Just when I thought I knew most of the tracks in the area, up pops one that I’ve driven past a million times – The Tan Track in the Dandenong Ranges.
Not to be confused with the track of a similar name located in Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens, the Tan Track is located in Ferny Creek opposite the Sherbrooke Forest.
But, more specifically, it starts on the edge of Ferny Creek Reserve with the trailhead located between the tennis courts and the toilet block.
To begin with, the biggest positive of this near-on 2km track is that the paths are reasonably wide and incredibly easy to follow.
In fact, I would suggest that if you’ve got little children who are still sitting in prams, you’d be able to bring them along for the walk.
So, as mentioned, the trail starts between the toilet block and the tennis courts on the edge of the car park.
For the purpose of this blog, we walked this trail in an anti-clockwise direction but you’d be able to do it clockwise too.
You’ll notice a wooden pole with a sign that has a person walking and all the usual warning signs at the start.
If you can’t see them, you’re at the wrong spot and you’ll have to keep on looking.
Immediately you’ll be met with trees lined up in a row on either side of the path which creates a corridor of sorts (if you’re following us on Instagram, I refer to these as nature corridors).
Another indication of whether you’re following the right path is that Sherbrooke Road should be on your right.
After a short time, you’ll come to a t-intersection where you can keep heading forward or take a left.
Whichever way you go, you’ll almost certainly end up back at the same t-intersection on your way back, but we kept on straight ahead.
A little further ahead you’ll come to a sharp left hand corner and the official half-way mark of the trail.
It’s also the location of the Piggery Cafe, as well as Burnham Beeches and Bakery, and would make for an ideal stop for a drink and a bite to eat before you keep on moving.
There’s a bit of an uphill section, but honestly it’s not much to get through because you’ll be too busy being distracted by the emus and alpacas to your right.
Not sure as to why they are there but they appear to be connected with Burnham Beeches and the cafe.
And if you have kids, I’m sure they’ll no doubt be fascinated by them and their presence will add to the entire walk.
The gravel path gentle ascends to yet another t-intersection where you can turn left and follow the path back to the first t-intersection, or keep heading straight to link up with Hilton Road.
Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll find your way back to Ferny Creek Reserve.
We continued heading left on Loop Track/Mountain Ash Pothole Track back to the first intersection and then back to the car.
Despite the fact this is a short walk, The Tan Track in the Dandenong Ranges is still incredibly nice and would make an ideal walk for parents who perhaps don’t want to/can’t take their kids into the nearby Sherbrooke Forest.
I’d also recommend it for those who are just after a short walk before heading off elsewhere in the area for the day.
Finally, if you own a dog, you’d be able to take it for a walk along this trail as they are permitted.
And if you decided to not make a stop at the Piggery Cafe, there are several other nearby cafes you might check out including the Ripe Cafe in Sassafras or Grants on Sherbrooke at Grants Picnic Ground.
The latter is also home to another popular walk in the area – the Eastern Sherbrooke Forest Walk.
The Stats – The Tan Track, Dandenong Ranges
Length (km): 1.98kms (according to WikiLoc)
Time: 29 mins
Moving Time: 22 mins
Difficulty: Easy (Grade 2/3)
Maximum Elevation: 525m
Accum. elev. uphill: 68m
Accum. elev. downhill: 68m
Return/Circuit/One Way: Circuit