An uneven dirt and grass trail meanders alongside wineries, vineyards, galleries and green farmland for 6.5km between Red Hill and Merrick on the Mornington Peninsula. Known as the Red Hill Rail Trail, it's one of those rustic tracks you won't find in built up areas. Set your pace, with the track open to walkers, off road bikers and horse riders; making it a great day trip or a worthwhile leg stretch in your passing between the many wineries or olive and fruit producers in the area.
Finding the path can prove tricky as there are no obvious signs. Saying that though, once you're on, well, the right track, it does feel like a trail only locals know about. On the afternoon we went, tracks of people, horses and dogs that had been there before us that day, were imprinted into the dirt; yet we did not encounter anybody else. Rabbits, butterflies and birds regularly crossed our paths and as we walked under the tall pines, we'd listen to the sounds of the wind. It really did feel like getting away from it all.
Directions from Merricks General Store: Park at the store. Facing the building, walk to your right and follow the gravel path which starts next to a large tree stump. Turn left when you come to a walking sign. Follow this gravel track between Merricks Estate Winery and the horse reserve and you'll soon come to the start of the dirt and grass track. For directions from Red Hill South, refer to Rail Trails.
Tip: For walkers, pack your runners and leave your shoes in the car.