River to Rail Trail
The River to Rail Trail has been developed as a unique recreational experience for walking, running and off-road cycling, enabling residents and visitors to connect with the Mary River in the heart of the Gympie Region.
The trail links the Gympie Town Centre and Youth Precinct in Nelson Reserve, through our premier regional level sports facilities at Albert Park and the One Mile Sports Complex, via the ecologically and historically significant Victoria Bridge Conservation Area. The trail continues on to the award winning Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre and finally on to the historic Gympie Station, home of the Mary Valley Rattler heritage rail experience.
The project has been fully funded by the Queensland Government’s Works for Queensland Program in 3 Stages as outlined below.
Refer to the following route map and take your time exploring the diverse features along the trail. A more detailed outline of the trail experience and route map can be downloaded here.
Stage one of the River to Rail Trail can be accessed from the Sands Park (Kidgell Street – northbound traffic only), River Terrace (Gympie Weir), Albert Park and Rose Street (adjacent to the netball courts). It is located within 1km from the Gympie Town Centre, and caters for all fitness levels.
The 1.8km unsealed trail, which skirts along the banks of the Mary River between Kidd Bridge and the Sands recreational area, is ideal for walking, running and admiring the native habitat and wildlife exclusive to the area.
The Sands Park, which can be accessed via Kidgell Street, off the Bruce Highway when travelling north (to the left just before the Aldi supermarket) provides the community with a safe area to swim in shallow waters, launch a canoe or kayak, have a picnic and relax.
The track runs parallel to the natural landscape of the Mary River and is an idyllic passive recreation experience, however, does include varying inclines and staircases in some areas. Sandstone seating blocks are placed throughout the trail to rest, picnic or just take in the scenery.
The Trail is well-positioned for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers to spot native species such as the Mary River Turtle, Giant Barred Frog, Mary River Cod, Australian Lungfish and a wide variety of native birdlife.
Recreational paddlers can easily access the water at either end of the track via a gradual graded access to the river’s edge at the Sands or a purpose-built canoe and kayak launch point at the Gympie Weir, accessed off River Terrace near Kidd Bridge.
Designated off-street parking areas are available at either end.
Stage two and three
Stage two of the River to Rail Trail delivers a further 2.2km extension from The Sands Park, through the Victoria Bridge Conservation Area and Deep Creek Fossicking Area, to the One Mile Sports Complex. A further Stage three, also now well under construction, will see the trail route utilise a combination of new and existing sealed pathways to connect the One Mile Sports Complex to the Aquatic and Recreation Centre and up to the historic Mary Valley Rattler Rail Station on Tozer Street.
This section of the trail allows recreational users and tourists better access and linkages from the Mary River area through to the Gympie Town Centre, as well as to key tourism destinations and other major sport and recreation assets.
This section of the trail is best accessed from The Sands Park (Kidgell Street, Gympie– northbound traffic only) or by heading south on Brisbane Road via the pathway from the One Mile Sports Complex to Pengelleys Bridge over Deep Creek. Ample car parking and public amenities are available at the One Mile Sports Complex (Brisbane Road – opposite John St, Gympie).
Stage two of the project was delivered thanks to a $1 million grant received from the State government under Round two of the Queensland Government Works for Queensland Program and Stage three is also funded under Round three of the State’s Program.
The funding covering the full project costs allowed Council to complete all trail formation and surface works, parkland enhancements (including an extension to the Sands Park carpark), a pedestrian and cycle bridge connection across Deep Creek, revegetation and landscape works and picnic seating.