- Rail Trail
- On Road
- Potential Rail Trail
- Other Trail
- former Railway
- Enjoy generally flat dairy farm country with views of the Great Dividing Range to the north
- Access by train from Melbourne at both Traralgon and Stratford, making it possible to walk or ride one way and return by train.
- The long bridge over the Latrobe River is a feature
- Fun activities for children in Stratford, with a skate park and exercise equipment
Last updated: 8 July 2022
The trail surface is smooth gravel, though it can be soft in some newer sections when wet
- Traralgon – east side of Maffra Rd near Marshalls Rd intersection
- Glengarry – old railway station, opposite hotel 200 m along Main St.
- Toongabbie – Corner of Stringer Rd and Traralgon-Maffra road
- Cowwarr – 50 m west of town on the Traralgon-Maffra road
- Heyfield – Heyfield Wetlands Centre on western edge of town
- Tinamba – Maffra-Rosedale road
- Maffra – Macalister River Park. A trail joins the rail trail beside the Macalister River Rd bridge
- Stratford – Apex Park by the Avon River
Traralgon to Glengarry (8 km)
This section has a good quality gravel surface.
- The official trail head in Traralgon is 500m north of the Princes Highway on the Maffra Rd with a rail trail car park a further 1.5km on at the Burnetts Rd intersection
- Picturesque views across the Latrobe floodplain and adjoining farmland requiring an impressively long embankment and four bridges. The original old bridge trusses and pylons have been reused with new decking and handrails.
- Glengarry railway station is 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
Traralgon is a large regional town serving the Latrobe Valley. It has a shopping plaza, fast food outlets and accommodation.
Glengarry is a small town with a general store, bakery, hotel, and BBQ area with a playground.
Glengarry to Cowwarr (16 km)
This section has variable quality trail surfaces
- The trail continues north to Toongabbie through a high-quality patch of remnant native grassland, with wildflowers in spring
- There is a low-level crossing across Eaglehawk Creek
- Toongabbie to Cowwarr features peaceful, car-free riding through dairy country.
- About 3 km on from Toongabbie 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
- At Cowwarr, the station platform can be seen 150m along the trail. Several original bridges remain in place
Toongabbie is a small town with only one store.
Cowwarr has a hotel, general store and cafe.
Cowwarr to Maffra (28 km)
- The trail continues on across the new Thomson River bridge completed in 2022 which also removed the last major diversion on the rail trail
- The former Dawson railway siding is now a flora reserve
- On the western side of Heyfield the trail travels several hundred metres down quiet Racecourse Rd into the Heyfield station precinct area.
- The next 6.5 km to to McKinnons Rd are on a rougher surface but suitable for hybrid bikes. The next 3km are an excellent gravel surface into Tinamba
- From Tinamba the trail has an excellent surface and crosses several restored creek crossings
- As the Macalister River flood plains are approached the rail trail veers off the alignment due to a large dairy factory taking over the rail corridor in Maffra
- The trail passes through a delightful wetland and forest on the way into Maffra.
- In Maffra service roads along the main road need to be used to get through the CBD and back to the original alignment a bit further east of the old station, take care on the busy road. The old railway station has also been sold or leased off.
Heyfield is a small town
Tinamba is a small town with a cafe and restaurant
Maffra is a regional centre with many facilities including cafes and restaurants.
Maffra to Stratford (10 km)
- The trailhead at Maffra is at the Gippsland Vehicle Collection
- Heading east it is straight and flat.
- Where the former Maffra line joined the still active “main” line to Bairnsdale there is a steep ramp off the formation to cross the Maffra-Stratford Road as the bridge has been removed.
- Continue alongside the working rail line until the Princes Hwy where a shared path takes you across the Avon River and under the highway to Apex Park in Stratford.
- Note the new railway bridge across the Avon River and the old one further east.
- Continue north on side roads to the station and town centre if desired.
Stratford is a small town with basic visitors’ facilities, including cafes and restaurants.
Enjoying the rail trail near Glengarry 
The long bridge over the Latrobe River near Traralgon 
Walking near the trail head at Traralgon 
Glengarry railway station and its historic hand operated crane 
New bridge across Eaglehawk Creek opened in 2020 [Deb Brown]
Enjoying a meal in Toongabbie [Gippsland Plains Rail Trail CoM 2014]
Cowwarr Artspace in the old butter factory [Gippsland Plains Rail Trail CoM 2014]
Old GY type freight wagon at Cowwarr. These were once ubiquitous on branchlines around Victoria [Carolyn Crossley 2014]
Not quite the Sydney Harbour Bridge but up close the Thomson River bridge is still impressive and a great improvement on the trail trail 
The new Thomson River north of Cowwarr was opened in 2022 completing the rail trail [2022 Gippsland Plains Rail Trail]
Cycling between Heyfield and Dawson [Gippsland Plains Rail Trail CoM 2014]
Heyfield is a great place to stop for all ages 
Views of the Great Dividing Range between Heyfield and Tinamba
Cruising between Heyfield and Tinamba 
Old railway gates at Tinamba 
Wide open dairy country between Tinamba and Maffra [Gippsland Plains Rail Trail CoM 2014]
Bird hide on the Macalister River flats just before Maffra, which utilises the old railway bridge piers [Beth Ripper 2020]
Maffra Billabong trail on the diversion into Maffra [Gippsland Plains Rail Trail CoM 2014]
Maffra railway station is unfortunately not part of the rail trail 
Maffra to Stratford in spring 
Interest from both sides of the fence between Maffra and Stratford (David Blundy 2012)
Stratford railway station, where you can catch the train back to Traralgon and Melbourne [Gippsland Plains Rail Trail CoM 2014]
Great Southern Ride – Leongatha E Bike Hire and Sales
Our retail store is located opposite the start of the Great Southern Rail Trail. We have a fleet of E Bikes for hire, which includes helmet and lock, for riders of all ages, fitness, and abilities.
Half and full day options are available, online bookings
Our retail store has accessories, tubes, tyres, helmets, and E Bikes for sale.
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.
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