- Rail Trail
- On Road
- Possible Rail Trail
- Other Trail
- former Railway
Why visit the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail?
- Diverse scenery and easy public transport access in Traralgon
- Fun activities for children in Stratford, with a skate park and exercise equipment
- The Long Bridge over the Latrobe River
- The trail surface is smooth gravel, though it can be soft in some newer sections when wet
- This trail passes through generally flat dairy farm country with views of the Great Dividing Range
- Access by train from Melbourne at Stratford or Traralgon, making it possible to ride one way and return by train
- Stratford – Apex Park by the Avon River
- Maffra – Macalister River Park. A trail joins the rail trail beside the Macalister River Rd bridge
- Tinamba – Maffra-Rosedale road
- Heyfield – Heyfield Wetlands Centre on western edge of town
- Cowwarr – 50 m west of town on the Traralgon-Maffra road
- Toongabbie – Corner of Stringer Rd and Traralgon-Maffra road
- Glengarry – old railway station, opposite hotel 200 m along Main St.
- Traralgon – east side of Maffra Rd near Marshalls Rd intersection
Stratford to Maffra (10 km)
- The trail begins in Apex Park and runs beneath Princes Hwy to a shared path beside the highway until it reaches the main railway line
- The trail then continues alongside the working rail line until the old branch line
- The trail crosses the Maffra-Stratford Road and up a steep ramp on to the original railway embankment on the south side of the road
- The trailhead at Maffra is at the Gippsland Vehicle Collection
- Continue on to the main street (Johnson Street) and through the CBD
Stratford is a small town with basic visitors’ facilities, including cafes and restaurants.
Maffra is a regional centre with facilities including cafes and restaurants.
Maffra to Tinamba (8 km)
- Leaving Maffra, the trail rejoins Johnson St at the Macalister River Bridge
- The trail passes through a delightful wetland and forest on the way to Tinamba
- The trail has an excellent surface and crosses several restored creek crossings
- Tinamba is a small town with a cafe and restaurant
Tinamba to Heyfield (9.5 km)
- From Tinamba the trail extends on an excellent gravel surface for 3 km to McKinnons Rd
- The next 6.5 km to Heyfield are on a rougher surface but suitable for hybrid bikes
Heyfield to Cowwarr (11 km)
A section of trail is closed from the Heyfield-Cowwarr road to the Dawson-Seaton road because there is no bridge over the Thompson River between these roads. A 5 km on-road section on quiet roads bypasses the area. Funds have been received from the Victorian Government to reinstall the bridge and complete track work to open this final section of the trail. Works are expected to be completed in 2021.
- On the western side of Heyfield the trail travels several hundred metres down quiet Racecourse Rd then over the Heyfield-Seaton road toward Dawson. The former Dawson railway siding is now a flora reserve
- The trail continues on Dawson Rd until the intersection with the Cowwarr-Seaton road, then turns left on to the Cowwarr-Seaton road and left again at the next T-intersection into Cowwarr-Heyfield road
- Continue on Cowwarr-Heyfield road for less than 1 km before turning left to rejoin the trail
- The trail crosses Rainbow Creek and continues a short distance into Cowwarr, where there is a hotel, general store and cafe.
Cowwarr to Toongabbie (9 km)
This section features peaceful, car-free riding through dairy country.
- At Cowwarr, the station platform can be seen 150m along the trail. Several original bridges remain in place
- Dismount to get through some steel gates as the trail continues southwest toward Toongabbie
- About 6 km from Cowwarr the path crosses a deep gorge with stone walls and steel barricades. These barriers were installed in the 1950s to slow down the erosive effects of Fells Creek
Toongabbie to Glengarry (9 km)
This section is fully developed.
- Toongabbie is a small town with only one store, refer Sponsored Links below.
- The trail continues south to Glengarry through a high-quality patch of remnant native grassland, with wildflowers in spring
- There is a low-level crossing across Eaglehawk Creek
- This section finishes at the old Glengarry Railway Station, the only public building remaining on the rail trail. It includes the station platform, toilet and a small goods shed
- A loading crane in the station precinct was moved from Rosedale Station after the original was removed at the end of rail services. The crane was. used to load goods for Melbourne
- Glengarry is a small town with a general store, bakery, hotel, and BBQ area with a playground
Glengarry to Traralgon (10 km)
The newest section includes an impressively long embankment and four bridges across the Latrobe River and its floodplain. The bridges use the old bridge trusses and pylons, with new handrails and walkway structures across them.
- Picturesque views across the Latrobe floodplain and adjoining farmland
- There is a rail trail car park at Burnetts Rd, 2 km north of Princes Hwy. Some maps may not include Burnetts Rd; look for the brown Vineyard sign
- The trail finishes at Marshalls Rd 500 m before Princes Hwy
- Traralgon is a large regional town serving the Latrobe Valley. It has a shopping plaza, fast food outlets and accommodation
We acknowledge the Gunaikurnai people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built
Rail Line History
The line from Traralgon to Stratford via Maffra was built in 1883 and served as an alternative route to East Gippsland. It was busy until the 1950s carrying sugar beet from Maffra and timber from Heyfield. In its later years, the main purpose of the line was to serve the dairy industry in the Maffra area. The line closed in stages; from Traralgon to Cowwarr in 1986, then Cowwarr to Maffra in 1994. The rails were removed shortly afterward.
The first section of the rail trail opened in 2005 and it was fully opened in 2014, except for a diversion between Cowwarr and Dawson.
V-Line runs passenger train services from Melbourne to Bairnsdale via Traralgon, Sale and Stratford.
Enjoying the rail trail near Glengary
Wide open dairy country between Tinamba and Maffra
The long bridge over the Latrobe River near Traralgon
The long bridge over the Latrobe River near Traralgon
Glengary railway station and its historic hand operated crane
Enjoying a meal in Toongabbie
Cycling between Heyfield and Dawson
Cowwarr Artspace in the old butter factory
Heyfield is a great place to stop for all ages
Views of the Great Dividing Range between Heyfield and Tinamba
Tinamba to Maffra
Interest from both sides of the fence between Maffra and Stratford (David Blundy)
Stratford railway station
Australian Cycling Holidays
Explore the rail trail at your own pace every day of the year. Trek hybrids (adults and children), baby buggies, tagalongs, tandem. E bikes for adults. Our Range of Options: Fully Supported tours with everything included on single or multiple rail trails; Bike/pannier hire multi day.
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