While down in Leongatha (Southern Gippsland) for 3 weeks looking after my sister's little farm, I've been doing some riding. First up, the Great Southern Rail Trail. It's 74km and as I'm riding by myself I've been doing it in about 40-50km stages (that's out and back from one of the towns on the trail). About 2hrs of riding each morning.

The Trail is fantastic and very popular. There hasn't been a day when I haven't said gidday to at least a dozen other riders on the trail. The surface is a rock hard packed earth and it's very easy to ride. There are a few hills, but no gradient worse than about 3-4%.

Next up will be the Bass Coast rail Trail at Wonthaggi, and then the Grand Ridge rail trail at Mirboo North. Both not far from Leongatha here in Southern Gippsland.

GSRT link

The old station of Fish Creek has been turned into a community garden with the second biggest teapot I've ever seen 

Foster station. Now used by a Men's Shed.

Toora station. On the hills behind the station are wind turbine generators.

The trail continues from Welshpool to Port Welshpool via the old 5km long horse drawn tramway track. I love a museum, but the local Maritime Museum was closed when I was there at 10:30am on Sunday morning. 

End of the line. Port Welshpool jetty. It was a foggy morning.

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Serendipity! I accidentally took this photo when I was trying to get my mobile out of my mtb shorts pocket while riding. Looks quite arty :-)

I've shown a couple of people this write up and this pic - an award winning pic they reckon.

It's a good'un.

Thursday and the weather is fine after 2 days of showers and rain. There is a 10-15 knot southerly wind blowing so I decided to head inland a bit up to Mirboo North (about 25km from Leongatha) to ride the short but picturesque Grand Ridge Rail trail. While the ride I did was from Mirboo North to Boolarra and back, a mere 26km, it's basically a downhill run from Mirboo North down the ridge to Boolarra. So while the run down to Boolarra was easy, it was a grind to come back up the hill. Sure it's only a 2-3% gradient, but it goes for nearly all the 13km. So 26km took me just under 90 mins. Coffee was reward enough 

Link to rail trails in Gippsland

This is the start of the gravel section at Mirboo North. Mirboo North railway station is now a childrens playground and toy library, consequently I couldn't get a photo. Too hard to get permission from all the kids parents. 

The trail surface is very good, and the ride takes you through some of the rolling hills of Southern Gippsland. It is very pretty.

The start of the trail at Boolarra.

The sign for the trail at Boolarra. As you can see on the bottom of the sign the gradient of the ride is predominately downhill from Mirboo North to Boolarra. Great ride down, a grind going back up the hill.

Ooh, ooh, my part of the world.

My folks were living in Boolarra at my grandparents (they ran the timber mill) when I was born back in the 70's.

One sister currently lives in Leongatha with her family.

And I grew up in Morwell (0.5-3yrs) and Churchill (3-25yrs) before moving up here to Brisbane.

Well you grew up in a beautiful part of the world Geoff.

My sister has retired down here. Her little bit of heaven is just outside Koonwarra towards Inverlock (Leongatha South).

Great pics Pete.

Thanks David. The rail trails down here are so popular, and for good reason. All the little towns on the rail trails are surviving because of how many people ride and walk them.

Today I did a little 32km ride. There would have been 50 other riders, and about a dozen walkers on the section I rode today. 

I spent some time in and around Beechworth and there were rail trails everywhere. Awesome!


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