Cycling through bushland and farmland, past some fantastic gold-era historical sites, the 17.7km long Castlemaine to Maldon Trail runs parallel to the Victorian Goldfields Tourist Train railway. This historic branchline railway served rural Victoria from 1880 through to the 1970s and had been restored to its former glory by dedicated volunteers. The scenic cycling and walking trail that follows the railway line was constructed in 2016 and opened in March of 2017.
Starting in Castlemaine the vehicle-free walking and cycling shared trail is family friendly and easy to navigate with signage and trail markers providing information on distance, direction and location. Those not up for the return trip, can choose to travel back by the steam train operated by Victorian Goldfields Railway (Wednesdays and Sundays). The ride takes around two hours one-way with the main entry points located on Langslow Street in Castlemaine and near the Beehive Mine on Reef Street in Maldon.
An annual event, Race the Train is held each spring. The race offers the chance to cycle the trail competitively racing one of the magnificently restored steam engines, or ride socially along the family friendly scenic trail and your own pace.
The trail is a coarse gravel surface that is mostly undulating with some steeper sections. Some parts of the surface are quite rough, but definitely rideable with a mountain bike or hybrid with wide tires. Most of the trail is parallel to the railway line, with a few deviations to avoid deep gullies.
The main entry points are on Langslow Street in Castlemaine and near the Beehive Mine on Reef Street in Maldon. About six kilometres of the trail, on either side of Muckleford Station, is vehicle free. Toilet facilities are located in town centres.
Food and Drink
You’ll discover vibrant and flavoursome dining offerings in the two towns at either end of the trail. Castlemaine oozes with cosy cafés, gourmet restaurants and historic hotels that cater for all tastebuds, many situated in gracious buildings that fill the wide and scenic streets of this gold-era historic town. At the other end of the trail, the charming village of Maldon if full of mouth-watering options. Water is however not available on the trail, so it is advised to fill your bottle before the ride and when stopping at either end of the trail.
The Castlemaine to Maldon Trail allows cyclists to enjoy stunning natural surroundings as they travel alongside the historic Victorian Goldfields Railway. The towns at both ends are very attractive, and significant for their historical interest. It provides an interesting path for both locals and visitors, offers everyone the chance to see the countryside from a new perspective. Note that the only toilet at Muckleford, is locked except when the train is in the station.
The trail links new paths with upgraded maintenance and access tracks. There is a feature boardwalk to the north of the Muckleford Railway Station, along with an accessible crossing over Muckleford Creek.