- Rail Trail
- On Road
- Potential Rail Trail
- Other Trail
- Former Railway
- Rail Trail
- On Road
- Potential RT
- Other Trail
- Former Railway
- Great excuse to visit the beautiful Mornington Peninsula
- Wineries, galleries and serene rural and sea views combine to make this a great trail for a day trip or weekend visit
- Excellent cafes at both ends of the trail
- Interpretive signs at Red Hill Station Reserve explain the history of the area
- Best in dry weather but surface has improved
- Arthurs Seat State Park
- Coolart Wetlands and Homestead
- Two Bays Walking Track and many others
- Portsea beach
- Point Nepean Quarantine Station
Last updated: 15 March 2023
You can start at either end of this trail, or in the middle. Merricks is a good option if you want a downhill run for your return trip after a decent lunch! The 2.8km lower section, which is popular with horse riders, does not follow the original alignment so it is steeper than a typical rail trail. The original line rose at 1 in 44 up to Red Hill, steeper than normal for branchlines but quite manageable on a bike. Unfortunately, the rail corridor up to Tonkins Rd was sold and the diversion is even steeper. The trail is very narrow in parts and can also be muddy, so it’s unsuitable for road bikes in winter.
- The Merricks Station Ground car park entrance is obscured from Frankston-Flinders Road (C777). Look for the mobile phone tower about 150m before Merricks General Wine Store. There are public toilets here.
- There is limited parking in narrow Tonkins Rd and it’s not suitable for horse floats. The trail up to Red Hill starts next to #22.
- There is a carpark with room for horse floats, toilets, BBQ and bike repair station at the Red Hill Station Reserve. It’s off Point Leo Rd and behind the shops.
- Look for the ‘Trail’ sign on the timber railing fence, near the phone tower. A narrow track runs beside the equestrian centre to the start of the trail proper. You can avoid this section by using the shared path on the other side of the equestrian centre, next to Merricks Rd.
- Turn left, climb steadily for 2km and enjoy the views over Western Port to Phillip Island. After a sharp right turn, the trail continues down a steep hill (with grapevines on the left), where it meets the end of Tonkins Rd. The trail continues to the left after #22 and is now on the original rail easement. It ascends gently for 3.6km to Red Hill, first through pine trees (look for colourful fungi in autumn) and then two small cuttings.
- Next to the mountain bike pump track at Red Hill the station has been partially recreated, with a plaque commemorating the 75th anniversary of the railway opening.
- The trail continues to Point Leo Rd behind the shops. Explore the shops, visit the cafés or bakery and either return via the trail or local roads. There are asphalt and dirt shared paths from here along Arthurs Seat Rd.
There are several wineries at the Merricks end or you can ride or walk a rough singletrack on the southern side of Frankston-Flinders Rd to join the Western Port Bay Trail.
The car park entrance at Merricks with replica level-crossing gate 
The public toilets near the Merricks equestrian centre 
The start of the trail is obstructed by bollards and is narrow for a few hundred metres 
Riding up the first half of the off-formation section 
View of Western Port Bay from near the top of the lower half 
Taking a break after the climb from Merricks and before the descent to Tonkins Rd 
There is a short, steep descent to Tonkins Rd to get onto the railway alignment. The surface has been improved since this photo was taken. 
Start of the rail trail proper at Tonkins Rd 
The trail is very popular with walkers 
It’s also popular with horse riders 
Wineries abound on both sides of the rail trail 
Further views out to Western Port Bay and Phillip Island near Red Hill 
The vegetation is very lush around Red Hill and a bit more management is needed given the number of people using the trail! 
Approaching Red Hill station 
The former Red Hill station site 
Red Hill Station Reserve now has a retro shelter on the rebuilt platform, overlooking the pump track 
Red Hill station site behind the shops 
Red Hill shops near Frankston-Flinders Rd 
Bike repair station and information shelter at Red Hill 
The trail at Red Hill starts from this car park, which caters for horse floats 
Cycling Vine Tours
Cycle, food & wine tours through Victoria’s premier food & wine growing regions: Yarra Valley | Mornington Peninsula | Bellarine Peninsula. Experience amazing countryside & coastal areas. Enjoy local food & wine. Cycle in the morning on idyllic back roads and rail trails past vineyards and local food producers then indulge in the afternoon with wine tasting at intimate boutique wineries away from the crowds. Self-Guided & Guided Tours available.
Red Hill Trail Cycling – https://www.visitmorningtonpeninsula.org/PlacesToGo/BikeTracks/BikeTracks-EasyTerrain/tabid/901/View/5b358df6007eb1ba5fcfbb2e/Red-Hill-Trail-Cycling/Default.aspx
Red Hill MTB Hire – https://redhillmtbhire.rezdy.com/catalog/371793/e-bikes (including e-bike hires)
Information and Links
The trail is managed by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.
Please report any issues regarding the Red Hill Rail Trail to Infrastructure Customer Support at Mornington Peninsula Shire Council email@example.com or call 1300 850 600.
Contact Rail Trails Australia
To contact us about this rail trail, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Red Hill Rail Trail (VIC) Seeking Feedback on Station Reserves
Anyone who has ridden the Red Hill Rail Trail (Mornington Peninsula, VIC) and gone through ...More...
7 reviews of “Red Hill Rail Trail”
This is a fun, pretty little trail. We started at Merricks. There are some longish uphill sections, but not too bad.
The return ride is great with nice, intermittent views Port Phillip bay.
The track is a little rough and overgrown in places. Get off your seat and you'll be fine!
Visited today 26-10-'21
Very disappointed with the maintenance of the track. Lost of washouts, mud and tree roots sticking up.
Whoever is responsible for the maintenance here needs some encouragement to get into it.
8/27 Next Railtrail on my journey to ride every trail in Victoria in my 60th year to promote organ donation. Red Hill Railtrail is on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. I started at Red Hill to take advantage of the downhill run. Lovely sunny conditions but a rough surface with tree roots and rocks mean it’s not a great cycling track. At the point the track leaves the railway verge there is a gate that is too narrow to ride through before a very steep (but short) climb. Signage is pretty poor once you leave Red Hill, and I had to consult Google Maps once near the end when there seemed 2 options to go on. To get to the rather non-descript end you need to ride around the equestrian centre, which was pretty busy on the day I was there. But it is an interesting ride with beautiful views, and probably better tackled on foot. 6.5km.
You can follow all my railtrail rides on FB Warwick Duncan – The 2nd Chance Man or Insta @warwick_rides
With 2 friends I cycled this trail on Tuesday 3rd January 2017, but we soon became concerned that it was not very suitable for riding on a hybrid bike. We started at the Merricks end and were immediately confronted by bumpy impressions left in the ground from horses hoofs, which would have been made when the trail was wet. Further on there were many sections with exposed tree roots which made for a rough ride. Then near a vineyard there was a big hill and very loose gravel, so we played safe and walked our bikes on the grass beside the trail. The trail became a bit flatter and better at the Red Hill South end, and after a coffee, it was mostly downhill riding back to Merricks. Even though some people regard it as a rail trail, we saw very little evidence of station buildings or signs, cuttings, track or sleepers. Officially the 5km trail is known as the Peninsula Equestrian Trail. I would recommend you leave it to walkers and horses, and for safety sake ride on the very pleasant Warringine Park Coastal Wetlands Boardwalk at Hastings, which we did on Wednesday 4th January. The only good long cycle/walking path on the southern Mornington Peninsula is the one from Safety Beach to Sorrento. But being summer and school holiday, we decided to postpone this ride to a quieter time. I would like to see Mornington Peninsula Shire create some other long off road shared paths for walkers and cyclists. This would attract more tourists to the area and provide a healthy activity for them.
Rode the Red Hill trail on November 9th 2014. A good short trail with a great down hill ride from Red Hill – the gradient is deceptive and you pick up speed very easily. The short rise along the vineyard is in poor quality and bikes are liable to slip when climbing. Agree about the dog owners being everywhere – but had no problems with any dogs.
A small pleasant trail that runs uphill from Merricks to Red Hill, on a dirt/pebble/tree root covered trail, used by horse riders and dog walkers. You need to be careful coming back down the hill from Red Hill as you pick up speed and there are a few corners that present trouble if people are coming the other way.
It is difficult to find, with little to no signage marking the trail start and end. If you park at the winery and head towards station ground reserve the trail begins on your left before the reserve entrance. Enjoy!
Although this is a great trail, I have found lately that there are alot of dog owners who are using this rail trail as a leash free run. I had a dog have a go at my horse, the dog came off alot worse than the horse. I asked the owners “what if a child was riding a bike past and the dog got nasty” they stated that I should get lost and mind my own business.