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Lerderderg State Park...
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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. This is a fantastic but very strenuous walk. The circuit provides access to some more remote sections of the gorge and also bypasses Lerderderg Weir.
The Scenic Rim via Link 2 hike is rated as a difficult circuit . The trail includes water crossings (possibility of your feet getting wet unless river is dry), one 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). Continue past this point along the eastern banks of the river to trail marker LER504. It is worth noting that any mapping system I have used actually shows the Link No. 2 track as starting further around this spur They are all incorrect and the trail actually commences at the marker. Ascent the broad spur via Link 2 Track to the top of the range. Turn right when you reach the Blackwood Ranges Track and continue along this track to the junction of Long Point Track. The Blackwood Ranges track is a well made vehicle track which follows relatively level ground.
Long Point Track descends a steep and rocky ridge into the gorge below. Follow this trail along its length until you emerge onto the Lerderderg River and Weir.
On reaching the river, cross at the safest spot on the southern side of the dam wall. There are 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. Ascend the metal stairs on the right hand side of the wall and follow the Lerderderg Tunnel Access Track (which is a well made gravel road) as it gradually ascends the eastern side of the range. Pass through the large Southern Rural Water gate and after a short distance keep an eye out for the spur track t your right (it is on a bend just opposite the first road intersection). Commence your descent of the 1.6km Spur Track to the river below. Turning left at the river, follow it downstream to Grahams Dam and back to your start point at MacKenzies Flat Picnic Area.
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.
- Trail can be taken in any direction.
- The river is prone to flooding so avoid after heavy rains.
- Walking poles will be beneficial.
- This is a challenging walk in the Lerderderg Gorge and is for experienced bush walkers only. It is best to do the walk when the river is fairly low, as many crossings are necessary and at times the riverbed itself is the track. Here you can experience remote, unspoiled bush land.
- Map used: Lerderderg and Werribee Gorges by Meridian.
Max elevation: 532 m
Min elevation: 142 m
Total climbing: 917 m
Total descent: -918 m