Bicycle Network: Ride On magazine
Mansfield Rail Trail: early review
Showered with unprecedented federal government funding, the 134km Tallarook to Mansfield Rail Trail is racing towards its target opening date of Christmas 2011. Arlen Keen takes a look at what’s already on offer.
Winter in the foothills of Victoria’s Alpine region, the air chilled and the smell of wood smoke taking over Mansfield’s main street, is more reminiscent of skiing than riding bikes. But with timelines tight to deliver Victoria’s biggest ever rail trail project by the end of 2011, this August was the time to open the first stage of the huge trail undertaking.
The first 12km section links Mansfield, the trail’s eventual eastern terminus, with the town of Maindample, at the junction of the Midland Link Highway. If the first section is anything to go by, the final completed trail will be a joy to ride. At a final distance of 134km between Tallarook (just south of Seymour on the Hume Highway) and Mansfield, and meandering through towns like Yea, Alexandra and Bonnie Doon, with plenty of other worthwhile stops along the way, this trail will offer enough riding and sightseeing to easily fill a long weekend trip and then some.
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