Thursday, 31 March 2016

Blackwood Walk - Lerderderg Gorge National Park

Blackwood Walk

Lerderderg Gorge National Park

O'Briens Crossing to Blackwood Circuit

Thank you to Glenn Tempest and his book Jaywalks Around Victoria.

Friday, 25 March.

It has been a long time between walks.

Selling a house. Moving interstate. New careers.

I can tell myself the break was for the benefit of Shell's injury prone ankle. In reality it has come down to the reluctant realisation that I do not handle hiking in hot weather.

Autumn in Victoria. Perfect weather to get back on the trail.

A lazy twenty kilometer circuit would be a fun hit out.

This trail starts at O'Briens Crossing.

We arrived mid morning. As it was a long weekend the place was full of campers. The 4WD variety that packs chainsaws, webbers, eskies and music systems to escape the rat race of city or suburban living.

The hike starts with a short uphill climbs stroll. One of only two making this an easy hike.

Head past the camp toilets. After a few hundred meters keep an eye out for the trail dropping down to the right. If you continue upward to the left you end up back on O'Brien Road.

It is a pretty trail which follows a water race for the most part.

The temperature was cool and the mood was upbeat.

I had forgotten how much fun it was to hike with Shell.

Stay on Byers Back Track. Ignore the intersections, Ambler Lane, Gribble Track, Kangaroo Track and Deadmans Track.

Long the way you will come across some old gold mine tailings which remain somewhat intact.

Just before you reach Golden Point Car Park and a short stroll to the town of Blackwood is an abandon mine. Certainly worth a look.

If you are brave enough (Shell), work your way all the way into the crawl space. If not (me), at least make it to the first turn before scurrying back to the daylight like the coward you are....

Turn right onto Golden Point Road and follow it all the way up to Blackwood for lunch.

It is a rare luxury to have a Pub at the half way point of a circuit hike.

After a lazy lunch we headed back down Golden Point Road and took a right onto North Blackwood Road.

Follow this dirt road all the way to the top. Continue right and you will come across Tunnel Point Track on your right hand side.

It is a quick trip back to O'Briens Crossing and mostly downhill.

At the end of the track is an old tunnel built by miners. Not much to see really.

Head up Gribble Track for a steep few hundred meters before turning left back onto Byers Back Track.

It is simply a matter of retracing your steps for a few kilometres and you are back to the car.

This was a great first hike back. Relatively flat and easy despite Shell's demanding pace.

So good to be back in the saddle.

Maybe we could do something similar in a few days?