bordered by pine and cypress trees the trail continues on to the old station site at Kopke, a large gold rush settlement
- Haddon, the next station site, is surrounded by native grassland. A café at the local nursery provides refreshments
- Nintingbool siding is the last site before Smythesdale. Between Smythesdale and Scarsdale you can visit the Chinese graves in the cemetery
- At Smythesdale, detour around the sports oval built across the old railway
- Smythesdale is a historic gold mining village dating from the 1850s. It has a
Smythesdale to Linton (17 km)
- After skirting the sports oval at Smythesdale, the trail crosses the Glenelg Highway and continues to Scarsdale
- Scarsdale is a small village with public toilets on the trail
- After crossing the Lismore-Scarsdale road, the trail continues to Nimons bridge, a large restored trestle bridge. There is a ground for horses
- the trail then runs beside the Clarkesdale Bird Sanctuary through attractive forest
- Linton is a small village with public toilets and a general store
Linton to Skipton (20 km)
- The trail gradually climbs into Linton State Forest
- At Pittong the trail emerges from bushland and crosses the Pittong–Snake Valley road
- The last 5 km into Skipton follows the Glenelg Hwy and ends near the recreation reserve at the site of the former Skipton station
- Skipton has a range of services including a small supermarket, café, roadhouse and accommodation
We acknowledge the Wadawurrung people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.
Development and future of the rail trail
The railway line to Skipton was opened to Scarsdale in 1883, Linton in 1890 and Skipton in 1916.
Passengers and general freight were carried until 1976, then seasonal freight (grain and kaolin mined from weathered granite) until the line was closed in 1986. Scarsdale, the first terminus of the line, had a peak of 20,000 passenger journeys in 1890. Newtown was the junction of the Cressy and Colac line (1911-1953).
Nimon's Bridge near Newtown (2009)
Start of the trail on Ring Rd., Ballarat (2011)
Ballarat - between Lake Wendouree and the old Western Highway. (2009)
Ballarat - line diverges towards Skipton. (2009)
Crossing the Avenue of Honour (Ballarat - Burrumbeet Rd) 2011
Example of historic signage (2011)
Equestrian bypass. Cyclists are able to ride across the bridge. (2009)
Approaching Nimon's Bridge from the west.(2009)
Between Nimon's Bridge and Linton.(2007)
Between Nimon's Bridge and Linton.(2007)
Between Nimon's Bridge and Linton.(2009)
Between Linton and Pittong. (2007)
Between Linton and Pittong. (2008)
Boardwalk near Pittong (2011)
Basic accommodation at Pittong. (2009)
Between Pittong and Skipton. (2008)
Between Pittong and Skipton.(2008)
Approaching Skipton. (2009)
End of trail at Skipton, with example of sheltered sign. (2011)
No services listed for this rail trail.
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