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Brisbane Valley Rail Trail

Home > Brisbane > Family | Free | Outdoor | Parks | Playgrounds
by Meg Forbes (subscribe)
Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane. https://www.instagram.com/megforbesphotography/
Published March 2nd 2020
Take your family on a cycling adventure this weekend
The 161Km Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is the longest rail trail in Australia. Stretching from Wulkuraka near Ipswich in the south to Yarraman in the north, the distance sounds overwhelming. However, the rail trail is broken up into sections from one town to the next.

The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail from Fernvale to Lowood
The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail at Lowood with signs back to Fernvale or on to Coominya


The section from Fernvale to Lowood is commonly recommended as best for families, especially those with younger children.

The section from Fernvale to Lowood has a very well maintained surface
The section from Fernvale to Lowood has a very well maintained surface


The stops at both Fernville and Lowood have playgrounds, shade, and water. Fernville has a bakery and other shops directly across the road, as well as a tourist information centre, while at Lowood there is an IGA just across the road.

Taking a well-deserved break at Lowood
Taking a well-deserved break at Lowood


The track on this section is all well-maintained, and some of it is paved. One of the attractions of rail trails today is that they were designed with a minimum of hills to reduce the work needed by trains to traverse them in the past. This is definitely a huge advantage when cycling with children!

Easy cycling on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail
Easy cycling on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail


Along the way, it is worth stopping to look at the heritage left by people who called this area home in the past. Some of it continues to be used today, such as this wall that protects the rail trail from rock falls.

Signs of the past along the way
Signs of the past along the way


The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is shared by cyclists with horses and pedestrians. The rule of thumb is that everyone gives way to horses, and cyclists give way to everyone. Also, when approaching horse riders from behind, give plenty of warning (preferably by voice rather than bicycle bell).

Approach horse riders cautiously on the rail trail
Approach horse riders cautiously on the rail trail


Since the rail trail passes through a number of properties, there are often opportunities for kids to stop and look at livestock such as cows and sheep.

Livestock along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail
Livestock along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail


The Fernvale to Lowood section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is 8.5Km. Younger children may benefit from a tag-along bike, and very young children from a bike-seat on their parent's bike, but we found that from the age of about 7 a drink and an ice cream at Lowood provided the energy needed for an energetic ride back to Fernvale. Another option is for one adult to drop the rest of the family at one end and then drive to the other and wait.

View of the Brisbane River while cycling from Lowood back to Fernvale
View of the Brisbane River while cycling from Lowood back to Fernvale


This section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is easily accessed by families from Brisbane, Ipswich, and the Lockyer Valley, and provides a great, and interesting, weekend day out in the country.

Cycling along old tracks on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail
Cycling along old tracks into the now disused Lowood Station on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail

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Why? Fantastic, interesting day out in the country
When: Always
Phone: Peter Kleis, the BVRT Ranger on 0467 729 409
Where: Fernvale to Lowood
Cost: Free
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