Merricks to Red Hill Rail Trail, Victoria
Yesterday a couple of friends from the neighbourhood and each of our dogs went on a mini-adventure to the Red Hill Rail Trail, about 1 hour from Melbourne. It was meant to be a stormy day, but in usual Melbourne style, the sun was shining just to prove the weather man wrong.
We started our walk at the Merricks end (which we later found out was the best way so that you didn’t have to walk the up hill after a few wines later). The rail trail runs 6.5kms from Merricks General Store to Red Hill. Each end has somewhere to eat/drink to rest before the return trip.
The walk itself meanders through wineries, fields, around lakes, and between farms. It’s mostly a gradual uphill or flat on the way to Red Hill. Much of the trail is lined with pine trees and is shady in most spots. The track itself is just a dirt track so was very muddy since we’ve recently had loads of rain. My dog, Mooch was the first to launch herself into belly-deep mud, but it wasn’t long before all of us had muddy feet.
The trail is popular with horse riders, so dogs are meant to be on lead. But most of the people we saw with dogs allowed them off lead, and just put them back on lead when they saw horses coming. There is good visibility down the trail at most points, so we did that as well, which gave our pups freedom to run around and sniff everything. All 3 dogs, Mooch, Leroy and Zoe, unfortunately took a liking to horse poop so we had to keep an eye on the sneaky little pups (OOOH GROSS!).
Red Hill had a few cafes and restaurants to choose from, and we picked “Food on the Hill” because it had some undercover outdoor seating for our pups. Just as well, because we’d only been there maybe 2 minutes and it started bucketing down. It rained the whole time we had lunch, then cleared up just in time for our walk home.
It was so nice to be outdoors in good company, enjoying a little sunshine and fresh air. It’s a good reminder to get out and about more often. There are so many places around Melbourne yet to explore.