The O’Keefe Rail Trail
When I saw the prompt one #OnePlaceJoys, I immediately thought of the O’Keefe Rail Trail. Whenever I’m on it, either riding my bike or walking, it really does gladden my heart. I like to think of the rail trail, as my ‘happy place’. I’m sure it brings much happiness to the residents of Axedale also, as it’s existence enables families to exercise in safety, away from the traffic. I love seeing others enjoying the trail as much as I do.
The O”Keefe Raiil Trail is a disused train line between Bendigo and Heathcote, a distance of approximately 45 kilometres. Axedale is situated about halfway along the trail. Trains stopped running in 1956. The disused trail remained unused until the first section of The O’Keefe Rail Trail was opened in 1993. There are plans in place for the trail to continue on from Heathcote to Wallan. It is envisaged that in the future it will be possible to ride the entire distance, from Bendigo to Melbourne, on the O’Keefe Rail Trail. I truly hope that I’m healthy enough to do it, when the time comes.
When I was living in Axedale, I loved being able to ride or walk outside the front gate, and almost immediately, be on the rail trail. As a keen cyclist and walker, I’m a passionate advocate for the O’Keefe Rail Trail. The safety of the rail trail is perfect for families. Cyclists also feel safe on the rail trail as they are separated from the traffic. I would have appreciated having a rail trail, such as The O’Keefe, so that my children and I could have ridden our bikes in peace and safety.
As an added bonus, The O’Keefe Rail Trail is very scenic. Venturing along the trail, you will pass through many different types of scenery. There really is much to see, including nature reserves and box ironbark and yellow bark woodland reserves. Very little remains of the former train stations along the trail, but where possible they are marked with station signs.
History on the Rail Trail
In 2018 a traditonal railway goods wagon, which was once used by the Railways, was placed on the rail trail, to honour the railway line. The railway wagon was covered with graffiti, but has since been restored by volunteers.
Bike Repair and Water Stations
The Friends of the Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail have installed to bike repair stations on the trail. One of these is situated at Axedale Park. These stations provide a rack for hassle free bike repairs, repair tools and a foot inflated pump for pumping up tyres. This repair station is a great asset for the Axedale community as well as the rail trail, as locals are able to use it for their bike repairs. Situated near the repair station is a potable water station, which can also be used by the community.
O’Keefe Rail Trail brochure
O’Keefe Rail Trail A4 map
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