Rail Trails Rock: Derby to Scottsdale

We knew this day had to come, this day where we left Derby. Forlorn from leaving our new home and the coffee shops; we breathe in the crisp morning air. The rush of clean, clear, alpine air, reinvigorates our senses and instils the desire within us to investigate today’s horizons.

Mandy was awesome and after a little digging around, she discovered a rail trail for today’s journey.

Not just any rail trail, but a series of rail trails that would take us some 50Km to our destination, completely off-road, in solitude, away from crazy drivers and the working forestry trucks that do really need all the road.

Lots of these.

Having the trail start literally across the road from where we were staying was an omen, a good omen. We again praise the cycling gods and push on, actually, cycle on. Travelling beside the creek for a while, we soon cross our nemesis, ‘the country highway with big speedy trucks’ and move onto our secluded path once again, made just for us.

This trail ended after eight glorious kilometres. Branxholm football oval appeared in front of us and a decision was to be made. Do we stay here the night or continue? Let’s face it, it was still early in the morning, the weather was perfect and the next stretch was on another rail trail.

Glorious paths.

We continue.

My delusions of grandeur and an utopian experience were dashed when I was personally and savagely attacked by a vicious razor sharp, spiny ball of death. This object was pure evil, a pure evil pine cone. It had only one thing on its mind…..destroy the reputation of Schwalbe Tyres. It did its best to disrupt our journey, but it did not get the opportunity to tarnish Schwalbe’s legendary status. Said pine cone tried in vain to slash my tyre and inflict upon me a puncture. It was unsuccessful under wheel, so it did a kamikaze flip and jammed itself against the valve stem and spokes. Then completed the acrobatic manoeuvre with a single back flip, pike and somersault into the front forks. Judges gave it a 10, 10, 9 and the conclusion was to rip the valve stem literally out of my front tube.

Sad face.

Pine cone 1 Les 0.

Legerwood was a slight side track for us, one we had to do. The trees here have been expertly carved in a remarkable way. The timber statues that are sculpted, take on the form of fallen soldiers, nurses and people from the local community who suffered through the World Wars. It is a wonderful tribute to them and well worth the extra kilometres to look at the little town.

Leaving town we take the ‘Snake Track’, a well formed dirt road that escorts us towards our next rail trail. The ‘North East Rail Trail’, our final 26.6 Km of pure bliss. Stations are placed on trail for shelter, there is water available and lots of signs with information about the trail and life on it, back in the day.

Our final destination for a few nights is Scottsdale. The local brewery, Little Rivers, brew a mighty beer here right in the centre of town called Dorset Lager.


Scottsdale Rotary is very active and as well as developing and maintaining the rail trail, they have dedicated a park to free camping for travellers. This would be our home for 3 nights as hot showers are available and there is an amazing patisserie with smooth almond milk flat whites nearby. Last night it teemed down all night and blew like there was no tomorrow. We were so happy to wake up totally dry.

Who’s a good MSR tent.

Inquisitive Mooers


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