Experience the grandeur of the recently protected Strathbogie Forest. Descend from dry open woodland into ferny wet gullies and the swampy origins of Seven Creeks.
Dogs must be leashed & under control at all times Experience the grandeur of the recently protected Strathbogie Forest. Descend from dry open woodland into ferny wet gullies and the swampy origins of Seven Creeks.
You will be walking an old logging coupe track. In most stretches, it is of fairly smooth compacted dirt. However, in parts dirt bike riders have churned it up. Expect some slippery surfaces and mud when it is wet. Also, be mindful, the return leg is a long, steady incline with some steep slopes.
It starts in a forest and ends in the same forest, but there are different kinds of forest in between. Begin in rock littered, dry open woodland with scrappier versions of red stringy bark, messmate and peppermint gum. The first descent is into towering blue gum forest as you get deeper into sheltered slopes. Dropping further down, observe as the trees achieve even greater stature, epitomised by incredible mountain gums. Deeper still, explore wet fern gullies where the sun rarely shines. As you approach the bottom, you will sight some of the tallest blackwood wattles you have ever seen, examples of grand casuarinas and brilliant white trunked manna gums.
At the very base of the track, an extensive swampland has its own kind of forest. A border force of gnarled mountain swamp gums stands guard at the periphery and marches up the wetter spaces of the adjoining mountains.
The swamp itself is a sword-grass meadow criss-crossed with rills that form the Seven Creeks. Enter at your own risk. The ground can be very boggy, footing is often unsighted and uncertain, the sword-grass delivers painful paper-like cuts and snakes love it.
From the bottom, the only way is up. The description above happens in reverse. Along the way you will have the chance to inspect a rocky outcrop of large stacked granite boulders performing a hillside balancing act. You will have more close encounters with trees of a size that can only make you wonder what this place would be like if it had never been logged in the first instance!
On this last point, back at the top, your final turn may be somewhat confronting. After the immersive experience of native forest biodiversity, monoculture suddenly appears before you on a massive scale. This may be something you choose to reflect on as you make your way back to the trail head between two very different forms of land use, protected for two very different reasons.
Spring wildflowers; Summer hot and dry with fire risk; Autumn fungi; Winter cold and wet.
Strathbogie Forest camping is permitted at Ruoaks or James Reserve
Take your rubbish with you
Campfires are prohibited on days of Total Fire Ban
Dogs must be leashed & under control at all times
Vehicles must be registered, drivers licenced and use formed roads only
Pull off Bonnie Doon Rd at the sign to Cleos Track. There is space for four or five vehicles cleared in the bush.
Messmate, red stringy bark and peppermint gums dominate the drier high ground of the forest here.
As you walk lower there is more moisture in the ground and a cool humidity in the air. A transition to different species changes the character of the forest.
Deviate for a short distance to experience the atmospheric change as you encounter the cold air above cold running water in a sheltered fern gully hollow never warmed by the sun.
Seven Creeks gets its name from the seven different creeks that rise here in the Range to form its headwaters. In this place it consists of rills criss crossing a swampy sword grass wetland.
Swamp gums create a wetland border. You can cross this to climb Mt Barrenhet. Be warned though, it is a significant extra undertaking. If you intend to do so, skirting the swamp first is a good idea.
Immediately opposite Cleo's Track at the junction with Mt Piper Track, this moss capped group of granite boulders invite exploration.
You have seen many along the way, but this trackside, beacon like, white trunked, mountain gum giant towers above the trees on the higher ground behind it.You simply must pay your respects.
Emerging from immersion in an ecosystem wonderland to suddenly confront a pine plantation may be a jolt. Take the opportunity to compare and contrast as you appreciatively walk between them to base.