Revisiting The Domino Trail
Looking for a nearby, easy yet interesting circuit we chose to weave in and out of The Domino Trail from Lyonville to Trentham and return. I have written on this route and towns previously but today’s route is more varied. IMBA trail rating is Easy for the Domino Trail and townships. More Difficult for the rest.
This route (GPX file below) purposely ducked in and out of the rail way and Domino Trail to provide you with options.
It was also a chance to try out my new Canon SX260HS as an mtb suitable camera. The Pentax Optio 555 had lasted 5 years carried mainly in my bottle cage. In the end it wasn’t bumps that got it but rather grind in the form of a grit particle between the lens and lens cover, irreversibly smearing the lens face. It taught me not to spend so much on a compact as an auto closure lens cover is a problem in windy dusty conditions.
Lyonville to Trentham
Parked in the shade of trees outside the Lyonville community hall in Bremner Ave we admired Babbington Hill across the way. Then rode to the Radio Springs Hotel but couldn’t see the rail way entrance due to growth. Later established that it is amongst trees adjacent to the gate and fence corner that is 10m or so opposite, and slightly south of, the pub. Note that the Domino Trail, unlike the rail way, does not extend into Lyonville. It turns off the rail way about 2km nearer Trentham.
So we rode around the block and down Railway Ave into the forest. After the forest gate, the 2nd? single track to the N will take you to the raised rail way and turning E will shortly bring you to the old wooden rail bridge over the Coliban River. You are not permitted to use the bridge but a short steep and scrabbly walk with your bike gets you down the embankment to cross the river bed (in summer) and up the other side. (If you want to avoid the scrabble then the GPX file shows another track into the E end of the bridge).
Continue from the bridge along the rail way and you will see a Domino Trail signpost and evidence of better track condition. Here I turned S off the rail way to follow that segment of the Domino Trail. This is mainly 4WD track and still easy going. This is the domain of Australia’s largest owl, the Powerful Owl but I haven’t seen one yet. E at the first junction and N at the second where the trail is a narrower track until you rejoin the rail way.
Thence E until the rail way access ends and the trail heads N. A short section of 4WD leads onto single track which winds through very pleasant
bush, crossing a few 4WD tracks. This section has these Powerful Owl markers (photo) to show the way.
You will then cross the old rail way and come alongside houses. When you reach the tarmac road, the trail continues immediately opposite although grass may obscure the entrance. The first 100m or so you bump along sleepers until reaching the gravelled section. Then, apart from a slight side diversion at the bridge, it is plain sailing to the Trentham Railway Station which doubles as the Visitor Centre.
Trentham Station and town
The tracks between the station building and goods shed were being decked out for a wedding. What an unusual and interesting location. The station surrounds are immaculate with shrubs and plants very well tended by volunteers.
Rode 2 blocks S past lunchers on the verandah of the Colliban Foodstore and cafe (we have yet to visit but hear good things) to get to the Trentham Bakery, our favourite for takeaway baking. No lemon tarts alas so we settled on a cheap and tasty scroll to eat in the shade of the rotunda in the small park just along the main street. Here we observed that Trentham was looking even better than our previous visit. 10 years ago this was a sleepy
backwater. Now it is a deservedly popular area for people to buy holiday and retirement homes or work studios.
The Red Beard Bakery still serves great coffee and sourdough and Annie Smithers of the eponymous Kyneton Bistro has moved here though we didn’t spot her restaurant.
Back to the past
Heading back to Lyonville, hitting the rail way I chose the 4WD track alongside. A bit of water quickly became a lot of water and I struggled to make way in the centre of the track. Moving to the side dropped me axle deep and from here I splashed on foot
for some hundreds of metres until an access track to the rail trail. I doubt that track segment will be dry before February.
Along the Domino Trail rail way and S again at the trail direction sign. This time at the first track junction I turned W towards Lyonville along a good 4WD track. A minor excursion to explore a faint track, petered out. A small rise and gully followed by another rise and in the wide gully veer right at a junction and look out for a significant single track to the N.
Take that track and veer right at the next junction and shortly you will hit the rail way again just E of the bridge. From there we again crossed the river bed and continued riding W along the rail way into Lyonville. Exited onto the road almost opposite the pub which was enjoying a number of long lunchers still there at 2.30pm. A cold beer was tempting but we headed back to the car and home via the very popular Lyonville Mineral Spring where we refreshed with pure water effervescence.
Map and GPX file
GPX file and map viewable and downloadable from GPSies or use QR code above.
1 page PDF of map. Domino Trail from Lyonville