Our Local Rail Trail – My Happy Place
The O’Keefe Rail Trail begins in Bendigo goes through to Heathcote, a distance of 50km. There are plans to continue the rail further on past Heathcote to Kilmore. A bit further into the future, the plan is to eventually continue this trail right through to Melbourne, which would be more than amazing.
There have been some recent upgrades to the rail trail, that I’ve been anxious to check out. Unfortunately, due to injury, I’m not back on the bike yet, but should be out there in just a week or two. Usually ‘the O’Keefe” is my ‘happy place’, so I can’t wait to be out there either on my bike or walking. I do miss it terribly.
I’ve ridden my bike the complete length of the trail, about 50 kilometres, many times, and never tire of it. When training for Coastrek, with my team, we walked from Axedale to Heathcote, on the trail, a distance of about 24k, as one of our major training walks. A couple of years ago, I walked alone on the trail, from Axedale to Bendigo.
At the moment, due to Covid-19 most people are taking the government’s advice and staying home, but I thought it might be interesting for you to see what’s happening on the rail trail.
In 2018, a rusty railway carriage was transported for Korumburra Station to the Axedale Station on the O’Keefe Rail Trail. Recently the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail arranged for this carriage to be taken away for restoration, to the same workshop where it was manufactured, 64 years ago, in 1956. Now that’s what I call history!
The carriage is now back, sitting at Axedale Station, in all it’s restored glory, which I think adds a touch of authenticity and uniqueness to our trail.
Bike Repair & Potable Water Station
Two bike repair stations have been installed along the rail trail by the Friends of The Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail group. There is one staion located right in Axedale, at the Axedale Community Park, which is right on the trail. It’s position allows it to be used by trail users, local residents, students and visitors to the area. The station has a bike holder to make it easier to perform maintenance on the bike, tools for repairs and an air pump that can be used to inflate bike tyres. The other repair station is located on the trail about half way between Bendigo and Axedale. There is expected to be a third repair station installed at Heathcote in the future.
Two potable water stations have also been installed that can be accessed by users of the trail. One is located in the park at Axedale close to the repair station, and the other just outside Bendigo.
“With no local bike repair businesses in towns like Junortoun, Axedale and Heathcote, such facilities will provide confidence for cyclists planning to use the 49km rail trail” said Garry Long President of Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail.
The O’Keefe Challenge is an annual event, held each year in April, which features running and cycling events held on the O’Keefe Rail Trail, starting just outside Bendigo through to Heathcote. This event is much more than a running event. As well as celebrating health and fitness, it is a huge community participation event. The running/walking events are 5k, 10, half marathon, and marathon.
The Ekiden Relay is for those who would like to enter a team of seven runners, running distance from 2.7k to 9.35k. This is great for community groups, school students, and sporting groups.
There is a cycling event on the Friday night of the weekend, starting in Axedale and finishing at Heathcote. This event is called “Light The Trail”, which gives the opportunity to ride the trail at night, under the stars. O’Keefe Challenge. This is a fun event with novelty prizes given.
*please note: The above event has been postponed this year until October, due to Corona Virus
Do you have a local rail trail. If so, I would love to hear about it. I love it when we have a conversation and promise to reply to all comments made.
This post is linked to Denyse’s Life This Week
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