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Railton to Sheffield Rail Trail

Tasmania - North

2 based on 3 reviews
Location: Northern Tasmania near the Great Western Tiers and Mount Roland, 259km from Hobart
Length: 12 km
Surface: Compacted earth
Start / End: Railton to Sheffield
Public Transport: None
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
  • This trail traverses a variety of countryside in a very picturesque part of Northern Tasmania
  • The trail is mainly off road following the old railway corridor except for a short section at the Railton end
  • It can be ridden on hybrid bikes equipped with wider tyres, taking care as you go
  • The trail features some good cuttings and embankments
  • Ride the tourist steam train at Sheffield on the first Sunday of each month
  • See the famous murals at Sheffield, and the Topiaries at Railton

Nearby Attractions

  • Railton Topiaries
  • Sheffield Murals
  • Sheffield Heritage Railway
  • Sheffield Heritage Museum

Last updated: 5 December 2022

Access Points

  • Sheffield 200m up Johnson St on Railton edge of town
  • Railton – Railton Rd approx 100m from the Railton to Sheffield intersection

The Railton to Sheffield Rail Trail is part of the long distance ‘Tasmanian Trail’ which runs the full length of the state from north to south – 480km from Devonport to Dover. Establishing a trail over this distance requires many private properties to be crossed, so be sure to leave gates as you find them.

The rail trail traverses a variety of landscapes and there are very pretty views of Mount Roland as you get closer to Sheffield. It makes a good ride on mountain bikes, about one hour each way, or a longer day walk. The trail mainly follows part of the route of the former branch line from Railton to Roland, which operated between 1914 and 1957.

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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3 reviews of “Railton to Sheffield Rail Trail”

This trail is a lot better than the previous reviews suggest. I rode it on a gravel bike with 35mm tyres in light rain from Sheffield It is part of the Tasmanian Trail and there are some mountain biking trails going off it. For such a small community it’s amazing what they have done. It could do with better signage at both ends and a published GPX file. I used RWGPS file. You can use a free account.


The start in Sheffield was a few hundred meters of farm track that was a bit muddy but you are quickly on the old rail line which has a fine gravel well drained surface. It goes through farmland and forest dropping gently. Towards Railton there is a section on bitumen where it is easy to make a mistake and follow a dirt road that is closed by a private property sign. Stick to the bitumen. Coming back there is a reasonable climb out of Railton on mostly dirt roads before you pick up the rail line. If you only do it one way Sheffield is the best start . It is downhill almost all the way to Railton.

To gain access at Sheffield end, go down Johnson St and you’ll see a brick house on the left on the bend with a letterbox that says 1. Stand on their driveway, facing the road and look across the street on your left and you’ll see a dirt road/driveway that looks like it belongs to the house opposite you. Go down the dirt road (not the one with the private property on the fence) and you’ll see a gate at the end on your left that says dogs on leads. Open the gate and you’re on the rail trail.

The rail trail was very overgrown with grass as there’s been a lot of rain. We only rode a km and turned back.

More of a mountain bike trail than a Rail Trail.
Difficult to find the start of the trail at Shefield and Railton as there is no signage or proper parking – especially at Sheffield.  Tasmanian Trail signs were the only hints we got. 
A very rough surface, no standard RT signage or distance indicators.  The trail often ended abruptly at a road with no signage to point you in the right direction.One of the worst (pseudo) Rail Trails we have been on.

Background Information

Traditional Owners

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

Rail line history

The Sheffield to Railton railway was opened on 6 November, 1914. Today there is one kilometre of track left and the Society operates steam train rides on the first weekend of every month from the original Sheffield railway station. The short journey is run on the Saturday and Sunday between 11.00 am – 4.00 pm. The train runs every half hour. The Society also celebrates steam power with the annual Steamfest which is held in March.

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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