Location: Lilydale to Warburton
Surface: Mostly fine gravel with some sections sealed
Grade: Easy – Moderate
Open: No seasonal closures
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Bicycle rental: The Cog Bike Cafe in Warburton services the entire route
More information: www.railtrails.org.au/trail-descriptions
Victoria's most accessible and well-used rail trail winds its way through the gorgeous Yarra Valley, nestled between the Dandenong Ranges and the Great Dividing Range, and only an hour from Melbourne. Following the historic railway from Lilydale through varied bushland, rich farmland, world-class wineries, trailside cafes and verdant forests to Warburton, the trail is much loved by Melburnians.
Historic railway stations along the way
Climb from the Lilydale train station car park to Mt Evelyn and encounter the first of the trail's historic disused train stations. Descend through shady bushland to Wandin, listening to the mesmerising sound of bellbirds until you reach the renovated Long Bridge at Woori Yallock.
Once you cross the floodplain the increasing gradient of the trail takes you through Launching Place – and the famous Home Hotel – to Yarra Junction, where the old railway station has been converted into a museum. The hills begin to gain height as you pass the operational original sawmill in Millgrove, the thickening bush offering glimpses of the Yarra River before arriving at Warburton and the welcome sight of its many cafes.
Cafe culture along the trail
While sections of the trail give the sense of being deep in the bush, you're never far from an access point at any stage, and the trail is very well supported by cafes at conveniently-spaced points.
Suggested shorter options
Woori Yallock to Warburton, 18km one way
Beginning on a broad floodplain and gently ascending through historic towns and over creeks, the bush thickens and the hills rise more sharply until you arrive in Warburton.
Suggested wheelchair accessible options
The entire trail is accessible.
Mt Evelyn to Seville (cafe-to-cafe), 8.8km one way
A compacted fine gravel path through beautiful bushland is supported by car parks and cafe conveniences at either end.
Yarra Junction to Warburton, 8.5km one way
This predominantly sealed section of the trail skirts the river and road through ferns and thick forest to finish triumphantly at the trail’s end in Warburton.
Link to the Yarra Ranges Trail
Stage 1A of the new Yarra Valley Trail links with the rail trail at Lilydale and runs to Yering Station (7.5km).
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