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The Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail's massive upgrade is getting under way.
A popular option for cyclists and walkers, the 63 kilometre trail is one of three trails in Golden Plains to benefit from $750,000 in upgrades, with the Kuruc a Ruc trail through Rokewood, and the Rainbow Bird trails.
It was announced last year that the Skipton trail, which runs through several towns south of Ballarat, would receive upgrades funded by a state government grant, the City of Ballarat, Golden Plains and Corangamite Shires, and the Berrybank Wind Farm.
At the time, it was reported the upgrades would deliver "deliver a network of trails that connect 15 adjoining communities focusing on three activities, upgrades and improvements to current trail infrastructure, design and installation of supportive infrastructure and promotion of the trails to capture visitors and increase overall usage. "
While work is expected to be finished by the end of the year, a Golden Plains Shire spokesperson said in a statement the trail is a fun option for people looking for a summer adventure.
Nimons Bridge near Newtown. Picture: Kate Healy
"Whether you enjoy walking, hiking, cycling or horse riding, the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail has something for everyone," they said.
"If you want to try something a bit different, hire an ebike from Woolmunda Park Cottages in Smythesdale and cruise along the trail to check out the picturesque Nimons Bridge, make a booking to visit Nintingbool Vineyard's cellar door, check out the historical towns along the way, and make sure to grab a bite to eat at local pubs and cafes such as the Smythesdale Courthouse Hotel and the Linton Larder."
While beginning the trail at Ballarat station is an option, the trail properly starts about 7km away, with signs from Wendouree station.
The unsealed trail runs through Haddon, Smythesdale, Scarsdale, Newtown, and Linton to Skipton, past the locations of several historic stations.
The line originally opened in the 1880s as the population boomed, but was closed down 100 years later - it was officially reopened as a trail in 2008.
This article first appeared on www.thecourier.com.au
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