The Murray to Mountain Rail Trail is a great way see all that North-east Victoria has to offer. The Rail Trail is over 100km in length, mostly made up of perfectly sealed roads with small sections of off road that you can ride, run, walk and even horse ride in parts. You can stop along the way to sample some of the region’s finest wineries, breweries and gourmet eateries.
We spoke to Mark Spencer who has run his own touring company, Rail Trail Bike Tours, along the trails for the past three years. Mark has been involved in tourism and hospitality for over 20 years so knows a thing or two about good food and wine. The passionate cyclist and Mansfield local loves the journey the bike can take you on and the experiences it brings.
Mark perfectly sums up what makes the Murray to Mountain Rail Trail such an ideal holiday destination. People relax as soon as they get here… free from the hustle and bustle of the city, people often come to the area with everything planned, but once they are here they relax and tend to slow down and take in all that the rail trail has to offer.
When people first arrive they are looking for the detail… what is the start time? What is the finish time? What is happening each second of the day? By day three people are no longer worried about start time, how long their trip will be etc. Instead their journey turns into a relaxed pace on the bike and they forget about the busy-ness of day to day life. People will very often amble along at their own pace, consumed in their own thoughts, 100 miles away from the stresses of their lives.
The trail is very diverse and offers lots of options for people of all ages. As mentioned you can walk, run, ride or ride a horse along the trail either as a part of a touring group or completely self-sufficient. Either way you will soon find it isn’t about getting from A to B, it’s about soaking up all this special place has to offer.
The trail is broken up into three main sections and is very safe, away from traffic.
Wangaratta to Bright is by far the longest section measuring approximately 85km and includes two hills to negotiate.
Beechworth to Everton is approximately 16km and almost all downhill or uphill depending on which direction you take.
Wangaratta down to Milawa which is just over 15km is pretty much flat and perfect for gentle riding.
There are plenty of rewards on offer along the trail after a day of activity, so make sure you take your time and enjoy them all.