Great trails in the best part of Beerburrum West Forest
The Wamuran Rail Trail cuts its way through a lush section of the Beerburrum West State Forest and gives access to a number of walking, mountain biking and horse riding trails. This trail and section surrounding it is well worth the visit. Following the rail trail, it is an 14 km return walk, and if you walk the various side trails to make a circuit, the distance walked will increase by 1 to 2 kms.
The Beerburrum State Forest straddles both sides of the Bruce Highway, and is divided officially in West and East sections, but in fact there are many unofficial subsections made by roads that cut through them and areas reserved as part of the Glass House Mountains Conservation Park. The highlights of the park are the Glass House Mountains Lookout, Coochin Creek Campgrounds and the Wamuran Rail Trail.
The old rail line ran from Wamuran to Kilcoy and was closed in 1964. In recent years, Queensland has been opening up some of the old rail lines as rail trails. Most are multi-use trails with the emphasis on mountain biking. This particular 7km trail connects with lots of other trails making it great for trail running, hiking and mountain biking.
It is easy to stay on the track for the rail trail
On maps, the rail trail is labelled Myllet Road, though it has been closed to traffic. This road runs 7 kms from the D'Aguilar Highway in the south up to McConnell Road in the north. The trail rises up 300 m from south to north, but as it was constructed as a railway, the rise up is slow and steady. You will pass through cuttings in ridges and across built-up sections along the path.
The Wamuran Rail Trail cuts through hills and over built up sections
I would recommend starting in the south and heading north, mostly because I like to start uphill, then come back downhill. From the south, you actually start on a forest trail that connects to the rail trail after only a short distance. You will see a noticeable difference between the two trails.
The best place to start is at the southern end of Mylett Road
As you walk you will see plenty of different mountain bike, walking, horse riding and fire trails branching off from the main track. There are plenty of signs, however, if you just keep going straight on the rail trail, you can't get lost.
Other than the rail trail itself, there is only one other item of history along the trail. This is an old railway sign, the meaning of which is unknown to me. Any rail enthusiasts are welcome to enlighten me about it in the comments.
The walk is a very pleasant one. The forest that you are passing through is a transitory area with features of bushland and rainforest intermixed as well as other varied vegetation. The dense green undergrowth and creeks are a great change to the more open bushland areas nearby.
There are several options for doing a return walk following various side trails. These are tracks are often narrow and steep, so are much more interesting to walk. When walking from the south, you will arrive at the end of Mylett road and you will see a side path going left. If you follow this it joins onto several paths heading back.
The side paths are often narrow, steep, but worth walking
One option is to follow this path until you see the Number 3 Mountain Bike Trail sign, and then keep following these signs until you return to the rail trail near the start. This is the best-signed option, but not the most popular among hikers.
One hiking option is to follow the Number 3 mountain bike trail
Walkers need to keep on the main path, going straight ahead at all junctions, until they arrive at hand-painted arrow indicating the walking path. Then follow this back to the rail trail. It arrives at the main trail somewhere in the middle. You can then follow the rail trail back, or, cross the trail where you will find another walking path that loops up and around, returning to the rail trail near the end of the track.
Overall, this is a great section of the Beerburrum State Forest to walk, trail run, cycle or horse ride in. Walkers will enjoy the contrast between the smooth and wide path of the rail trail with the rough and ready sidetracks. Grab a topographic map and you can explore even more of the paths.