Shadforth Reserve & Walking Track
The clubrooms are available to the community for meetings, music rehearsals, recreation groups, education groups, etc.
For bookings of the Shadforth Reserve Clubrooms, please contact Booking Manager, Keri Jennings via email at
For further information and walking trail map, please see the Shadforth Reserve Tracks and Trails brochure.
In 2019, a dedicated group of local volunteers came together to form the Shadforth Reserve Committee of Management, under the umbrella of VTAG. Their mission is to maintain and protect the Shadforth Reserve woodland and also lower fire risk to the town. In addition to conserving the indigenous flora and fauna, the committee took on the task of restoring and renovating the old golf course clubrooms so it could be used by local community groups. After lots of planning and hard work by the committee and community volunteers, the building was brought back to life, and from 2021 the ‘Shadforth Clubrooms’ became available for hire by the community. Since then, it has become a well used facility by many local groups, including Violet Town Kinder. During school terms, 'Bush Kinder' activities allow our very young to enjoy the freedom of outdoors whilst also learning about the environment and outdoor safety, with lots of outdoor fun thrown in! Other organizations use the reserve and clubrooms for education and training purposes as well, including the CFA. Groups such as GBCMA and HREP use the clubrooms for their monthly meetings, and a variety of other groups meet there weekly including Singing, Photography, Qi Gong, Classical String Music group and The Readers Writers group.
Shadforth Reserve's old horse racing track and network of walking trails are popular areas for walkers, cyclists, nature lovers and people walking their dogs, with the natural beauty of the reserve being enjoyed by all. So, in addition to woodland and clubroom care, the committee also maintains the old racetrack and walking trails on the reserve. The friendly Shadforth Groundskeeper can often be seen mowing and grading the tracks on the mini tractor - give him a wave!
The Committee is also focused on conserving the history of Shadforth Reserve, dating back to the late 1880s. In 2023, a bronze historical plaque was installed on a large rock which sits at the entrance to Shadforth Reserve.
History of Shadforth Reserve.
- In 1886, the Violet Town Racing Club acquired 141 acres. A racetrack was built, complete with furlong distance posts. In March 1890, the first horse race was held.
Horses came from Wangaratta and surrounding districts by train. They were placed in wooden stalls while they waited to use the track. Extensive use of the track continued until at least World War II.
- In 1887 until the early 1900s, a detachment of the Victorian Mounted Rifles E company trained on the reserve.
- In 1900, the area was proclaimed a reserve and gazetted. It was named ‘Shadforth Reserve’ in 1965.
- In June 1951, two ovals were formed and the area was used for cricket games and recreation, including bike racing, pony jumping, foot racing and wood chopping.
- In 1960, the Violet Town Golf Club was established and continued until 2012.
- In 2006, a Community Forest was planted by Violet Town volunteers.
- In 2019, the Shadforth Reserve Committee of Management was established.
- In 2020, the Violet Town Men’s Shed was built on the reserve.
- In 2021, the old Clubrooms were restored for community use.
No doubt Shadforth Reserve and the Shadforth Clubrooms will continue to be a wonderful recreational haven for the Violet Town community.