Victoria is a national leader in converting old railway lines to community use, bringing joy to bikers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. One of the more popular converted lines is the Victorian High Country Rail.
The main feature of the Trail is the way it hugs Lake Hume almost the entire length, providing a totally safe and scenic ride surrounded by natural beauty. The Trail length is variable as you can ride from Wodonga to Shelley for about 80 kms or any part in between. I chose to do the 70kms return version from Bonegilla to Old Tallangatta, thus avoiding the Albury-Wodonga urban sprawl.
I joined the Trail at Bonegilla which winds around the Lake, passing several old railway stations. The gradient is gentle, it’s totally quiet, there is a vast amount of open space, and everywhere you look, Aussie country colours are rich and varied.
You pass many derelict trains, trucks, and buildings from a bygone era. It’s great to see former railway structures restored or converted for community use.
A visually interesting architectural structure is the Sandy Creek Rail Bridge. At 600metres long, it is purpose-built for bikers and walkers and very impressive. Take a quick ride across the Bridge via this short video:
The Trail crosses a few smaller bridges and goes through several cuttings (where the original rail line cut through a hill). The view changes constantly, making this a very enjoyable ride.
This version of the High Country Trail is 70kms and took a bit over three hours. There is only one town along the way that has any retail centre, which is Tallangatta with a very nice bakery/café. This is definitely a rail trail to put on your bucket list.