A key part of Hepburn Shire Council’s tourism offering is the enjoyment of the natural world through off road cycling and walking trails. Hepburn Shire is fortunate to be located within an area of beautiful forests, rich mineral springs and established bush walking and cycling trails.

The shire is located within the traditional lands of the Djaara people of the Dja Dja Wurrung Nation. The areas is rich in European goldfields heritage. Given the natural beauty of the area, there are several existing ways residents and visitors can experience the area’s natural and cultural heritage as well as potential to grow and expand these opportunities.

Hepburn Shire Council is in the initial feasibility stages upgrading, growing and expanding tracks and trails in the Shire.

The Daylesford to Tylden Rail Trail project proposes a shared use trail for walkers, cyclists, trail runners and other suitable trail activities along the existing rail corridor connecting Daylesford to Woodend, Kyneton and Hanging Rock for an experience that engages the trail user with rural landscapes, towns and heritage.

Like all rail trails, it proposes to reuse the old, decommissioned railway tracks and, where required, establish new trails adjacent to the old track preferably within the corridor. The Rail Trail will create a shared-use pathway and will eventually cross over two municipalities, Hepburn Shire and Macedon Ranges Shire. This project is looking at the section within the Hepburn Shire from Daylesford to Tylden and will be approximately 26.5 km (or 61.5% of the entire distance) and is proposed to connect into a similar trail in Macedon Ranges Shire. The Domino Trail is a popular walking track developed along a portion of this corridor.

Another opportunity under consideration is the Daylesford Spa Country Railway which currently operates from Daylesford to Bullarto. The Daylesford Spa Country Railway have investigated the potential to improve the tourist train experience by extending their current tourist trail operations to Trentham, a distance of 9.15 kilometres.

The proposed extension would connect Daylesford with the Trentham heritage town experience including local food and produce together with the other unique visitor opportunities along the line. The new track would be completed using new concrete sleepers, salvaged rail made available by VicTrack and new ballast being purchased locally. Trentham would be the terminus and would connect with visitors from Melbourne and elsewhere. The route for the Railway extension may look to share sections of the rail corridor with the proposed Rail Trail.

As part of this early feasibility work, residents of the Shire are invited to contribute through a Participate Hepburn survey. Make your views known before Monday 16 August at participate.hepburn.vic.gov.au/tracks-and-trails.