This is another local track that I have had my eye on for some time but never got around to doing. Having a few days off around Christmas and travel somewhat limited due to covid19 I decided to head out and do one of the loops.
The track begins at the end of the Mt Kuringai Industrial estate with the Beaumont Rd fire trail. Immediately I was popping off the track to check out the views from the ridge. With so much beauty right there I quite detest that the industrial area was built (even though I know it brings jobs and would only have become housing otherwise). It perturbs me that it was allowed to be built, knowing full well the double binds that view presents.
The fire trail soon met an enclosed dirt biking area with jumps and the like. And again I think it’s awesome and wish it wasn’t there! If I had a dirt bike I’d take it there and ride like crazy. Double binds. The track veered to the right and became the Gundah Ridge track proper. It followed the fence of the dirt bike track until, finally I was free of civilisation!
The views became easier to see. Just a short diversion off the track presented some lovely vistas. I became aware of a loud humming sound. First I thought it was power lines but there were none to be seen. Then I thought bees, and there certainly was some but not enough to make that racket. The cicadas around me were loud but this noise was like a chorus hum above it all. I realised that it was actually the cicadas and that they had somehow all hit the same note. Or something! It was crazy loud.
I began descending and noticed a large rock cairn. I didn’t quite understand why it was there. I bashed my way through to it but the views from there were not that great, just trees and grassy areas below. I carried on down, watching every step for snakes that I imagined were seething in the grasses around me.
The track began to fade but there were a number of rock cairns guiding the way and of course I had my map apps. Some folks online are openly hostile to rock cairns but I have no issue if they are navigation aids. You wouldn’t rely on them and navigating here was easy since “going up” gets you to the top of the narrow ridge and “going down” takes you off the cliff… In this case, they marked the lower end of the track and were situated near some lovely photo spots. I am a fan of useful rock cairns.
I explored the cliffs a little and found some amazing vantage points. At one I could see both up and down Berowra Creek and with the cicadas singing away I felt wonderfully satisfied being so immersed in the Aussie bush.
I turned around and headed for the first rock cairn then followed my map app until I could see the main track again. As I climbed I realised the purpose of the large cairn. It was to indicate where the main track was and to guide walkers up through the cliff. Kinda cool. The path became much clearer at that point. I was relying on my map apps though so didn’t really need the rock stacks as guides. I was going to follow the track around the other side of the dirt biking enclosure but I wasn’t clear how it connected to the fire trail so I returned mostly the way I came.
I really enjoyed this walk as there were views , useful rock cairns (take that keyboard warriors!) and crazy loud cicadas! I’ll return one day and follow what appears to be a footpad down to Berowra Waters. All up the walk took one hour and twenty minutes or three hours at a slow pace.