Trail Open

Grand Ridge Rail Trail

Victoria - Gippsland

4.1 based on 14 reviews
Location: Strzelecki Ranges, South Gippsland, Victoria, 160km from Melbourne
Length: 13 km
Surface: Compacted earth, Fine gravel
Start / End: Mirboo North to Boolarra
Public Transport: None
Suitable for:
  • Cycling – Mountain BikesCycling – Mountain Bikes
  • Cycling – Touring and Hybrid BikesCycling – Touring and Hybrid Bikes
  • Horse RidingHorse Riding
  • WalkingWalking

Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Possible Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway

DETAILS

Why visit the Grand Ridge Rail Trail?

  • A very pleasant trail, travelling through hilly forest in the heart of Gippsland, that traverses beautiful mountain countryside with a gentle climb from Boolarra to Mirboo North
  • A good rail trail for walkers - three hours out, lunch and three hours back

Attractions

  • Flora reserves, bird life and wildlife
  • Boutique brewery and colourful murals at Mirboo North
  • Bakery and other shops in both Mirboo North and Boolarra
  • Boolarra Railway Park has a picnic area and playground with BBQ, toilets and shop nearby
  • 1800s brick culverts
  • Mosses, lichens, and toadstools
  • Ferny ‘The Meadows’ shelter built by volunteers

Trail Guide

Access points

  • Boolarra Railway Park, near the general store/café, shelter
  • just behind the Grand Ridge Brewery and Restaurant in Mirboo North
  • old Darlimurla station

Section Guides

Boolarra to Mirboo North (13 km)

  • From Boolarra, the trail begins a 275 m ascent. Look for the historically significant brick drainage culverts under the trail
  • The two arch bridges are on the original gradient are a feature; they replace difficult to access low level bridges burnt out in the 2009 bushfires
  • Midway between Boolarra and Mirboo North is Darlimurla station site, with a shelter, interpretive signage and an exercise station. Nearby is the Big Tree, an example of the exceptionally large trees that used to be in the area. It was 61 m tall until it was damaged in the 2009 bushfires
  • The trail continues with a steady climb to Mirboo North. This part of the trail has now rebounded magnificently from the damage caused by the bushfires
  • The trail finishes behind the Grand Ridge Brewery after passing over some massive embankments
  • The township of Mirboo North, with cafes and shops, is a few hundred metres along through the park
  • Mirboo North railway station is now a community centre and children’s playgroup. Close by is a playground where younger trail users can entertain themselves

Background Information

Traditional Owners

We acknowledge the Boonwurrung people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.

Rail Line History

This trail follows the former branch line from Morwell to Mirboo North, which opened in 1885.

South of Boolarra, the hilly country required many large cuttings, embankments and bridges. All were constructed by hand and apparently sent the initial contractor into financial hardship.

The railway carried timber, dairy produce, and passengers in its later years. A rail motor service began after WW II and continued until the line closed in 1974.

The rail trail opened in the late 1990s and was effectively closed for some time following the Grand Ridge bushfires of February 2009. With help from the ‘Wednesday Warriors’ volunteers, the trail is now always in good condition even though almost entirely in forest.

 

 

PHOTOS

REVIEWS

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14 reviews of “Grand Ridge Rail Trail”

This was the third of 3 trails ridden over a 3 day weekend (Moe-Yallourn and Rokeby – Neerim Sth the others). The trail from Boolarra to Mirboo Nth was my favorite – a nice start in the park at Boolarra (after staying in our van at the Community Hotel overnight – a great option). Excellent interpretative signs giving a good overview of the rail trail and historical signboards in this park.We expected the incline to be more steep than it in fact was – it was a gentle climb to Mirboo Nth with a nice stop at Darlimurla half way along and a side visit to The Big Tree just 200 metres off the trail. The surface was excellent packed gravel, two bridges were concrete and the trail was wide enough to pass other riders, walkers and horses – it was lovely to see it being well used. MIrboo Nth is a nice town with various refreshment options and a lovely old fashioned nursery. The return ride was a doddle – downhill cruising most of the way – perfect!

6/27. Grand Ridge #railtrail also completed 9/2/19. 6 trails now done for my 2019 challenge of every trail in Victoria in my 60th year. Cold and wet conditions and a sloppy surface but it was all downhill from Mirboo North to Boolara so not too bad.. The highlight was when a startled male lyrebird flew out across my path. The lowlight was when the General Store at Boolara tried to charge a cold, wet cyclist $5.00 for a long black coffee. Thanks to my brother for a lift back to Mirboo North. We enjoyed a beer at the Grand Ridge Brewery in Mirboo North after.

My daughter and I went out for a walk on the 15th of Feb. Found the trail to be user friendly with seating placed along the way and signage with distances clearly marked. The track itself was mostly good but had a few places not so good. Was pleased to get to Boolarra and have a well earned latte at the local cafe, before heading back to Mirboo North again. All in all a lovely day.

Track in fantastic condition with full credit to those doing maintenance. Steady long climb uphill but a fantastic coast on the downhill return journey. Nice change to ride through the forests rather than cleared dairy country.Plenty of facilities at both ends of the trail.

Track in fantastic condition with full credit to those doing maintenance. Steady long climb uphill but a fantastic coast on the downhill return journey. Nice change to ride through the forests rather than cleared dairy country.Plenty of facilities at both ends of the trail.

A quick ride on a foggy morning leaving Boolarra but fine on reaching Mirboo North. A great surface suitable for all bike types. It appears the committee keep the surface clean by the use of old tyres dragged behind a vehicle. Beautiful straight and tall trees and thick bush with good farming land. Up hill to Mirboo North but not too steep. Both towns were very friendly and people willing to talk. Mirboo North has more shops and Darlimurla does have a few photo’s of the local history. A little well kept secret and only hope it can be extended to Yinaar and maybe Morwell some day. Well Done.

I did this trail with my 14 year old son recently on an overcast day. It was really nice and one can sense how thrilling the railway must have been. Everything was well signposted and the trail was an easy ride, mostly downhill to Boolarra. Tall mountain ash forest covers both sides of the trail for much of the route and you feel like you are in pristine wilderness in places. We did both directions which was an easy day trip. The Grand Ridge Brewery is at the Mirboo North End and there is a terrific old pub with a cosy open fireplace at the Boolarra end. Highly recommended. The Strezlecki Bakery in Mirboo North is a nice spot for lunch.

I rode this trail on 30th November 2014, and it is a little gem. Good quality surface and in excellent condition, which makes it suitable for almost everyone. The scenery is worth it – though it would be great if it was longer.

Road this Trail today from Boolara to Mirboo north and back.
Would advise you to do this way as from Boolara mainly uphill. It is a great track. Any extension plans?

Rode this track yesterday for a little after lunch exercise! Superb condition and plenty of walkers, cyclists and one horse enjoying a beautiful autumn afternoon. Only disappointment was evidence of recent trail bike activity on the path at the Mirboo end. Would be great to see this track extended further towards Morwell.

Hi All and thanks for the feedback. Since the new gates were installed by DSE as part of the bushfire recovery project we have had them cut back in size and they now provide much improved access for bike riders, horses and pedestrians. The trail is now fully open and in great condition overall.

What a complete joke these gates are!!!
On this very website it states that ” Most trails have a gravel or dirt surface suitable for walking, mountain bikes and horses. Some are sealed and are great for touring bikes too”!
Yet with these gates in place horse riders, cyclists, parents with prams and anyone in a wheel chair simply can no longer use the trail! Why spend all that time and money building new bridges is 90% of the trails users can longer gain access to it? They might as well have left the trail with no bridges at all! What a joke! I’d hate to suffer a heart attack or get bitten by a snake while using the trail as an ambulance will not be able to get to you due to these gates. DSE you have a lot to answer for!

I agree Musobird! Massive overkill – TEN gates in 13km!! Visually ugly, totally destroy the aesthetic enjoyment of the Trail, will exclude probably most horses, cyclists are already not impressed, family groups of cyclists with small children trying to negotiate these monstrosities will be frustrated, and when they’re all locked it will cause serious concerns for any required quick response from Ambulance, Fire and Police crews. DSE – BIG mistake!!!!!

On a trail that is for bicycles and horses as well as walkers, why have several monstrous double gates been erected? These are NOT safe for horses to pass through while not easy for cycless, prams, and so on to negotiate. Does anybody have the answers?

NEWS

Grand Ridge Rail Trail Gets New Bridges (VIC)

Posted: 02/07/11

A new bridge is installed on the Grand Ridge ...

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Works underway for Grand Ridge Rail Trail (VIC)

Posted: 06/05/11

Two local companies are constructing two bridges for the ...

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Grand Ridge Rail Trail (Vic) Closed Due to Bushfire Damage

Posted: 07/02/09

As a severe bushfire at the start of February has burnt out two major bridges ...

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Report on Mirboo North Annual Ride

Posted: 17/05/00

Around 40 cyclists took part in the annual ride between Boolarra and Mirboo North this year. ...

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Mirboo North Annual Ride

Posted: 12/04/00

The annual 28km ride along the Mirboo North Rail Trail will take place on Sunday 7 ...

More...

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