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Ferny Grove Rail Trail

Queensland - South East

3 based on 2 reviews
Location: Samford Valley, north west of Brisbane, 16km from Brisbane
Length: 5 km
Surface: Sealed
Start / End: Lanita Road, Ferny Grove Ferny Grove Railway Station to Currawong Road, Samford
Public Transport: Train
Suitable for:
  • Cycling – Mountain BikesCycling – Mountain Bikes
  • Cycling – Touring and Hybrid BikesCycling – Touring and Hybrid Bikes
  • Horse RidingHorse Riding
  • PramsPrams
  • WalkingWalking
  • WheelchairsWheelchairs

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Potential RT
  • Other Trail
  • Former Railway
Trail Partially open
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The surburban railway to Ferny Grove once extended a further 32km to Dayboro. Short sections of this railway are now rail trails. which are popular with Brisbane mountain bikers due to their proximity to the many trails in the Brisbane Forest Park and the Samford Valley.

  • Some short but picturesque sections of rail trail close to Brisbane.  Accessible from Ferny Grove railway station.  Roads occupy the old rail corridor within the Brisbane City Council Area.  The former railway is clearly evident in the Conservation Park, rejoining quiet local roads for the section into Samford.
  • An extensive network of recreation trails has been mapped by the Moreton Bay Regional Council, more suitable for horse riders and mountain bikes than walkers.  Trails within the and around Samford are easy to locate.

Last updated: 23 November 2022

The route is a combination of sealed quiet roads and sealed rail trail from Ferny Grove to Samford.

Section Guides

Lanita Road (2.5km)

  • The Lanita rail trail can be easily accessed from Ferny Grove Station. Leaving Ferny Grove railway station, the first 2.5km (approx) of the old railway alignment is now road. Lanita Road is a quiet outer suburban street, suitable for walking or cycling.

Ferny Grove does not currently have any real facilities near the station except for a service station convenience store.

Lanita Rail Trail (1.8km)

At the end of Lanita Road is a vehicle turning circle. A path leads up to the start of the trail which runs through the southern part of Brisbane Forest Park. The rail trail can be distinguished from other forest trails being sealed  and by substantial railway embankments and cuttings. The trail ends at a gate at the western edge of the park.

Information on connecting trails in the Brisbane Forest Park can be found at MTB Dirt’s Brisbane Forest Park and Ironbark Gully pages.

McLean Road

The busier McLean Road (South and North) then picks up the railway alignment. Along this road is the site of Queensland’s worst railway accident. On Labour Day, 5 May 1947, a picnic train descending the steep grade of the Samford Range left the rails resulting in the death of 16 people including the driver and fireman. The accident was due to excessive speed, apparently because the driver was unfamiliar with the stretch of track. A cairn marks the spot beside McLean Road.

Take care dog-legging across Camp Mountain Rd, the route is well signposted.

At the end of McLean Road North a sealed section of true rail trail begins again up to Petersons Rd.

The corridor is then out of bounds so take the quite undulating Petersons Rd and Camp Mountain Rd into Samford

Samford Village

The railway can be picked up again where it passes through Samford Village. A short section of the formation remains as a walking trail connecting the northern and southern sections of Cash Avenue. The Samford Museum complex houses the original Ferny Grove railway station and has information on the line.

Samford is now a popular visitor destination with numerous eating establishments and a park.

Currawong Rail Trail (1km)

A further 1km section of the line can be walked or ridden north from Currawong Road. It leads to the entrance to a railway tunnel under Mount Samson Road. The far end of the tunnel has been blocked and it is now used by Queensland University to study the resident bat colony. Steps lead up to the road above where there is a plaque marking the location of the tunnel. The section may be muddy after rain.  The tunnel is not able to be entered; the northern end was filled when the site was used as the local rubbish tip.

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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2 reviews of “Ferny Grove Rail Trail”

Great area for cycling really enjoyed my visit. The rail trail is not that long but when you join it up with the link cycling paths it makes it worthwhile. I rode from my friends home in Arana Hills to Samford Village and back so ended being around 32 kms. It's hard to pick out the rail trail apart from the signs I couldn't see any of the heritage of the train left .
Could recommend this trail glad I visited it.

The true rail trail sections are short but worth it, especially if walking or wanting to explore the surrounding mountain bike trails.
Images and map have been updated to reflect current good status

Background Information

Traditional Owners

We acknowledge the Waka Waka and Yuggera people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is situated.

Development and future of the rail trail

In 2012 the Department of Transport and Main Roads considered two options for a commuter cycle route between Samford and Ferny Grove.  Parts of the cycleway would utilise more of the former rail corridor.

In 2016, the Rail Trail $ 2.1 Million upgrade was completed (which included a new concrete bridge over Dry Creek)

Rail Line history

The railway opened in sections starting in 1916. It reached Dayboro in 1920. The line closed in 1955 after only 35 years of service. The line was closed beyond Ferny Grove in 1955 after the freight traffic was lost to road transport

On 5 May 1947, a packed excursion train derailed at Camp Mountain, after Ferny Grove railway station, in what is Queensland’s worst rail tragedy. There were 16 fatalities, including both the driver and fireman of the train, and 38 others were injured.

The Camp Mountain train disaster is still the largest loss of life in a rail accident on the Queensland railway network.

Stage one of the Ferny Grove to Samford Rail Trail upgrade is now complete.

Posted: 15/01/17

Stage one of the Ferny Grove to Samford Rail Trail upgrade is now complete. (more&...

Trail descriptions are maintained by volunteers. Please consider a donation to help improve this website. Rail Trails Australia gets no government funding.

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