Wednesday 2 February: Wednesday Walk – Palmerville Heritage Park – Gungaderra Grasslands – Gungahlin Hill Circuit – E-M. This walk is suitable for a summer’s day in that it is only about 12km in distance, any climbing is minor (about 150 metres gain during the day) and it is easy walking virtually all of the time. From Palmerville Heritage Park, (which is opposite the Belconnen Soccer Club) we follow a track towards the Barton Highway. A small section of this track involves a couple of small patches of squelchy mud, (due to the plentiful summer rainfall we have had..). If you have leather boots or Gortex lined footwear, you shouldn’t get wet feet. We then follow a bike path for a short distance until we reach the entrance to Gungaderra Grasslands Nature Reserve. This Reserve is a very attractive area and we walk through Yellow Box – Red Gum woodland as well as Natural Temperate Grasslands. It is the habitat of the striped legless lizard, the golden sun moth and the perunga grasshopper. The only problem we are likely to face is the abundance of grass seeds – again due to the wet summer – and it is strongly recommended that you wear sock protectors and/or gaiters. After we have done a rough figure eight loop of the area, we return the same way to Palmerville Heritage Park.
Distance: 12.4km | Climb: 246m | Time: Starting 8.40am 3hrs 26mins moving time, plus 45mins of breaks | Grading: M/E; E(7).
Did you know that each Wednesday the combined bushwalking clubs of Canberra facilitate two walks, one in the easy-medium difficulty range and the other in the medium-hard range? The best way to find out about them and participate is to join one of the clubs and elect to receive Wednesday Walk notifications – Canberra Bushwalking Club, Brindabella Bushwalking Club, National Parks Association ACT. You may find Wednesday Walk descriptions in the publicly available walk programs of the clubs.
Anyway, I decided to try my hand at the E-M trip today. It was an opportunity to visit the Gungaderra Grasslands Nature Reserve, to catch up with some old walking friends and even to see the suburb of Crace. The weather remained kind.
We met in the Palmerville Heritage Park car park and strolled up through the area. The Landcare memorial planting forest has certainly grown since I was last here.
Palmerville has a rich history and plenty of informative signage.
We had been warned of a little mud on the footpad up the side of the CSIRO paddocks, named on AllTrail’s OpenStreetMap as the Gininderra Creek Access Trail.
This brought us to the edge of the Barton Highway and after a short way on the north bound side of the road, on shared path under the Highway.
A little more bike path, a dash across Gundaroo Drive and we were on the perimeter of Crace. I’ve never visited this suburb before, living as I do in the deep south.
At last the entrance to the Nature Reserve beckoned and we were on footpad through the woodland.
What followed was a pleasant time in woodland and grassland areas.
A massive eucalypt …
… with a big butt.
We passed a nice dam, twice, in the planned figure of eight route.
Views over the open grasslands from Spiders Hill.
Then it was on around Gungahlin Hill. A quick lunch break at 11am.
We returned the same way. A magnificent Oak tree just in the CSIRO paddock beside the damp footpad.
The long grass with seeds we were warned of did not eventuate, the paths we used in the NR having been recently mowed.
A nice little trip and all I seem able to cope with at the moment. Thanks to John E for organising and leading this walk.
I was going to say 20-odd people (or was that 20 odd people), but there were 23. Shows how popular these walk are.