Discover some of Queensland’s railway history cycling Brisbane North-side along Samford Valley Rail Trail. The tracks of the Ferny Grove Line once continued on to Dayboro, cutting through the Camp Mountain Range on their way to Samford Village. In 1947, the Camp Mountain Railway Disaster led to the closing of the railway line due to the tragic deaths of 16 people.
Today, the Samford Valley Rail Trail (8.3 km) is a shared, north Brisbane bike path also known as the Samford Bike Link, recreational cycling and walking trail beginning at Ferny Grove Railway Station and continuing towards Samford Valley along Lanita Rd. The sealed, mostly flat trail (also known as Samford to Ferny Grove Cycle Link) is well-maintained and clearly sign-posted.
The Samford Conservation Park Lomandra Day-Use Area carpark is another great starting point for exploring the Samford Valley Rail Trail.
Samford Forest is part of the ‘Mountains to Mangroves’ bushland corridor, a protected wildlife region connecting the D’Aguilar Range through the suburbs to Moreton Bay. It is very pleasant to cycle or walk along the Samford Valley Rail Trail through Samford Forest before it opens out into rolling farmland around the base of Camp Mountain.
This section of the Brisbane bike paths trail is shared with McLean Road South, where there is a memorial cairn marking the site of the 1947 railway disaster. Here, you can really appreciate the wholesome country views across the D’Aguilar Range and Samford Valley with plenty of cattle and horses to be seen along the way.
The following recommendations are subject to the individual to assess their ability before commencing the trail as they have not yet been classified in terms of difficulty. The tracks are multi-use, open to bike riders, horse riders and bushwalkers.
For those cycling Brisbane north with less experienced cyclists or bushwalkers, it is possible to cover short, easy sections of the trail, such as from Lanita Rd to McLean Rd South, which is a 1.8 km car-free track through Samford Forest. Finish the Cycling Brisbane North Adventure in Samford Village.
Samford Valley Rail Trail is a great way to experience local history mixed with nature enjoying a tour of the beautiful Samford Valley at the same time. Once you reach Samford Village, it is highly recommended to stop for lunch, or a well-earned coffee at one of the popular cafes along Main St, or maybe treat yourself to a meal and refreshments at the classic Samford Valley Hotel.
For those keen to continue their exploration of the Samford Valley, follow the old railway line to the (currently blocked) Yugar Tunnel, which is located north of Samford Village at the end of Currawong Rd. The Yugar Tunnel (82 m) was used until 1955, and today it is closely monitored by University of Queensland due to the presence of a rare bent-wing bat colony.
Plan your journey now by viewing this Samford Valley Trail map (map image credit to this source).