As the Dandenong Ranges are only a 15-minute drive from my place, I often find myself spending plenty of time up there hiking.
Once place that I go to when I want to do a quick hike is the Sherbrooke Forest. It is also the place where I did my first ever hike.
There are many small trails in the forest but I created a circuit that takes in some of the popular spots such as the Sherbrooke Falls and the picnic ground.
What I like most about this hike is that it is relatively easy to do and is convenient for anyone who is short on time.
If someone were to ask me where would be a good spot to hike that isn’t too hard and that, basically, anyone can do, I would almost certainly suggest this one.
You can start this hike at just about any spot in the forest but I always start at Pound Creek Track which is located in the southern section of the forest.
You can access the Sherbrooke Forest via Belgrave-Ferny Creek Road and there is a small car park at the trail head.
Heading south-east, you come to a T-intersection where you turn left onto the Hillclimb Track and head up to the middle of the forest.
Along here you can stop and look at the Sherbooke Falls if you want to. Truth be told, it’s not much of a waterfall, but it’s still a good spot to take a break.
Continuing on, take the Sherbrooke Track to the Sherbrooke Picnic Ground. This is where most people, regardless of what they are doing, enter the forest from.
From here, take Lloyds track until you come to the Wattle Track which takes you back to the Sherbrooke Track. Now, you don’t have to do it that way.
You can keep walking along the outskirts of the forest alongside Sherbrooke Road, get onto the Monument Track in the north-west section of the forest, and then hike to the Hackett Track which then heads back into the middle and joins up with the Sherbrooke Track.
Either way, you come back into the middle of the forest and instead of going back the way you came, get onto the Ridge Track (which, if you are looking at the map, is on the left side of the falls) and that will take you all the way to Belgrave-Ferny Creek Road.
There’s no designated track or path, but from the gate, head south-east and you’ll find yourself back where you started.
It’s about an 8-kilometre hike and, depending on your walking pace, it should take you anywhere from an hour-and-a-half to two-and-a-half hours to complete.
As I previously mentioned, the Sherbrooke Forest in the Dandenong Ranges is an ideal place for anyone who is looking to go on their first hike.