The first section of the Walk Into History trail in Warburton, Victoria, the return track from Big Pats Creek to Starlings Gap is your typical bushland area.
An 18km round trek, the trail is a gentle incline from campground to campground.
If you’ve ever been out that way before for a look around, you’ll know that a large section of the Yarra State Forest is rainforest territory.
It can be quite dense in parts, if not almost claustrophobic, as well as muddy and wet.
Furthermore, the area is notorious for leeches; especially in the section from Starlings Gap to Federal Mill.
So, if you can handle leeches and dense rainforest, then I can’t recommend this trail enough.
Yes, it is 18kms, but the incline isn’t too bad and rises about 500-600m over 9kms.
Better yet, the campground at Starlings Gap is absolutely amazing for a number of reasons.
First of all, there are plenty of car spaces and, if you want to camp there, it’s absolutely free to do so.
Much like the car spaces, there is an abundance of spots to pitch your tent for the night after a hard day’s hike.
It’s also a great location for a base camp if you a) want to do some day hikes further into the forest and b) if you want to take a trip up to the popular Ada Tree.
There are also a number of fireplaces to choose from, as well as a small shelter with a picnic table underneath.
At the beginning, the Big Pats Creek campground, while smaller, still has ample room for tents.
The nearby car park has a toilet within walking distance and Big Pats Creek is a great little stream to dip your feet in.
It’s flowing enough to drink from, but be sure to use some sort of filter device to safely ensure that you are drinking clean water.
Overall, this hike is really worth doing and one that I would highly recommend that everyone does at least once.
Warburton is such a magical place for a number of reasons, and if you enjoy hiking through your usual bushland area, and not rainforest area, then this one is a good one.
I would recommend it for those who have a reasonable level of fitness and are okay with inclines, as well as doing 18kms in one day hike.
In saying that, if you only want to do the hike as a one-way trip, you can incorporate a car shuffle at either end.
As usual, if you want to follow the trek our MeetUp group did, and get an idea of what you are in for, please check out my account here.
The Stats – Big Pats Creek to Starlings Gap Return
Length (km): 17.92km (according to WikiLoc)
Time: 4hr 59 min
Maximum Elevation: 776m
Accum. elev. uphill: 620m
Accum. elev. downhill: 620m
Return/Circuit/One Way: Return