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Tiger Rail Trail

Victoria - West

4 based on 6 reviews
Location: 136 km south west of Melbourne
Length: 4.4 km
Surface: Fine gravel
Start / End: Forrest to Barwon Downs
Public Transport: Coach, Train
Suitable for:
  • Cycling – Mountain BikesCycling – Mountain Bikes
  • Cycling – Touring and Hybrid BikesCycling – Touring and Hybrid Bikes
  • WalkingWalking

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Potential RT
  • Other Trail
  • Former Railway
View Map
  • It’s a short shared path, but well maintained. The area has some interesting history
  • There’s a substantial mountain bike trail network around Forrest, most of it accessible from the rail trail
  • Part of the trail runs through state forest

Nearby Attractions

  • The beautiful Otway Ranges with numerous scenic drives and bush walks
  • Idyllic Lake Elizabeth, near Forrest
  • Apollo Bay, Lorne and the Great Ocean Rd
  • Otway Fly Treetop Adventures, Ferguson
  • Barwon Park Mansion, Winchelsea
  • Birregurra Heritage Trail
  • Forrest History Walk

Last updated: 10 June 2024

A pleasant outing that can be treated as an up-and-back trip along the railway corridor or extended into a more adventurous loop using some cross-country mountain bike trails

Section Guides

Access Points

  • Across the road from the Terminus Hotel on Henry St, Forrest (the railway station was 500m further southeast, on Station St, where there is on-street parking and conveniences)
  • Yaugher trail hub on Yaugher Rd
  • The northern trailhead is off Birregurra-Forrest Rd (C119) but is not well marked. There is some roadside parking

Forrest to Barwon Downs (4.4km)

  • From the trailhead opposite the Terminus Hotel, head northwest along Henry St
  • After 100m, on the corner of Henry and Grant streets, there is an information board
  • The trail then runs north along the road reserve, largely parallel to the railway alignment. A low-level bypass provides a close-up view of an irreparable trestle bridge on the Barwon River floodplain.
  • At the river itself, the trail passes over a rebuilt rail bridge incorporating the original piers. The trail then continues on the original alignment.
  • It crosses Yaugher Rd to the Yaugher trail hub. From that station site, there is access to a recreation reserve (to the east) and, to the west and via a narrow, one-way track and Boundary Rd, the Yaugher MTB trailhead, which has toilets.
  • The rail trail now winds through the Yaugher State Forest for about 3km and leaves the rail corridor again near a fence line, where there is a picnic table. The last section is a climb but the surface is good. The Tiger Loop MTB trail (#16) enters from the left part way along this section
  • The trail officially ends at Birregurra-Forrest Rd (see CONNECTING TRAIL below).


  • From the end of the Tiger, cross Birregurra-Forrest Rd with care and look for a singletrack section in the road reserve. You are now on the Tiger Loop (#16). This non-technical track along a power line easement will take you south to the rest of the Yaugher MTB trailhead and Boundary Rd.

Do you know of a bike hire or transportation service on this rail trail that should appear here? If so, let us know at admin@railtrails.org.au.

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6 reviews of “Tiger Rail Trail”

I rode this 10 days ago. Very easy and enjoyable ride on a good surface. Forrest also has a interesting walking trail with good signboards around the town.

Not a long trail but very enjoyable. A reasonably good earth surface (with lots of bark & sticks in Feb 2023) and magnificent tall gums

I thought this trail was for walking, cycling and horse riding. As I have ridden my horse on this trail for many years. It's a great trail with great majestic tall gum trees and a couple of old rail bridges. Great history of time gone by.

I walked this trail this week and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It is a short trail and took me just over two hours for a return walk. The walk starts out in open farmland but is mostly in beautiful forest. Allow three hours for a more leisurely pace and for time to picnic on the table and seats at the northern end of the trail. Thanks to Colac-Otway Shire and Forest Fires Management Victoria for keeping the trail in very good condition.

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.

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.

Background Information

Construction of the branch line from Birregurra to Forrest began 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 by coach, but that traffic diminished as more people got cars. From 1937 to ’52, a converted Dodge sedan rail motor painted in yellow and black stripes and nicknamed Tiger ran along the line, hence the Tiger Rail Trail name. The branch line officially closed in 1957 but the V-Line service to Warrnambool still runs through Birregurra, so the station where the Forrest line branched off is still in use. The turntable installed for the Forrest locomotives to turn around at Birregurra has been buried but some of the footings and the tip of the capstan are still visible. A water tank built for the steam engines is on neighbouring private property.


Tiger Rail Trail Feasibility Study Update

Posted: 06/10/21

In 2014 the Colac Otway Shire completed investigations into the feasibility and construction of the ‘Tiger ...


Tiger Rail Trail Feasibility Study

Posted: 14/06/14

Consultants have been examining the former railway corridor to see if a trail between Birregurra ...


Fundraising Concert for the Tiger Trail (VIC)

Posted: 26/01/13

Time: 12.30 pm to 4pm Date: Sunday 10th February 2013 Venue: Gosling Creek Winery Address: 495 Murroon Road, ...


Tiger Trail Officially Opens (VIC)

Posted: 06/06/11

Correction: The original posting of this news article implied the entire length of the trail ...


Funding for Forrest (Vic) Rail Trail

Posted: 11/08/09

A grant has been made available for the Rail Trail which will connect Forrest with ...

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