Approximately a 70-minute drive north-west of Melbourne's CBD, Trentham is a small town on the edge of the Wombat State Forest. There are a number of small reserves and walking trails around town, and the Wombat Trail, a loop of approximately 8km, takes the walker right around the edge of the houses into the surrounding bushland.
Parking is available at the Quarry St Reserve, where the trail begins. A large pond in the reserve is home to a variety of waterfowl, and the path leads south along its banks.
Cross the High St and you’ll enter the community-managed Stoney Creek Reserve. There has been some flood damage to the path here but it has been well marked out by the reserve’s managers and is easily avoided.
After leaving Stoney Creek, follow Park St until you reach Trentham Cemetery, where a grassy track follows the fence-line of the graveyard before veering into the trees.
Cross over the Trentham-Blackwood Road to enter the forest, where kangaroos can usually be spotted in the morning and evening grazing in the neighbouring paddock. The path will lead you down to the Trentham Racecourse Reserve, where the last race was run 110 years ago. All that remains of the racetrack is a wide path through gum trees which have reclaimed the reserve over the past century.
Approximately halfway around the track is the site of the grandstand and finishing post, now unrecognisable, save for the bench and interpretive sign that mark the spot. As you complete your circuit of the track, crimson rosellas, corellas and kookaburras are a common sight in the treetops.
Retrace your steps with the aid of the Wombat Trail signage, then follow the path right; here, you may find yourself surrounded by common brown butterflies. Gleeson St will lead you around the back of the town, then simply pass along Trent Creek and turn down Albert St to return to your parking spot.
Signage is regular and reliable all the way along the route, making it very difficult to lose your way, and the going is easy underfoot. It’s a steady, flat trail that’s best enjoyed early in the morning while the town is quiet.
A peaceful park surrounding a pond that many waterbirds have made their home. A good spot for a picnic.
A patch of bushland along a creek which is well managed by the local community.
Birdlife is abundant around town. Here, a flock of corellas sweeps up into the trees above a paddock beside Stoney Creek Reserve.
Though you won’t walk through the cemetery itself, the trail passes through land owned by the cemetery, alongside its boundary fence.
Just beyond the cemetery, an old chimney stack stands alone in a patch of grassland.
All that remains of the Trentham Racecourse is this walking trail, which follows the original curve of the racetrack.
Consistent signage keeps you on the right path throughout.
This walk was completed by Wild Melbourne, a not-for-profit specialising in nature engagement and dedicated to connecting people with nature. Please visit our website to find out more.