Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail

Enjoy an adventure in the countryside on one of Victoria’s finest rail trails. Rail trails are shared-use paths recycled from abandoned railway corridors.

The Ballarat-Skipton railway operated between 1883 and 1985. It was developed as a link between the gold towns west of Ballarat and the surrounding pastoral regions.

Cycle the unsealed but gentle gradient 53km trail from Ballarat to Skipton. Meander through the wide open grasslands, eucalypt forests, historic bridges and quaint 19th century villages of Smythesdale, Scarsdale, Linton and Skipton. There are plenty of great places to stop along the way to bird watch and take in the flora and fauna. The Clarkesdale Bird Sanctuary will offer sightings of scarlet robins, eastern and crimson rosellas and above the treetops you may spot wedge tailed eagles and kites. Take along a picnic to enjoy at one of the many shelters along the way or enjoy a meal at the cafes and pubs on the route.

Full Day Bicycle Adventure

Ballarat – Skipton, 57km (8 hours approx)

  • Head out on the trail from Ballarat with the help of a detailed trail map and a support vehicle available while you ride independently.
  • Lunch at Linton.
  • Shuttle from Skipton back to Ballarat and drop off at your location.

Option: We can offer a drop off at Skipton to allow you to ride the trail back towards Ballarat.
Minimum 4 persons – Maximum 10. Small group ensures personal service.

BYO Bicycle
$100 per person

Hybrid Bicycle Hire
add $50

Electric Bicycle Hire
add $80

Enquire Now

Half Day Bicycle Adventure

Linton – Ballarat, 37km (4 hours approx)

  • Pick up from central location in Ballarat and drop off with bicycles at Linton.

  • Take advantage of a detailed trail map and a support vehicle available while you ride independently.

  • Morning tea provided at Smythesdale.

Small group (minimum 4, maximum 10) ensures personal service.  Enjoy an adventure in the countryside.

BYO Bicycle
$70 per person

Hybrid Bicycle Hire
add $25

Electric Bicycle Hire
add $60

Enquire Now

Weekend Bicycle Adventure

Including Ballarat – Skipton Rail Trail

Our weekend tour includes:

  • Two nights accommodation in Ballarat
  • Two breakfasts
  • One picnic lunch
  • Two group dinners
  • Ride the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail on Day 1
  • Return transfers from Skipton back to Ballarat
  • Local guide and bicycle mechanical and vehicle support
  • Historic bicycle tour of Ballarat and ride Lake Wendouree on Day 2
  • Visit Ballarat brew house

Minimum four persons, maximum ten persons.

*Arrive Friday 7.30pm – depart Sunday 3.30pm.

$480 per person twin share
$580 single
Accommodation upgrade $100 per person

Hybrid Bicycle Hire
add $100

Electric Bicycle Hire
add $160

Enquire Now
  • Smythesdale is a former gold mining town. The township has many historic buildings including the police station, stables and courthouse. Coffee, snacks and meals are available in town.
  • Scarsdale is a nice picnic area by the trail with a water tank and a small town just off the trail.
  • Nimons Bridge is the most photographed sight on the trail. This fabulous restored timber trestle bridge is best viewed from the track across the creek below the bridge. There is a picnic table at each end of the bridge – perfect spots to enjoy the valley views.
  • Clarkesdale Bird Sanctuary offers sightings of scarlet robins, eastern and crimson rosellas and above the forest treetops you may spot wedge-tailed eagles and kites.
  • Linton offers a brief exit from the forest. The township has many historic reminders from the gold rush era including a Chinese cemetery and public buildings from the 1860s, plus galleries, cafes and the Railway Hotel.
  • As you head towards Skipton catch a glimpse of Mortchup Reservoir.
  • Pittong – the trail leaves the forest with a descent to a kaolin mine; the white clay is used for porcelain. Then its back to sheep country and rolling farmland.
  • At the end of the trail lies Skipton, a picturesque town with a reserve by the Mount Emu Creek and many Victorian-era buildings. The hotel and bluestone church in the main street date from 1850’s. The town was an important wool centre in the late nineteenth century producing some of the best merino wool in Australia. A newer local industry is eel farming, with eels bred for export.
Terms and Conditions

Shuttle Service for independent riders and walkers on the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail

A 12-seater van and 15-bicycle trailer is available for shuttles for groups wanting to ride the trail one way only.
Riders and bikes – Skipton to Ballarat – $140 for a group of four people and four bikes.
For additional riders and bikes, add $30 per person