Ballarat - between Lake Wendouree and the old Western Highway. (2009)
This trail goes through significant remnant native grasslands.
The area is well known for its historical gold mining sites.
An impressive trestle bridge near Newtown is open for trail users.
History boards with trail information are sited at various points along the trail.
Ballarat to Smythesdale. (20km)
The trail can be accessed from south of the new, operative railway station at Lake Wendouree, Ballarat on Wendouree Parade, then go along Gregory Street west to Ring Rd, where the trail officially starts. (Balbug website has a map with directions from Ballarat Station, which can be accessed via our link). It then heads south where it crosses the Ballarat to Burrumbeet Rd (Avenue of Honour). Bordered by pine and cypress trees the trail contines on to the old Kopke station site, a large gold rush settlement.
Haddon is the next station site and is surrounded by native grasslands.
Nintingbool siding is the last site before Smythesdale. Between Smythesdale and Scarsdale you may wish to visit the Chinese graves in the cemetry.
At Smythesdale, detour around the sports oval constructed across the old railway.
Smythesdale to Linton . (12km)
After Newtown, the trail crosses Pitfield Rd and turns west and continues alongside the original cutting.
At the end of the cutting the trail crosses Nimons bridge, a large restored trestle bridge. A low level bridge is also in place for horses.
A couple of kilometres further on another timber bridge crosses Sawpit Gully Rd, then the Sanctuary Dam (the Bird Paddock) is passed. Just before Linton, detour around another bridge.
Linton to Skipton. (24km)
From Linton the trail gradually climbs into the Linton State Forest.
At Pittong the trail emerges from bushland and crosses the Pittong–Snake Valley Rd.
The final 5km into Skipton follows the Glenelg Hwy and ends 1km outside the town.
The trail finishes at the former Skipton station.
The former railway line to Skipton was opened to Scarsdale in 1883, Linton in 1890 and Skipton in 1916.
Passengers and freight were carried until 1976, then seasonal freight (grain and kaolin mined from weathered granite) until the line was closed in 1986. Scarsdale, the first terminus of the line, had a peak of 20,000 passenger journeys in 1890. Newtown was the junction of the Cressy and Colac line (1911 – 1953).
The trail's committee of management is formed by the following municipalities: