This is a spectacular route taking in long sections of quiet roads and ridgelines with views over the surrounding countryside. It connects a section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail with the NAN1 East Nanango Circuit Ride, Old Esk Road and the Old Coach Road in a 128 km loop of the Brisbane Valley, overlapping at times with the "Link" Track near Nanango.
The loop can be run in either direction. Following counterclockwise, the route starts from the old railway station at Linville, where there is a campground with a pub and general store across the road. It follows the Eastern Branch of the Brisbane River north, crossing many times before turning west into Mt Stanley Reserve and then following Mt Stanley Road into Nanango. Here, self-supported and supported runners can fuel up at several food stores. The route then takes the Old Esk North Road and eventually the Old Coach Road (a rutted track) through to Benarkin State Forest. There is an option to run along the highway briefly (for those willing to brave the traffic) or take the tiny single track next to the highway to cut though to the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail for your return to Linville. Aside from the section along the river, there are limited water resupply points, mainly at towns, so this route might be best suited to self-supported or supported runs.
The Linville Loop was originally devised by Paul Elby as part of his reconnaissance for the BrisDivide Cycling Route 2020.
For the record, in March this year I also submitted the FKT that goes with this route, but it still hasn't been approved despite numerous follow-up requests.
In case you're setting off on this adventure yourself, we did it as a supported mixed-gender team in a total time of 1d 1h 52m 59s starting very late in the evening on Friday 19 June 2020 – so aim for faster than that!