The Kinglake Ranges Heritage Trail is an excellent place for a walk in the crisp country air, with tall trees and beautiful views along the way and the added advantage of the chance to learn about Kinglake's history and to admire the impressive art work of our local artists. There is no better view of Melbourne anywhere in Victoria than the one from Frank Thomson Reserve so it is well worth climbing the hill for that.
The Trail runs 13kms along the north side of the main road from Kinglake to Kinglake West and it is possible to walk or ride a bike, starting at either end or anywhere you choose. The track is sealed from Kinglake West to Kinglake Central, providing a good surface for wheeling a pram, and children can add a visit to the Lions Club playground at Kinglake Central as well. If your walking distance is limited but you'd like to see what the trail has to offer, it is possible to drive along the main road and stop where you see the information boards.
A special collection of boards at the gateway to the Memorial Reserve at Kinglake Central tells the story of the establishment of that reserve in memory of local service men and women of World Wars 1 and 2, and also the sporting activities held there in the past. Boards at either end of the Trail explain the reason for the name 'Kinglake' and the history of the timber industry for which the route of the trail was first used as a wooden railway.
Along the Trail, you will see the stories of various pioneer families, and information and photographs for a number of the buildings lost in bushfires - the first Kinglake hall, St Marys' Church, Morella Guesthouse, the Kinglake West and Pheasant Creek Post Offices to name just a few.
The colourful art work also featured on the trail includes local scenes and various specimens of the flora and fauna of the Kinglake Ranges by a number of local artists including Michelle Bolmat, Lee McGill, Gay Chatfield and Linda Haggar.
The trail was installed with funding as a community recovery project following the 2009 bushfires and was officially opened on 18 November 2016. The project committee included representatives of the Kinglake Historical Society, Kinglake Ranges Arts, Kinglake Ranges Business Network and the Memorial Reserve Committee under the supervision of the Murrindindi Shire Council. The three Kinglake Primary schools contributed handmade ceramic tiles which add special interest at key points along the Trail.
KHS is proud to have been part of the process and we hope that, for many years to come, local residents and visitors to the district will enjoy walking or riding the Trail in the best of Kinglake's weather, delighting in their surroundings and soaking up the history and the art images as well as the sunshine.