Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore rail trail

Linking central Victoria via the old railway line

Exploring Melbourne’s inner trails

Members and friends explored Melbourne on a recent July Sunday, via its inner trail network.

With a starting point on the Capital City Trail at the Morell Bridge South Yarra, ride Coordinator Neil McKinnon had planned the ride and as it turned out also the weather! With a clear sunny sky, riders headed off with an air of excitement, air in the tyres, plus sunglasses!

The plan was to ride sections of the Capital City Trail and Gardiners Creek Trail, the complete Anniversary Trail and then return via the Main Yarra Trail. This 40km loop ride would explore parts of Melbourne that most never see, while in road vehicle traffic.

Ten people lined up on hill top with Melbourne city skyline in background

Photo opportunity in the big smoke: the 40 km loop took us around the city mostly on off road trails.

With the Botanic Gardens far behind, and easy cycling for most, a lunch break at an adjacent cafe on Whitehorse Rd was the half-way mark. While the trails were busy with Sunday users, plenty of opportunity existed to take in views of the river environment and park reserves. It was also a highlight to observe a section of a city “rail trail”, this fully sealed pathway with numerous interpretive signs is named the Anniversary Trail, where the former Outer Circle Railway once ran.

View of Merri Creek from a bridge

Merri Creek at Clifton Hill. This is the middle of Melbourne! Photo: Garry Long

With Rail Trails Australia’s Frank Kinnersley joining the ride, Frank’s informative comment on various aspects of the trail was enlightening for many. Also joining the ride, at around the half way mark, was city cycling advocate Bill Crawte. Bill has been supportive of the Friends’ vision to build a Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail, which he also advocates as one possible link from Central Victoria into the Melbourne trail network.

Leaving the Anniversary Trail behind, it was back the banks of the Yarra River and the Main Yarra Trail at Fairfield for riders to wind their way back to the original starting point (via a cafe coffee stop along the way of course!) of the ride.

The ride was voted as a success by all, with the organisational efforts of Neil and Jill not being overlooked.

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