It isn’t very often that non-local visitors travel to Red Hill in the Mornington Peninsula of Victoria, Australia. With the area boasting one of the most expensive post codes on the continent, as well as being a decent drive from the coast, most travelers opt to stay somewhere along the waterfront. Regardless of travel preferences, the fact is, Red Hill offers a smorgasbord of runs that will have any distance runner salivating at the mouth.
To start, Red Hill offers both a state park and a national park. For those heading into the national park first, there is one main trail that heads to two different destinations. The “Friendship Trail,” heads to both the OT Dam and the Boundary Road area. From the start of the park to the dam is about three miles round trip, while heading to the boundary area adds on about another ½ mile. The trails themselves are comprised of soft dirt and surrounded by engrossing greenery of towering trees. Though it may look appealing, unfortunately taking a dip in the dam is illegal.
The State Park, though smaller than the national park, is the jumping off point for multiple trails. While some of the trails are pretty short and not built for running, the Costal Walk Trail and the Two Bays Trail are perfect for runners. With both trails boasting distances over 20 km, it is easy to get in your mileage without having to do laps. Both trails start at the top of Red Hill and wind their way down to the coast, with the Coastal Trail heading toward the Peninsula tip, and the Bay Trail heading towards the Bay. Both trails offer great scenery and rolling hills, as well as a great deal of costal views. Be prepared for summiting Red Hill though; the incline isn’t for the faint of heart.
Along with the parks and trails, there is also an unpaved, dirt path that follows the entirety of the Arthur’s Seat Road. The trail weaves in and out of trees and overgrowth, and keeps a steady distance from the road. Be aware of the many mountain bikers who fly down this trail. The best practice is to keep your head up just incase they aren’t keeping up theirs.
Even if you aren’t staying in the ritzy area known as Red Hill, making your way up to the state and national park for a good trail run is well worth the trip. Enjoy blazing through beautiful forest tracks before heading to the Peninsula Coast.