- Rail Trail
- On Road
- Potential Rail Trail
- Other Trail
- former Railway
- Take in the beautiful Mornington Peninsula environment
- Excellent cafes at each end of the trail
- Story boards tell the history of the area.
- Best in dry weather
- Wineries, galleries, and peaceful rural and sea views combine to make this a great trail for a day trip or weekend visit
- The section near Merricks is popular with horse riders: part of it does not follow the original alignment so it is steeper than a typical rail trail
- Start at either end of the Trail, cycle or walk one way or both ways
- Ride on the roads to visit wineries, galleries or beaches on the way back. Note: take care if you choose not to return on the trail. There are no bike lanes on these roads, some of which roads carry very fast traffic.
Last updated: 7 June 2022
There is a carpark and bike repair station near the corner of Point Leo Rd and Shoreham Rd, at the Red Hill Station Reserve behind shops, off Callanan Rd.
There is a carpark at Merricks at the equestrian centre.
The railway rose 160m in only 7km from Merricks up to Red Hill, steeper than normal for most branchlines but still quite manageable on a bike. However the corridor up to Tonkins Rd was sold off so the diversion is steeper. Factor this into trip planning.
As of December 2021 there are several large trees across the trail but the corridor is wide enough to get around them. The trail surface for sections of the lower half are in poor condition.
- Park at Merricks Station Ground (look for the mobile phone tower at the entrance) on the Frankston-Flinders road, close to Stoniers Winery, about 150 m from Merricks General Store. There are public toilets here.
- Look for the ‘TRAIL’ sign on the cyclone fence, near the mobile phone tower. The narrow track runs beside the fence in the reserve to the start of the trail proper.
- Turn left and climb steadily for 2 km, with good views over Western Port to Phillip Island. After a sharp right turn the trail continues down the steep hill (with grapevines on the left) and through a horse jump where it meets the end of Tonkins Rd. The trail continues to the left and is now on the original rail easement. It ascends gently to Red Hill, first through pine trees (look for colourful fungi in autumn), then two small cuttings.
- Next to the mountain bike pump track at Red Hill the station platform has been partially recreated with a plaque commemorating the 75th anniversary of the railway opening.
- The trail continues to Point Leo Rd behind Red Hill shops. Explore the shops, café or bakery and either return via the trail or other local roads.
The trail is shared with walkers and horses and is very narrow in parts. It can also be muddy, and is unsuitable for road bikes in winter.
There are excellent cafes at each end of the Trail, and Stonier Winery at the Merricks end.
The entrance to car park at Merricks with the old railway gates 
Toilets at Merricks equestrian centre car park 
The actual start of the rail trail is hidden here and single track for a few hundred metres 
Riding up the first half of the off-formation section 
View of Westernport Bay from near the top of the first half 
There is then a short steep descent to Tonkins Rd to get back on formation. Take care 
Start of the rail trail proper at Tonkins Rd 
The trail is very popular with walkers 
The rail trail is also popular with horse riders 
Wineries abound either side of the rail trail 
Further views out to Westernport Bay and Phillip Island as Red Hill is approached 
Typical scenery on the upper half of the rail trail
The vegetation is very lush around Red Hill and a bit more management is needed given the number of people using the rail trail! 
Approaching Red Hill station 
The former Red Hill station site 
Red Hill station behind the shops 
Red Hill shops from the front 
The start of the rail trail at Red Hill is from the car park here, which also caters for horse floats 
Bike repair station and very informative shelter at the start of the rail trail at Red Hill 
Red Hill MTB Hire – https://redhillmtbhire.rezdy.com/catalog/371793/e-bikes (including e-bike hires)
We acknowledge the Bunurong people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.
Rail Line History
The line to Red Hill was built after a long campaign by local people, beginning in the 1880s. Opened in 1921 as a branch from Bittern on the Stony Point line, it mainly carried fruit such as apples, pears and strawberries to market in Melbourne. Six hundred people gathered to greet the first steam train climbing the steep 1 in 30 gradient to Red Hill.
As roads improved the train timetable was reduced to one train a week and the line closed in 1953 after only 32 years of operation. The rest of the former railway land between Bittern and Merricks is now in private ownership.