The O’Keefe Rail Trail is a linear trail linking the rural township of Axedale with Bendigo. It covers 19km of easy walking tracks with two areas of interest including the Bendigo Field Naturalists Flora Reserve and the Axedale Cemetery.
The O’Keefe Trail is named after Andrew O’Keefe a pioneer in the construction of many of Bendigo’s railway lines. Like thousands of others, Andrew and his sister, Mary and parents Edward and Ellen, migrated from their homeland, Ireland, in 1854 in the wake of the great potato famine.
Andrew worked on a number if constructions projects before he successfully tendered for his first, the Heathcote to Sandhurst railway line. The price was 88,409 pounds with 50 bridges at various points.
The project took 21 months to complete with 2 derailments in the process. The first passenger train from Bendigo tot Heathcote on 20 July 1888, with Andrew’s engine pulling the passenger carriages which conveyed 30 official guests to Heathcote for the installation banquet at the Masonic Hall. This trail allows you to explore the natural environment surrounding Bendigo.
Download the O’Keefe Rail Trail brochure (450kb, PDF)