Location: Wangaratta, Bright, Rutherglen, Milawa, Beechworth, Myrtleford, Wandiligong
Open: No seasonal closures
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
For more information and to download the rail trail map: ridehighcountry.com.au/rail-trails/murray-to-mountains
Whisk yourself away to the best-developed rail trail in Victoria, the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail and dive into the heart of the Victorian alpine region. Savour delightful hidden valleys with views, spectacular mountain scenery and the bounty of gourmet producers, renowned cellar doors, cafes and craft brewers. Cool down in rivers and streams along the way.
The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail stretches for more than 100 kilometres, meandering through the Ovens Valley. The sealed off-road trail is a spine from which interconnected trails lead from the flatlands around Wangaratta to the famous alpine town of Bright as well as to Beechworth, Milawa and Wandiligong. And with a separate section linking Rutherglen to Wahgunyah on the Murray River, there are plenty of trail options to fit your schedule.
No matter your age or riding ability, the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail offers sections to suit cycling adventurers or casual cyclists and families of all ages and abilities.
Along the old railway line
Easily accessible via V/Line train from Melbourne, Wangaratta is a convenient place to begin. Start from the Old Wangaratta Station in the middle of Apex Park and follow the path taken by the old railway line. First head north to a tunnel under Wangaratta Road. Follow the levee and a brief section beside the road before you arrive at Bowser, the first of the steam-train-themed rest stops.
Take care as you proceed from Bowser through the narrow tunnel under the highway, and don’t miss the sharp right-hand turn on the other side. Once through you are greeted by flat farmland and soon you arrive at the junction at Old Everton station.
At Old Everton station you have two options: break away and take the trail uphill to the historic town of Beechworth; or continue on the main trail through the valley and on towards Bright.
The climb to Beechworth is steady going through beautiful bushland and birdsong. The ride is a decent workout with the reward of a gorgeous town to explore at the summit.
Beechworth has many excellent historic attractions, dining and accommodation options. Spend a night here and walk to a great local restaurant.
Myrtleford to Bright
The main trail pushes on through farm and pasture that gives way to bushland at the crest of Taylors Gap – an impressive cutting in its time – and descends gently into tranquil Myrtleford. Discover local history, including the historic tobacco-drying shed and the Big Tree. Myrtleford is the perfect place to stay the night, with plenty of accommodation for every budget.
Pick up the rail trail once more on the other side of Myrtleford. Cross the Great Alpine Road where signposted and continue the gradual ascent to Porepunkah. If it's a warm day, pause for a dip in the Ovens River.
The valley deepens and as the mountains on either side rise above you, the plateau of Mt Buffalo looms to the west as you arrive in the town of Bright. Stay the night in one of the great accommodation options and enjoy a variety of delightful places to eat and drink.
From Bright follow the extension all the way to the historic gold and apple town of Wandiligong. Known to the locals as Wandi, it is that furthest location on the Murray to Mountain Rail Trail, and a great place to spend some time as its landscape and buildings are certified by the National Trust.
With so many stop over options in beautiful villages along the way, it’s easy to tailor your trip. Add on great side trips with easy-to-access trails and well-maintained paths.
Everton – Beechworth – Everton, 32km return
A great out-and-back experience. An adjunct to the main trail, the Everton to Beechworth leg asks you to work hard during a steady climb up from the valley floor through bushland, paddocks and wineries to the scenic and historic town of Beechworth. Spend the night in this famous town and enjoy fine dining at Provenance Restaurant. If you're doing it in a day, get a takeaway lunch from the famous Beechworth Bakery and eat it in the Chinese Gardens, then drop the gears to low and cruise downhill right back to Old Everton Station. Mountain bikers shouldn't miss cutting a run on the purpose-built Flame Trees Mountain Bike Trail on the way down.
Rutherglen to Wahgunyah, 9km one way
Enjoy a leisurely morning ride from Rutherglen to Wahgunyah on the mighty Murray River, passing some of the region's oldest vineyards. At just nine kilometres, the route is the shortest of all the rail trails and part of the Pedal to Produce network. The flat terrain also makes it perfect for a jaunt with the kids. So hit the trail, sample local flavours and soak up the abundant sunshine in the never-ending summers of Rutherglen. Be sure to bring your bathers so you can cool off when you reach the Murray River in Wahgunyah.
Wheelchair accessible options
Bright to Porepunkah, 6km one way
A section offering a consistent downhill gradient that starts in beautiful Bright. As you make your way along the old railway corridor the plateau of Mount Buffalo looms as a constant presence to the west before you arrive to Porepunkah and the cool waters of the Ovens River.
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