I was back on the trail again today this time I found myself in amongst the picturesque Lerderderg State Park on the 13 km East Walk and Cowan Track.
We began the trail at the O’Briens Crossing camping area. It’s such a nice little spot with plenty of space to camp and for the kids to run around and play, and is ideally located right by the Lerderderg River. I will definitely be coming back here in the warmer months.
The initial part of the trail hugs the river and can be quite rough and narrow in some sections. Concentration needs to be at an all-time high here as you can slip over quite easily as you step over logs, branches and rocks. That aside, the scenery is great and it was nice to stop every so often to take it all in.
After hiking for over 6 kms we stopped for lunch at Mines Camp. Given the area used to be known for its gold mining, this particular spot is where all the miners would set up camp whilst they were working down the mine shafts looking for their fortune.
It’s quite a spacious area and would be a great spot to set up camp for the night if you wanted a bit of peace and quiet away from O’Briens Crossing.
After lunch, we were off again and our trail leader Darren took us on a slight detour to an old mine shaft. While it didn’t go very far back, it was still an experience to crawl inside and have a look around.
From there, we ascended Cowan Track, which climbs 200 metres up from the river, and made our way back onto OBrien Road. This part of the trail, while steep, was a nice change from the rocks, logs and sticks we’d been dodging earlier in the day. There’s nothing like a good hill to get the heart rate pumping!
We found our back onto the Short Cut track and made our way down a steep ascent back to O’Briens Crossing and our cars.
I thoroughly enjoyed this trail for a variety of reasons. What I liked most about it was the variety in the tracks, as well as the scenery.
It is a grade 4 track (difficult), so if you are a beginner hiker you will almost certainly need a pair of hiking poles and a reasonable amount of fitness to conquer some of those hills. They aren’t tricky but they can become harder than they actually are if you aren’t used to hiking up hills.
If you wish to download the trail, check out my WikiLoc account here.
Length (km): 13 kms (according to WikiLoc)
Time: 3hrs and 47mins (moving time of 3hrs and 36mins)
Average Speed: 3.42 km/h
Difficulty: Difficult (Grade 4)
Return/Circuit/One Way: Circuit
Location: Lerderderg State Park
Maximum elevation: 632m (according to WikiLoc)