OLNEY STATE FOREST – 17 September 2020
My motivation to get out and do a fitness walk is non-existent, so I have been putting Thursday walks on the BWOC calendar. Means that I have to do the walk, and also means I have someone to go with. Who would have thought my day walks would be popular, so easy and that I’d find some walks that are hidden gems.
Di K, Greg G, and Tom A joined me along with newcomers Eric W, Linda S, Peter R and Russel H. I’d picked a walk out of my database, didn’t have a clue what it would be like, although Di said she’d done it a few years ago and that it was good.
We set out to explore Broken Back Ridge, in Olney State Forest, a mere 30 minutes from home, how good is that!
After starting on one route, then deciding that it didn’t look good, we set off up Prickly Ridge Road and found a nice spur to climb. Nice open walking, no scrub, and looking down to the route I first chose (it looked way scrubby), so pleased we backtracked!
Heading up to false top (The Bluff was another 100m further on), stunning weather eh?
A few small scrambles.
Looking down from the ridge, the vegetation below was also nice and open.
Walking off the top of The Bluff now, and we’re on a good foot-pad, or bike track, still not sure who had made the track, bikes or feet.
Big drops on either side of the rocky ridge we’re walking along, very speccy.
We did get to a spot that looked like a lot of mountain bikes had been along it, a bit degraded, but was still nice to be on a track.
Burned out tree, or Hobbit’s house.
Heading down to a saddle, lots of rocks to negotiate.
Can’t speak more highly of this ridge, such easy walking , not at all like my usual walks.
More speccy rock formations
And lots of rock lilies (Thelychiton speciosum, also known as dendrobium, a native orchid from the Australian East Coast.) Sadly they weren’t in flower yet, nor did we see any spikes of either budding flowers or flowers from a month ago which would indicate that we were way too early. It could be because it’s been very dry lately, but we’ve had quite a bit of rain this winter, so that probably isn’t the reason.
Greg double checking where we were supposed to be. Di and I are trying to encourage Greg to lead some walks, so this was a recce for him.
When we got to the end of Broken Back Ridge, we turned south following another ridge. We did about 200m of off track walking to avoid a climb up a knoll (no-one had any appetite for it as it was quite hot). When we got around to the spur we wanted, there was the footpad which probably went up and over the knoll.
This ridge was quite different to Broken Back, no big cliffs either side and not many rocky slabs.
And it had grassy meadows, pity it’s so far from water, it would be nice in winter coming up here for a bludge overnight walk.
Coming off the end of the ridge, we’re starting down a spur.
Quite steep and very slippery under foot.
Still heading down, this spur would take us all the way to a fire trail that we’d walk out on.
Lots of grass trees on this ridge, we didn’t see any on Broken Back. Hard to believe that two ridges so close to each other could be so different.
Heading down the final rocky part of the spur.
About 100m from the bottom we came to a slope that had obviously been used by 4WDers for a bit of fun, lots of ruts that were made worse by rain, we kept to the far right though were it wasn’t so slippery, and then we were on the Forest Boundary Road which would take us back to the cars, a mere 4k along fire trail.
The group of happy walkers, nicely social distancing (l-r, Tom, Linda, Peter, Eric, Russell, Greg & Di.
Thanks for coming on this walk everyone, you survived an Adventure with M – I’m going to have to lift my game, it was way too easy!
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