Richards Tramline

See & Do

Richards Tramline is around 11km that passes through some pretty forest that ­– similar to the Walk Into History that starts/finishes nearby – is anchored in the area’s logging history.

You can tackle it either as an out-and-back in one big 22km day, take on a slightly shortened length and then return via a dirt road (15km all up) or organise a car shuffle and run one-way only. For this you drive to the junction of Road Seven and Brahams Rd and leave one car here before returning to the car park at Big Pats Creek.

Setting off from Big Pats Creek, the Tramline follows the route cut through the forest by William Richards in 1916 so he could move highly-prized timber from outlying sawmills deep in the bush to the train line lower in the valley. The route wanders and not only to maintain a gradient suitably gentle for moving logs (and as it happens walking), Richards was forced to make tight turns to skirt private land on which he would have had to pay high fees.

Though most signs of the Tramline’s infrastructure have long been consumed back into the bush, there are still a few old sleepers and dog spikes that hint at more industrious days gone by. Such history provides food for thought as you run amongst the tall tress before arriving at Road Seven and your car.

It should be noted that whilst the trail condition is adequate, it is not as well maintained as other trails in the area and has a rough and ready feel to it. In some areas the surface can get boggy and runners should expect to clamber over the odd downed tree, but that just adds to the adventure.


TrailRichards Tramline
ActivityWalk or Run
TypeOne way / Out and Back
Grade (if available)Moderate to Difficult; TrailScore Technical Black 31/45 TrailScore general Black 7/10
StartBig Pats Creek
FinishJct Road Seven and Brahams Rd
Distance11.3 km (one way)
Ascent409 m (one way)
Descent26 m (one way)
Max Elevation628 m
FeaturesGentle but consistent hill climb through native forest, mountain grey gum and mountain ash, historic tram ruins and artefacts
FacilitiesToilets: Big Pats Creek
Car parking: Big Pats Creek
NotesBest completed in summer and shoulder seasons; muddy, slippery and difficult going in winter; expect variable track condition and downed trees; car shuffle required if walking one way

Walk / run it

  1. You can begin either at Big Pats Creek or Road Seven and do your choice of an out-and-back or a one-way with a car shuffle. We suggest starting at Big Pats Creek and doing a car shuffle or run the loop incorporating Mississippi Rd.
  2. If car shuffling, drive one car to the junction of Road Seven and Brahams Rd and leave it here where the trail pokes out before returning to the car park at Big Pats Creek.
  3. Pick up the trail located approximately 800m up Smythe Creek Rd on the left hand side.
  4. Enter and simply follow the singletrack for the entire 11.3km length.
  5. The first 2.3km weaves its way up the contours climbing 100 vertical metres before crossing over Mississippi Tk.
  6. At Mississippi Tk, veer right uphill for a short way, but ensure you then pick up the Richards Tramline walk again, turning left off the fire track.
  7. The trail sidles around the mountainside, following the contours, diving deep at one point to cross Hope Gully (approximately 5.6km along from the Smythe Creek Rd trailhead).
  8. The trail continues to edge along at around 450-500m elevation, still following the contours, passing over Charity Gully (7.2km).
  9. At 8.1km, you will reach a trail intersection. One trail drops off to the left. This is a turn around point should you want to run all the way back to Big Pats Creek via Mississippi Rd. The lower track drops you out onto the road, which you can follow back on a very cruisy trot. Those running on to the eastern terminus of Richards Tramway will veer right uphill here for a short climb before again following the contours along to cross Mississippi Creek (8.9km).
  10. Another 2.5km and you will reach the end of the trail at Road Seven (and hopefully the car you have left there for the return journey!).


For an easier route that does not require a car shuffle, opt to run 8km along Richards Tramline to where you will find a trail veering off to your left. Taking this diversion will deposit you out onto Mississippi Rd. You can then take a gentle run back down that road until you reach Big Pats Creek. This is an approximate 15km loop.

You can also determine the length you run by following the Run It guide as far along the trail as you want to before turning around and heading back to the start.

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