Hawthorn to Box Hill cycling trail

Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail

Boroondara BUG has been actively campaigning since 1995 for the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail – a shared use path (cycling and walking) that follows the railway line corridor from Hawthorn to Box Hill.

There is currently no safe cycling route in an east west direction through the centre of the Boroondara to connect Box Hill to Richmond.

This interactive map shows the status of sections of the trail and links to nearby strategic cycling corridors.

The Hawthorn to Box Hill trail would be used by many students to get to their school or Swinburne University. There are over twenty schools and other education institutions either adjacent to the trail or very close to it.

The Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail will fill a big gap in the network of existing radial bike paths in Melbourne.

Melbourne paths and Hawthorn to Box Hill gap
Melbourne paths and Hawthorn to Box Hill gap


The benefits of the Hawthorn to Box Trail include:

  • Encouraging many people of all ages to cycle who otherwise wouldn’t and would greatly improve safety for those who already do.
  • Provide safe local travel for Kooyong residents and others between Hawthorn, Camberwell, Glenferrie Road, Maling Road, Surrey Hills, Mont Albert and Box Hill.
  • Provide vital network connections to:
    • to Box Hill and beyond (the Box Hill to Ringwood Trail).
    • the Main Yarra Trail in Richmond
    • the Anniversary Trail
    • the Koonung Creek Trail to Gardiners Creek Trail (SCC2)
  • Bike trips have zero carbon emissions and reduce pollution.
  • Bike trips reduce traffic congestion – every person on a bike is one less car on our increasingly busy roads.

Strategic Cycling Corridor and feasibility study

The route has been identified as a Strategic Cycling Corridor by the Department of Transport.

The feasibility study for the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail was completed by the Victorian Department of Transport team in October 2021. The study found that the route following the railway alignment was practical and would provide a range of benefits to local communities including safer ways to walk and ride to local places such as shops, business and schools.

Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail feasibility study

You can follow the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail Facebook group to keep up to date on this topic.

Quotes from supporters

Quotes from supporters of the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail are available here.

You can submit your statement of support [here].

Current status

The Victorian Level Crossing Removal project ($650 million) that is replacing level crossings at Union Road and Mont Albert Road is building a one kilometre long section of the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail.

However, no funding is available for further design or construction work on the remaining nine kilometres.

Residents of Boroondara need this well overdue safe cycling and walking route. 

Background and history

There is currently no safe family-friendly bike and pedestrian path connecting Hawthorn to Box Hill.

1996: A detailed proposal for the Eastern Rail Trail was published in 1996 by Boroondara & Whitehorse Councils, the Dept of Sport and Recreation. It was Included in the Principal Bicycle Network (PBN).

2005: Detailed route proposal updated and assessed by City of Boroondara

2007. Eastern Rail Trail include in 2007 Whitehorse Bicycle Strategy.

2010. City of Boroondara included the route in the Boroondara Council Bicycle Strategy

2011. Support from Robert Clark MP for Box Hill to Surrey Hills section of the route

2012. Support from Josh Frydenberg MP (Kooyong) for Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail

2012. Critical Route Corridor 9 study identified lack of safe cycling routes

2018. Route included on VicRoads PBN and Boroondara and Whitehorse maps

2019. RACV specify Hawthorn to Box Hill trail as priority strategic cycling corridor route

2019. Petition to Victorian State Parliament for the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail – 1844 signatures. Paul Hamer, MP for Box Hill, announced $370,000 allocated for planning.

2019. Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail is specified by the Victorian Government as Strategic Cycling Corridor

2020. Infrastructure Australia specified  Hawthorn to Box Hill trail as near term priority initiative

2020. Over 1300 people sign online petition to build the Hawthorn to Box Hill trail

2021. Department of Transport feasibility study for the Hawthorn to Box Hill Trail completed. Route is feasible mostly following the railway line.

2022. Dept of Transport design work on Box Hill to Mont Albert section – not published.

2022-23. Boroondara Council progressing design work on sections of the trail in Hawthorn and Camberwell.

2023. Surrey Hills Level Crossing Removal Project building a sub-standard section of the trail between Mont Albert and Union Road. No state funds available for further work.