Bicycle Network: Ride a Trail
Maps & trail notes
The surface is a mix of dirt and gravel with some sections in better condition than others. It is rougher than most rail trails and is best suited to bikes with wider tyres.
If you have ridden the rail trail before but found the surface quite rough and bumpy you will be in for a pleasant surprise. Golden Plains Shire has been doing considerable work to improve the rail trail between Smythesdale and Pittong. It's still rough in places, especially the sections from Ballarat to Smythesdale and Pittong to Skipton, so a mountain bike is recommended.
Rides from Linton
Linton is located 35km west of Ballarat on the Glenelg Hwy. It's a great base for exploring the best sections of the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail. You can pick up the rail trail at the eastern side of town near the general store.(See rail trail map below).
Ride 1 – Pittong Kaolin Works (17km return)
Head north along this lovely section of trail that gently rises through Linton State Forest. The trail has a very good, hard-packed dirt and gravel surface and passes through numerous cuttings before coming out at the Pittong Kaolin Works, which produces white clay used for porcelain.
Ride 2 – Nimons Bridge picnic ride (16km return)
Head south past the old Linton station. Don't let the first 200m of soft gravel put you off as the trail has a good, hard-packed surface most of the way.
You will pass through cuttings and along embankments during this tree-lined section of trail.
A bird sanctuary is visible through the trees, about halfway to Nimmons Bridge. The wooden trestle bridge over Woady Yaloak Creek has been restored and can be cycled over. Picnic tables are provided.
Longer ride options
You can extend your ride beyond Nimons bridge but the trail surface is less well-formed. Generally, it\'s hard packed and rideable, but there are some soft sections and pot holes.
Scarsdale BBQ ride (26km return)
The trail passes through open farmland for 5km from Nimons bridge to Scarsdale. A park by the trail has a BBQ and toilets and there is a general store nearby.
Yellowglen Winery Ride (39km return)
The Yellowglen Winery closed down in 2004.
A further 4km beyond Scarsdale is Smythesdale, which has antique stops, a general store and pub. Go through the sports ground and pick up the trail on the other side at Heales Rd. The next road crossing (Garden St) has a park with toilets and wooden Chinese sculptures, reflecting the mining history of the area.
Continue along the trail to Whites Rd (look for the Mobil service station nearby) and turn left. The Yellowglen Winery is 2km along Whites Rd.
Ballarat Skipton Rail Trail Map
View Ballarat - Skipton Rail Trail (2) in a larger map