Bonnie Doon to Mansfield Rail Trail

Bronwyn and tandem at Bonnie Doon bridge about to ride east to Mansfield.

Bronwyn and tandem at Bonnie Doon bridge about to ride east to Mansfield.

This rail trail goes from Tallarook to Mansfield, 134 km.  We rode the section from Bonnie Doon to Mansfield, 42 km.

Gum trees and sheep in the evening as the sun is setting.   This photo is reminiscent of Hans Heysen's 1910 watercolour painting

Gum trees and sheep in the evening as the sun is setting.
This photo is reminiscent of Hans Heysen’s 1910 watercolour painting “Travelling Sheep”.

Hans Heysen's watercolour painting of 1910 titled

Hans Heysen’s watercolour painting of 1910 titled “Travelling Sheep”.
The sun is shining from the front casting a golden glow and soft shadows onto the flock of sheep.

The section we rode goes past farms with sheep feeding in the meadows, some dry river beds and a couple of little townships.  If you blink you will miss them.

The ride started at a long bridge over the north arm of Lake Eildon and then wound through the pastures.  There were no hills.

There was some traffic noise from a highway which is about 150m from the trail but the joy of riding these rails trails is that there is no motorised traffic to meet along the way.

We did not meet anyone at all on this ride and the trail is so beautiful.

After arriving at Mansfield we had a look at the interpretive pictures telling the story of Mansfield’s history.

The sun sets over the Bonnie Doon waters and bridge as we complete the rail trail.

The sun sets over the Bonnie Doon waters and bridge as we complete the rail trail.

The return journey was more pleasant with the sun going down which took the heat out of the day.

Wow!  Roy pulled up suddenly.  There behind us lying across the track was a 2m White-lipped snake.  He was trying to get the last rays of sun before it set.

We crossed many bridges over dry creek or river beds.  I suppose they are flowing during winter with the snow melt and winter rains.

The evening was very still and we walked down to the lake in the moonlight.  I felt like paddling on it as there wasn’t a ripple nor was there any other craft to disturb the silence.

We contented ourselves with a midnight swim knowing there were no sharks to eat us.

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