The 13 kilometre trail from Emerald to Gembrook is now called the Eastern Dandenong Ranges trail. The original 6.2km Emerald to Cockatoo section of the trail passes through Emerald Lake Park and Wright Forest and was previously known as the Emerald to Cockatoo Trail. Another 6.5 kilometre section from McBride Street, Cockatoo to Gembrook Station has been added to the trail. This section follows Belgrave-Gembrook Road, Fielder Road and the Puffing Billy train line between the towns to create a unique and scenic path suitable for cycling, running and walking. The weather changes the walk dramatically, with everything from rain to thick fog to scorching heat possible. The higher sections are exposed and can be quite windy, and there is little shade along the trail at this end.
This walk starts at the Gembrook Puffing Billy Station and you can choose how far you walk from there. Begin by walking to the far end of the car park, through the gate to the start of the trail. The beginning starts by following Station Rd and the train tracks, with some lovely old houses on the left and stunning views of fields and the hills to the right. At the end of the road, cross over Belgrave-Gembrook Rd and the trail continues with a patchwork of fields on the left and crosses over the tracks near the back of the Gembrook Sports Ground. Cross the very quiet Orchard Rd and keep walking until you are ready to turn around and walk back.
The tracks are mostly gently sloping, nice and wide, gravel or paved. As you walk towards Cockatoo, once you've walked for more that about 30min., there are more steep hilly sections. The trail does cross some roads and is next to the Puffing Bill track, so younger kids need to be supervised and dogs kept on lead at all times.
Find out more about our Social Walking Group here.
Starting Point: At the Puffing Billy Gembrook Station carpark on the Cockatoo side (on the left) of the station.
Distance: Approx. 5km for a 1 hour walk
Toilets: At the Puffing Billy station (if it's open) or it's a short drive to the ones below
Gembrook Park, Gembrook Road (entrance to carpark off Redwood Rd)
Dogs: Allowed (On Leash Only)
For your GPS: 73 Main St, Gembrook (the carpark that is directly opposite this address)