Blaze a trail with us!
We’re building overwhelming support for a new world-class recreational trail for all in Central Victoria.
“From little things, big things grow.”
– Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody
Members, volunteers, supporters and friends. We are many, with one goal: to connect our communities along the proposed trail corridor.
Watch our story…
CMRT was founded to transform the 55km Castlemaine to Maryborough disused rail corridor into a world-class recreational trail. A trail that can be used by cyclists, walkers and horse-riders of all ages and abilities.
We want to connect communities, defend safe travel, encourage prosperity, look after the bush and tell amazing stories of place and people.
We use grassroots action to inspire communities and spur governments to lead the charge to establish a new trail in Central Victoria.
Our community outreach aims to rally people of all ages and backgrounds behind the idea of a trail. To build a trail, we need to build a movement.
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the Dja Dja Wurrung and the Jaara Jaara people, the custodians and caretakers of this land through which the trail will pass. We thank them for the care they have taken of the country: the rivers, mountains, trees, and animals. We could like to honour this Country, the Elders of the past and present and most importantly the young, proud Aboriginal people, as they are our leaders for tomorrow.
One of the wonderful things about our trail is that it’ll be equally enjoyable no matter which end you start from!
Start at Maryborough and you can alight from one of Australia’s grandest old railway stations. Start at Castlemaine station and you will be right where the story of the goldfields began.
A powerful and unique feature of the trail is that it has a train line to Melbourne at both ends. Easy for local commuters; a magnet for eco-tourists.
If you start in Castlemaine, you can easily find good food and coffee and any last-minute necessities, then you’ll be off along the Campbells Creek Trail to Winters Flat where the disused part of the old train line begins and the Goldfields Steam Train blows it’s whistle and turns off towards Maldon.
Then the creek, the road, and the rail trail rolls down the valley past farms and houses to Guildford. You’ll be able to look down on the cars passing by as you are safe on the trail and can enjoy the view.
At Guildford, the line crosses the highway on a high bridge and leaves the road for a while, past the place where Campbells Creek joins the Loddon River, over another bridge, and now you’ll follow the Loddon River through bush and farmland, all the way to the old Newstead Station which is now an arts hub.
Soon after Newstead, you will ride across the spectacular Joyce’s Creek bridge, the longest of the trail, at the bottom of Lake Cairn Curran Reservoir. Then it’s a short climb up onto the volcanic Moolort Plains, with big skies, and world-recognised wetlands.
The rollicking downhill run past the Moolort Silos and into Carisbrook is a blast before heading into Maryborough and the truly magnificent Maryborough Station where you can enjoy a well-deserved milkshake (or other age-appropriate refreshing treats).
We’ve always envisaged our trail as something more than a gravel path linking two points. Our region is studded with natural and other attractions. That’s why we developed our Guide to the Trail to highlight some of our region’s many attractions, and help better tell our stories of people and place.
P.S. Take a peek at some of views you’ll get along the trail in the Views Along The Trail gallery below (photographs by Mick Evans).
Places and stories
What’s in a name? A lot, we reckon. Stories and names have a lot of power. It’s been shown worldwide that a trail’s success has as much to do with the experiences they create as the routes they traverse. Which is why we’re thinking already about “storytelling” well before our trail even starts construction.
Volunteer with us
Want to join an imaginative, energetic and well-organised crew? Want to deploy your talents and just a slice of your time to make a difference? Want to meet other interesting people and make an impact in your community? Of course you do! Help us build a social movement. CMRT needs volunteers just like you!
Signing a petition is a way to show others you care. So far, more than 4,000 people have shown they care about creating this rail trail. They’ve put their name to our “ask” that the shires of Mt Alexander and Central Goldfields spearhead funding for a feasibility study. If we build a chorus, government will listen. Join us!
99% trail alignment obvious
99% of the trail alignment is very obvious because it follows the former rail line, according to experts working on the trail study. The tricky bits are linking it to key destinations and safely crossing major roads. Project steering committee member John Carruthers caught up with lead consultant Tim Fitzgerald for the low down.
Celebrating a special wetland
Joyces Creek as it floods out to the Cairn Curran Reservoir is a special place for our trail. It’s a wetland area that for more than 40,000 years before White Settlement, helped support the Djarra people as a place of gathering and a food bowl. We chatted to Castlemaine Camera Club photographer, Pam Connell, about her recent images.
It’s time, says Tony Macer
On Australia Day Central Goldfields Shire recognised CMRT member Tony Macer as its Citizen of the Year. CMRT members know Tony as an amazing musicians and one of our most tireless volunteers. John Carruthers talks to Tony about community leadership, changing our national day and how the still waters can run deep.
Out for a Spin…Sold out
Out for a Spin is an afternoon of spoken words and song celebrating the trail-to-be from Maryborough to Castlemaine brought to you by CMRT as part of the Central Goldfield’s annual “Words in Winter” festival. Forsake the chilly open road, get inside, warm up, meet friends and enjoy the entertainment with us.
Crowd marks future trail with historic walk
More than 60 people made a historic walk to mark part of the future Castlemaine to Maryborough rail trail on Sunday. Mt Alexander Loddon Ward councillor Matt Driscoll unveiled a marker at Strangways. The historic marker declares that the old rail line will become a trail.
Bicycle Touring and eBikes Workshop…book now
Book now for our three-hour dive into bicycle touring and e-bikes on 20 June with Janice Simpson and Sandy Harman. The workshop is free and comes with valuable know-how. CMRT’s “Better on a Bike” series is running through Winter and is funded by the Central Goldfields Shire Council.
Springtime volunteer chortle
Blossoms are budding, the sun’s warming our backs, and we’re chortling our Springtime volunteer campaign. Two big roles that have recently opened up are Work Team Lead for Members & Volunteers, and a canny Grant Writer. There’s lots of other ways too you can help get the trail built sooner for your town.
New volunteer crop wows us
Thanks to some amazing Trail Blazers, we’ve boosted our core volunteer cohort by more than 70% in the past few months. We’ve been humbled by the talent and passion our new volunteers have brought with them. Great to welcome. Great to welcome our new women and men; and some smart young people.
Building a groundswell
Steve’s Foskey been involved with CMRT since 2020. Steve’s now a Newstead local. He’s also been a premiership centre half back. More recently Steve took on the lead for CMRT’s Community Engagement & Events Work Team. Steve talked to us about CMRT’s community ambassadors, and what stepping up means.