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Lerderderg State Park...
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The Scenic Rim and River via Spur Track hike is a difficult 16km circuit . The trail includes river crossings (possibility of your feet getting wet unless river is dry), a steep and steady climb our of the river from Grahams Dam and a significant river section back to Grahams Dam on loose and possibly wet terrain.
Follow the river upstream from Mackenzies Flat Picnic Area to Grahams Dam, which is an attractive pool ideal for swimming. Cross the river at this point and continue along the eastern river bank upstream for approximately 600m (trail marker LER503). Turn right and ascent the 1.6km Spur Track to the top of the range. Turn left when you reach the Lerderderg Tunnel Access Track and follow this a short distance to the track junction. Keep left and pass through the Southern Rural Water gate and descend into the weir below via the well made access road.
Once you reach the weir, locate a set of metal stairs that run alongside a concrete fish ladder which consists of a series of stepped concrete boxes with two holes connecting to the next box up and down. Head down the stairs and south along the Lerderderg river. The level of the water and surrounding area will dictate the path you take as you pick your way along the river and its banks. There are no trail markers in this section so take time to look ahead and plan which side to take. There are a few places where there is a cliff on either side that would need to be avoided so use your best judgement Once you arrive back at Graham's Dam simply follow the river track back to Mackenzies Flat.
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.
Follow the Western Freeway and turn left off at C704 the Bacchus Marsh -Gisborne exit (this is a clearly sign posted Freeway exit). Drive 1.8kms towards Gisbourne then turn left along Lerderderg Gorge Road and follow it 5.4kms to Mackenzies Flat picnic area.
- 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.
Max elevation: 465 m
Min elevation: 142 m
Total climbing: 765 m
Total descent: -763 m