Wineries, galleries, peaceful rural and sea views and fine beaches combine to make this a great trail for a day trip or weekend visit. The bottom section from Merricks is popular with horse riders and partly does not follow the original alignment – so it’s steeper than a typical rail trail. The trail is managed by the Mornington Peninsula shire.
Cycle or walk up the trail from Merricks and return on-road visiting wineries, galleries or beaches on the way back.
Continue towards Arthurs Seat, following more off-road bike path.
Like so many other Victorian railways, the line to Red Hill was built after a long campaign by local people, beginning in the 1880s. Opened in 1912 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.
However, as roads were improved, the train timetable was soon reduced to one train a week. The line was 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 but may perhaps be restored to public access one day.
- Merricks to Red Hill
- Mornington Peninsula, 90km from Melbourne
- Surface – Compacted earth, Coarse gravel
- Terrain – Hilly
For more information and a location map please visit RailTrails Australia.