A wide dirt track, easy to navigate and with manageable inclines, Dutchman’s Walk takes you through tall forest and down into a wet gully, before looping you back out again.
This is a pretty 6km Strathbogie Forest loop through Messmate, Mountain, Blue, Manna and Peppermint Gum forest. There are two entrances to Dutchmans Track. Start at the Barjarg Rd entrance near Lima East Road for gentler uphill gradients.
Dutchman’s Track will take you down through the forest into a wet gully and back up to Barjarg Road, along which you can return to your starting point. This dirt road has very little traffic, but be mindful nonetheless. You will skirt the boundary of pine plantations for a short section along the road.
The track itself has some muddy patches churned by dirt bikes, but you can get around these. There are birds flitting about aplenty. The forest is a pleasurable place to be, with many grand trees to admire, especially when the wattles come into bloom and the forest comes alive with vibrant yellow.
This is a good walk for all ages, but doesn’t lend itself to mobility assist devices.
Fortunately, Strathbogie Forest has been protected from logging since early 2020. Historically, it was a significant timber source. In the late 1800s, the forest timber started to be used in commercial quantities for mining, construction and railway building. Several mills were established within the forest to meet the demand for timber. Originally, preferred trees were millable Blue Gum and Messmate. However, over time pulp became a product as well. This extraction compounded ecosystem damage.
Protection doesn’t mean set and forget. For example, feel free to write to DEWLP and ask them to do something about the blackberries you see. Now the forest is protected, it will need new forms of advocacy.
Be alert for the mournful sound and spectre of the Dutchman as you traverse this place of solitude. This logger without a forest to log is now doomed to drive the logging tracks forever in his ghostly logging truck – never to find a coupe again.
Room for car parking
Roadside directional signs
Designated flora and fauna habitat
Camping in Strathbogie Forest is allowed at either Ruoaks or James Reserve
Limbs may fall
No potable water
Snakes may be active
Beware of vehicle traffic
Be equipped for self-reliant hiking
Mobile reception may be unreliable
Native flora and fauna are protected
Take rubbish with you
No firewood collection
Closed on days of total fire ban
Drivers/riders must: use formed roads only, be licensed, be registered
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