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  • Length: 13km

  • Duration: 5-6hr

  • Grade: 4

  • Style: Circuit

  • Start: Square Bottle Track

  • End: Square Bottle Track

  • Location: Lerderderg State Park

  • Closest Town: Bacchus Marsh

  • Distance from CBD: 75km

  • State: VIC

  • Latitude: -37.54757841

  • Longitude: 144.3455962

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Razorback, Lerderderg and Lower Chadwick Circuit is a 13km, grade 4 circuit hike, located in Lerderderg State Park, Victoria. The hike should take approximately 5-6hrs to complete.

Hike Summary

The Razorback, Lerderderg and Lower Chadwick Circuit hike takes explores the Lerderderg River from Ler518 to Ler516 Emergency Markers. The River section is mostly off trail, and should only be attempted by experienced hikers. It is a very beautiful section of the river and well worth exploring.

Commence the hike at Square Bottle Track. After a short distance you will see the turnoff to Razorback Track on your right. Turn right at this point and after approximately 2.5km you will reach the turnoff to Razorback North Track on your left. Turning left, follow the trail as it descends to the river below. It does get progressively steeper and can be slippery so watch your step.

Upon arriving at the river turn right and continue downstream. There is no trail or visible trail markers to follow in this section. You will need to pick your way along the river based on the conditions. After a few kilometres you will come to the turnoff on your right to the Razorback and Lower Chadwick Tracks. This is very easy to miss so do make sure you are keeping a close eye on navigation and your surroundings.

Turning right, at marker LER516, commence the ascent of the Take Lower Chadwick Track. After a short climb up the trail levels out. (Last time we did this hike the trail was very overgrown and disappeared in some sections). If you do loose the trail simply remain on the ridge line of the spur and it will reappear (in some sections you may be able to make out the remnants of a stone wall in the undergrowth). The spur continues to rise steeply before providing some relief on a knoll just near the the MacKenzies Track junction. Keep to your right at this point continue your ascent along a narrow ridge. The trail is not as steep as it was earlier.

You will arrive in the grassy slopes at Mount Blackwood where the trail continues roughly west as it ascends to the summit. It is quite a slog up, but the views are very rewarding. Once you have reached Tower Track (bitumen Road) the walking becomes a lot easier as you descend along a bitumen road to Mount Blackwood Road. Turn right at the junction and follow Mount Blackwood Road back to the Square Bottle Track carpark.

About the region

Rising in the Great Dividing Range, the Lerderderg River has cut a 300 metre deep gorge through sandstone and slate, almost bisecting the park. The park has a wide variety of vegetation and wildlife and some interesting relics of gold mining. Lerderderg State Park encompasses scenic and geological gorge formations surrounding the Lerderderg River as well as the volcanic cone of Mount Blackwood. The adjacent and separate block called the Pyrete Range forms part of the park. The Lerderderg is known for its remote setting and the 300m deep Lerderderg River gorge is a dominant feature. Private land abuts the park to the south and the Wombat State forest abuts to the north and west.

Lerderderg State Park (incorporating the former Pyrete State Forest) is a 14,250-hectare park located between Bacchus Marsh and Blackwood, an hour's drive from Melbourne, Australia. There are several maintained tracks for walking through the park and camping is allowed.

The park is named for the Lerderderg River which has cut the 300 metre deep Lerderderg Gorge through sandstone and slate, almost bisecting the park. Parks Victoria maintains six designated walks: three short walks of 3.5 km or less; Blackwood-O'Briens Crossing and return (22 km); O'Briens Crossing-Cowan Track loop (14 km); and the overnight walk O'Briens Crossing to Mackenzies Flat (20 km).

In addition, one leg of the Great Dividing Trail, the Lerderderg Track, passes through the park, entering from Blackwood in the park's northwest, and exiting south towards Bacchus Marsh. Bicycles are prohibited from one section of this track, due to a conservation area.

Getting there

From Melbourne, follow the Western Freeway 9km past Bacchus Marsh and take the Myrniong exit. Continue along the Myrniog-Greendale Road for 1km, then turn right on the Mount Blackwood Road. Follow this narrow surfaced road north for 10km to pull into a turnoff on the right at Square Bottle Track (just 250m past Shutter Track). Park near the gate overlooking a small dam.

Tips

  • The amount of water in the river will dictate how difficult this is. If it is low it should be quite straightforward, but if the river is full it will be much more challenging. Therefore, if there is a lot of water, then add an extra hour or so to it.
  • There can be many snakes in the area so do keep a look out for them.
  • Hiking poles will be very useful for this hike.

GPX File

Total distance: 12946 m
Max elevation: 724 m
Min elevation: 339 m
Total climbing: 563 m
Total descent: -562 m
Download file: Razorback Lerderderg and Lower Chadwick Circuit.gpx

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17 thoughts on “Razorback, Lerderderg and Lower Chadwick Circuit (13km)

  1. did this one on a cold, overcast February day.
    the walk in was smooth, the walk in the gorge was fine, there was a little water, mostly in pools and no one got wet!
    Have to say the hike up and out then up to mt blackwood was significantly harder than i expected.

    i felt like the grade of 3 was a little off, i’ve walked grade fours that felt easier.

    thanks for the gpx file, i really loved this walk and looking forward to more walks in lerderderg before winter.

    1. Hey Adrian. Thank you for your comments. Glad you enjoyed the hike. You are so right though. This should never have been listed as Grade 3. I had it as grade 4 in the search results but not the description. I have amended that now. Thanks for pointing that out.

    2. Thanks Darren, good to know I’m not losing in it. I took two (fit) first timers with me and we had a blast but it wasn’t as easy as I expected. See you out there some time.

    3. Wow Adrian. Thank you so much for the generous donation. This is really appreciated and goes a long way to me being able to keep this site developing.

  2. Haha. No, it was me losing it. Gees that would have been a challenging hike for first timers. They would have been cursing me.

    1. HI Jeeves. I have just sent it to you via email while I investigate the problem

    2. HI Jeeves, can you maybe try again now. I have reset the file permissions on that file.

    1. I have only ever tracked it at 13km using a Suunto gps and it took us 5 hours on several occasions. Can you please send me a copy of your GPX file so I can check why there is a discrepancy?

  3. Thank you for sending me your GPX file. There seems to be a few places where your GPS dropped out as well as quite a few places where it appears you stopped for breaks or back-tracked. With these being so prevalent in the recording it is difficult to know what the true length should be.

    I am also assuming that Geo Tracker is an app and not a true GPS device? The Lerderderg has a lot of steep gullies where a non-dedicated GPS will often loose coverage, as shown in your file.

    I live just near the Lerderderg so I will head back out and record this again as a alleged 6km difference is too much to just brush off. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I will update the length after I have completed this hike.

    1. HIVadim

      I went out this afternoon and did the hike again. I tracked it using a Garmin GPS and a SUUNTO GPS. The Garmin recorded it at 13.1km while the SUUNTO recorded it at 12.9km. I am guessing that there is somethibg wrong in your recording.

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