The Canyon Walk in Bright is a 3km return walk following the Ovens River traversing areas of scenic, historical and natural value.
While this walk begins as a sealed, shared path (be aware of cyclists) it becomes unsealed and more bumpy beyond the first bridge.
Generally an easy walk, there are some steeper sections and steps including uneven steps formed by rocks (the north side is more challenging) and two swing bridge crossings. You can do a shorter walk by turning back after the first of the swing bridges and stick to the southern side of the river if you want a sealed track on this shorter loop.
Bright began as a gold mining town in the early 1850s. Originally known as Morses Creek, it became 'Bright' in 1861 after an English politician John Bright. You'll learn more about the history of mining as you do the walk, including tensions between miners of different ethnicities.
This walk takes you past a small canyon carved by the Ovens River, and water races dug by early miners. Keep an eye out for birdlife and wildflowers especially in spring and early summer.
Note: Toilets, drinking water and playgrounds are located near the start and end of the walk only (at Howitt Park and Centenary Park a little further east along the river).
Warning: In warmer months you will see many people swimming, and playing in the river but be aware that the current can be strong especially after rain and at some points of this walk the river is deeper and has small rapids. Seek local advice and only swim if you're capable.
Rocks can also be very slippery.
Begin your walk on the south side of the Star Road bridge and head west along the sealed path (away from the bridge).
If you're walking in summer months you'll see as many people in the river as walking beside it!
The southern side of the river is well-formed and sealed until the first brdge, so suitable for prams and wheelchairs. The shared bike path also splits away at this point (good news for walkers!)
To complete a shorter, pram-accessible walk turn back here and return to Howitt Park. If you have no mobility issues you can cross and return along the north side of the river. Otherwise continue.
The track on the southern side of the river becomes more challenging after you pass the first bridge with uneven surfaces, tree roots and formed and natural steps.
There are places to stop and enjoy sweeping views over the river along here.
Spring and early summer reward with lots of colour.
Note: For a longer loop, continue past the two suspension bridges to the railway bridge and return along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail.
This is the most stunning part of the walk - as the Ovens has cut through the rock. You can walk out to river's edge but be aware the currents can be strong here (don't approach is wet and slippery).
Strong swimmers only!
The gravel track flattens out again along the north side as you head back towards Star Road. and pass many homes and B and Bs.
There are some nice toilets located up here in Howitt Park and also some just up near the corner of Gavan Street (main street) and Anderson Street (Address: 1 Anderson St)