The Gippsland Plains Rail Trail is located in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.
The trail runs from Stratford (near Sale) in the East to Traralgon in the West and covers a distance of approx 67km. The trail can be reached within 1.5 hoursfrom Melbourne (Traralgon) or 2.5 hours (Stratford). VLine rail services connect to both Stratford and Traralgon daily. Bicycle transport is free however must be booked in advance..
The trail is essentially flat with gentle and gradual rises in only a few spots. An original railway grade map is shown below.
The prevailing wind direction is normally from the South West.
The C105 "Gippsland Plains Country Drive" touring route runs along approx the same route as the trail making it easy for vehicle support.
There is full 3G mobile phone coverage on the route.
What is the trail surface like?
The trail extends 67km and has several different types of surface at this time. (12/2010)
Stratford - Maffra 10km (above) has a good fine gravel surface and is suitable for all types of bikes. There are pleasant views to the mountain ranges in the North across rich dairying farmland.
Maffra -Tinamba (9km) (above) is an excellent new fine gravel surface with a delightful forest and wetlands section immediately after leaving Maffra. The trail crosses the C105 and "Riversdale Rd" and crosses a number of creeks and billabongs en route to Tinamba.
Tinamba - Heyfield 11km (above) has an excellent new fine gravel surface for 3km exiting Tinamba to McKinnons Rd and then becomes a traditional gravel surface suitable for hybrid and mountain bikes. The surface is generally the same as most rural gravel roads. The trail passes through some fine wooded country typical of the Gippsland Plains. Heyfield township has an excellent section of new trail through a park located at the top of the towns main street.
Heyfield - Cowwarr 12km (above) section of the trail is not finished however can be ridden by mountain bike. The surface is firm gravel with some large stones and one railway bridge with ballast still remaining. This section of the trail is popular with horse riders who can often be encountered on the trail. The trail section ends at the Dawson Native Flora reserve and a road section along country back roads continues 4km to the Cowwarr township where the trail recommences.
Cowwarr - Glengarry (19km) section of the trail (above) is not finished however can be ridden by mountain bike. The surface is gravel but has some large stones. Work in the Toongabbie area has developed a wetland, a new trail bridge and park with visitor facilities.
Glengarry - Traralgon11km (above) is currently a road section on the C105.
Grade Map (Victorian Railways)
The trail has only 55 feet of variation over its 67km distance!
Township Attractions & Services
Apex Park - trailhead (pictured) Mollys Lollies Stratford Bakery Model Train Sho Antique Shops Red River Designs - Gallery Raggedy Jacks - craft Wa-delock Cellar Door - local food & wine Memorial Park Avon River Fresh produce avail at supermarket
Stratford Caravan Park Tranquil B&B Stratford Motel Maffra
Gippsland Vehicle Collection (trailhead) Macalister Park Macalister Wetlands Pino Deriu Mineral Collection Pino's Cave Johnson St (pictured) Fresh produce avail at supermarket
Maffra Motel Maffra Caravan Park Maffra Golf Club RV Park Cambrai Backpackers
Tinamba Tavern Glenmaggie Weir (nearby) Glenmaggie Winery (nearby) Fresh produce available at store
Happy Days B&B (Tinamba Tavern) Heyfield
Heyfield Wetlands Centre Timber mills (ride past only) Temple St Fresh produce avail at supermarket
Heyfield Motel Commercial Hotel Blores Hill Caravan Park (nearby) Glenmaggie Caravan Parks (nearby) Wallaby Rise Camping Park (nearby) Cowwarr
Cowwarr Art Space - Clive Murray-White sculpture studio Cricketers Arms Hotel Cowwarr Weir (nearby) Fresh produce available at store
Cricketers Arms Hotel Abington Farm B&B (nearby)
Ned Stringer Memorial Heritage Listed Mechanics Institute Village Green Federation Grandstand Cemetary Toongabbie Rail Trail General Store
Historic Railway Station Narkoojee Winery (nearby) Fresh produce avail at store
Refer Latrobe Visitor Information Centre - Traralgon
Historic Post Office Latrobe Visitor Information Centre Fresh produce avail at supermarkets
Refer Latrobe Visitor Information Centre - Traralgon or www.visitlatrobevalley.com