Dutchman's Walk, Strathbogie Forest

Corner Dutchmans Track & Barjarg Rd (nearest to Lima East Rd), Creek Junction 3669

Dutchman's Walk, Strathbogie Forest

Corner Dutchmans Track & Barjarg Rd (nearest to Lima East Rd), Creek Junction 3669

Staff Pick
1 h 25 m
5.7 km
Easy

A wide dirt track, easy to navigate and with manageable inclines, Dutchmans Track takes you through tall forest and down into a wet gully, before looping you back out again.

Dutchman's Walk, Strathbogie Forest

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Summary

A wide dirt track, easy to navigate and with manageable inclines, Dutchmans Track takes you through tall forest and down into a wet gully, before looping you back out again.

Description

This is a pretty 6km Strathbogie Forest loop through Messmate, Mountain, Blue, Manna and Peppermint Gum woodland. There are two entrances to Dutchmans Track. Start at the Barjarg Rd entrance near Lima East Road for gentler uphill gradients.

Dutchman's Track will take you down through the forest into a wet gully and back up to Barjarg Road, along which you can return to your starting point. This dirt road has very little traffic, but be mindful nonetheless. You will skirt the boundary of pine plantations for a short section along the road.

The track itself is nice and wide with some muddy patches churned by dirt bikes, but you can get around these. There are birds flitting about aplenty. The forest is a pleasurable place to be, with many grand trees to admire, especially when the wattles come into bloom and the forest comes alive with vibrant yellow.

This is a good walk for all ages, but doesn't lend itself to mobility assist devices.

Fortunately, Strathbogie Forest has been protected from logging since early 2020. Historically, it was a significant timber source. In the late 1800s, the forest timber started to be used in commercial quantities for mining, construction and railway building. Several mills were established within the forest to meet the demand for timber. Originally, preferred trees were millable Blue Gum and Messmate. However, over time pulp became a product as well. This extraction compounded ecosystem damage.

Protection doesn't mean set and forget. For example, feel free to write to DEWLP and ask them to do something about the blackberries you see. Now the forest is protected, it will need new forms of advocacy.

Be alert for the mournful sound and spectre of the Dutchman as you traverse this place of solitude. This logger without a forest to log is now doomed to drive the logging tracks forever in his ghostly logging truck - never to find a coupe again.

Amenities
Room for car parking
Roadside directional signs
Designated flora and fauna habitat
Camping in Strathbogie Forest is allowed at either Ruoaks or James Reserve

Cautions
Modest climbs
Limbs may fall
Embankments
Uneven ground
No potable water
Slippery surfaces
Snakes may be active
Beware of vehicle traffic
Be equipped for self-reliant hiking 
Mobile reception may be unreliable
Native flora and fauna are protected

Restrictions
Dogs must be leashed & under control at all times
Take rubbish with you
No firewood collection
Closed on days of total fire ban
Drivers/riders must: use formed roads only, be licensed, be registered

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Points of Interest

1. Track entry

The track is wide and relatively smooth. However, it can be muddy.

2. Wildflowers

Keep your eyes open for the appearance of colourful wildflowers along the way. They can be quite small.

3. Modest slopes

There are certainly gradients to take on, but they aren't too steep or long.

4. A pretty wet gully

As you descend, you begin to walk parallel with a deepening, increasingly wet gully. There are some attractive stands of tree ferns to be found.

5. View from a culvert

A culvert has been installed at the bottom of the walk for the small waterway that runs through the gully. The work has exposed a mossy, ferny glen threatened by blackberry.

6. Damaged legacy - recovery is nigh

Logging left some ancient giants. Sadly, standing isolated, without the protection of like neighbours, full exposure to the elements has seen many succumb & structural canopy loss. Recovery is nigh.

7. The cycle of life

This tree fall looks like dirt shaped into a tree. It is the other way around, a tree being shaped into dirt. Microbes, insects and vegetation have been recycling it for years. Let lying wood lie.

8. Fascinating fungi: colours and forms

The forest shade, damp and rich composting processes in constant action create the prefect environment for fascinating fungi.

9. Come late winter / early spring

The vibrant yellow of wattle everywhere you look is simply glorious.

10. Barjarg Road, exit the forest

Exiting the forest from Dutchmans Track into Barjarg Road, you turn right to return to your embarkation point.

11. Skirting the pines

For a short time you will travel between two worlds, pine plantation monoculture and native forest biodiversity

12. A beautiful forest road

Then it is back into the forest for the last leg.


Features

Nature trail Nature trail
Coast/River/Lake Coast/River/Lake