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Walhalla Goldfields Rail Trail

Victoria - Gippsland

3.4 based on 5 reviews
Location: 165km East Of Melbourne
Length: 7 km
Surface: Compacted earth
Start / End: Erica to Thomson
Public Transport: Train
Suitable for:
  • WalkingWalking

Map Legend:

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Potential Rail Trail
  • Other Trail
  • former Railway
  • A short rail trail in beautiful mountain countryside, featuring tall forests and views of the meandering Thomson River.
  • Experience steep cuttings with many twists and turns along the old “Puffing Billy” type railway formation.

 

Nearby Attractions

  • The Erica Mountain Bike Park, is made up of two sets of trails carved out on either side of the highway near Erica covering some 30km. The western network has 2 intermediate, 3 difficult and 1 extreme trail. The eastern network has two intermediate and one difficult trail, the park is well worth checking out.
  • The Walhalla Goldfields Railway, is a narrow-gauge tourist railway operating 3.2km of track between Walhalla along the Stringers Creek valley to Thomson.
  • Walhalla historic gold mining town, was once one of Australia’s richest towns and home to over 4000 gold seekers. This lovely town consists of restored heritage buildings.
  • Walhalla Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine, an original living historic gold mine. Over 13 tonnes of gold were mined from up to 1km underground.
  • Thomson Reservoir, is the largest of Melbourne’s reservoirs, just 20km north of Erica. It makes up about 60% of Melbourne’s water storage. A public road crosses the dam wall with views from a carpark half way across.

Last updated: 28 March 2022

Access points

  • Erica, park at the recreation reserve and see the map for details; the trail can be hard to locate
  • Knotts, junction of Tyers-Walhalla Rd and Walhalla Rd
  • Platina, from the Walhalla Rd turn onto Coopers Creek Rd. 200m down the road has access to Platina
  • Thomson, park at the restored railway station, then follow the small road between the station and the river. Follow the track at the end of the railway yard and climb steeply to the old railway formation.

Section Guides

Erica to Thomson (7 km)

  • From Erica recreation reserve, follow Station Rd past the caravan park onto Henty St, the Rail Trail begins from the small carpark
  • Cross the low-level bridge over Jacobs Creek and proceed to a cutting surrounded by mountain ash
  • After 1.5km at Knotts Cutting (now filled in), follow the steep track to cross the Walhalla-Tyers road and rejoin the trail
  • Follow the twists and turns alongside Nelson Creek to the horseshoe bend. This bend is so sharp that passengers at the back of the train would see the locomotive travelling in the opposite direction.
  • A replica station has been built at Platina.  After passing beneath the original road bridge there are great views of the Thomson River valley

Note: Just before Thomson, detour around the site of two trestle bridges. You may need to dismount 

Note: at the site of one of the missing bridges about 1 km before Thompson, there is a steep drop-off on a sharp bend with no warning signs or safety fence.

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5 reviews of “Walhalla Goldfields Rail Trail”

My wife and I have done a lot of rail trails in the last 12 months. This is the best. We took off from Erica and went to Thomson station. About 9.75 klm. You have to walk in a couple of spots. It's a bit rough, but not too bad. The scenery is spectacular. Untouched forests. Lots of birds. The trail would be best dry so I'd avoid winter. Autumn is probably best. We had no trouble with mud as it was almost completely dry. The trail markings could be better so be careful where you go. You can't really get too lost if you look at the map on google. 5 stars.

Friday 10 December 2021
I'm an adventurous 70 year-old while conceding there are plenty more intrepid 70-somethings than I am. Nonetheless the gravel bike and I had an adventure we weren't expecting. This is not like any other rail trail. Where to start? There's no 'surface', just mud. The notes suggest the trail is suitable for MTBs, touring bikes and hybrids. Maybe once upon a distant time, but not now. Maybe after three months without rain, highly unlikely in a rain forest. This is slip-and-slither stuff on any bike. You won't see any scenery because you'll be concentrating on picking a line and staying upright.
About 6kms in, high above the Thomson River, the track is blocked by fallen trees, rocks and landslides. I portaged around and over two trees before turning back at an impassable landslip. The trail will need major repairs before it's navigable by any wheeled vehicle in the foreseeable future. Which is a great shame because this could be a fantastic ride.

27/27. Dodging bushfires and high temps, I completed my challenge of riding every RT in Victoria in 2019 by doing the Walhalla Goldfields Rail Trail.on 30th Dec. This was another one I had to go back to after an attempt earlier this year failed due to track closure because of bushfire damage.
And in the nick of time too, as Walhalla is closed the next day because of the Total Fire Ban.
It’s a short trail starting in Erica. For the 1st 2 kms you can gets a bit lost due to poor signage, but once you cross the Tyers-Walhalla Rd, it is straight downhill and easy to follow except the part where it goes under a road (no signs to tell you where to go).
There are some lovely views over the Thomson River, but there is a large amount of forest debris on the track so you have to concentrate and slow down.
Unfortunately, the finish is a bit disappointing as it turns into a dangerous single-track to get past a missing bridge, which then opens up to the tourist train station.
So that’s it! All 27 railtrails completed this calendar year to promote organ donation and saying thank you to my donor. What ride it has been!

I rode this trail on 3rd December 2014, along with the Tyers Junction rail trail. This is clearly a mountain bike track – though possible on hybrids for most of the way, except around Thompson. Sadly, there aren’t any great viewing spots, though you are deep in the bush. The Erica end is signposted and easy to find, the Thompson end is more difficult. Around the maze of bike tracks – follow the red arrows.

Just did this trail and found it a bit disappointing for a ride with such great potential in spectacular country. Hard to find the start at the Thompson River end and not really ridable until you get past the old bridge deviation. Track surface quite rough and mountain bikes would have been better than our hybrids. Quite overgrown in places with some fallen trees needing to be cleared. Nowhere really possible to ride two abreast. Trail bike riders have churned up the steep access points and also in places where the track is muddy. Difficult to find our way throught the last bit of forest into Erica through the maze of trail bike tracks with no signposting to indicate the way for cycles.

Background Information

Traditional owners

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

Rail Trail History

The rail trail was developed by the Walhalla Goldfields Railway and opened in 1999.

The current Walhalla Goldfields Railway strategic plan for the railway reserve will see the it developed for the extension of the railway from Walhalla to Erica.

Rail Line History

Gold was discovered at Walhalla in 1863, and created an impetus to build a railway.  A campaign started in the 1880’s, but it wasn’t until 1910 that a narrow gauge line was opened from Moe to Walhalla.  However by the time the line was finished, the gold had started to peter out, and the miners used the railway to leave the area.  The line was closed in stages, and the final section from Moe to Erica was closed in 1954.  The wonderful concrete and steel bridge at Thomson was almost used by the army for demolition training, but a campaign by the Walhalla Goldfields Railway group finally succeeded in overturning that decision.  The railway is open between Thomson and Walhalla with a collection of completely restored rolling stock, and bikes can be carried on board.

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