Approximately an hour and a half’s travel north-east of Melbourne CBD, Trentham is a small town on the edge of the Wombat State Forest. There are a number of small reserves and walking trails around town, and the Wombat Trail, a loop of approximately 8km, takes the walker right around the edge of the houses into the surrounding bushland.
Parking is available at the Quarry St Reserve, where the trail begins. A large pond in the reserve is home to a variety of waterfowl, and the path leads south along its banks.
Cross the High St and you’ll enter the community-managed Stoney Creek Reserve. There has been some flood damage to the path here but it has been well marked out by the reserve’s managers and is easily avoided.
After leaving Stoney Creek, follow Park St until you reach Trentham Cemetery, where a grassy track follows the fence-line of the graveyard before veering into the trees.
Cross over the Trentham-Blackwood Road to enter the forest, where kangaroos can usually be spotted in the morning and evening grazing in the neighbouring paddock. The path will lead you down to the Trentham Racecourse Reserve, where the last race was run 110 years ago. All that remains of the racetrack is a wide path through gum trees which have reclaimed the reserve over the past century.
Approximately halfway around the track is the site of the grandstand and finishing post, now unrecognisable, save for the bench and interpretive sign that mark the spot. As you complete your circuit of the track, crimson rosellas, corellas and kookaburras are a common sight in the treetops.
Retrace your steps with the aid of the Wombat Trail signage, then follow the path right; here, you may find yourself surrounded by common brown butterflies. Gleeson St will lead you around the back of the town, then simply pass along Trent Creek and turn down Albert St to return to your parking spot.
Signage is regular and reliable all the way along the route, making it very difficult to lose your way, and the going is easy underfoot. It’s a steady, flat trail that’s best enjoyed early in the morning while the town is quiet.
• A loop around the town of Trentham through the Wombat Forest
• Sites of historic interest including the old Trentham Racecourse
• Listen out for corellas and kookaburras along the forest trails
• Easy terrain for young children or older walkers
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
EASE OF ACCESSIBILITY
Alex Mullarky is a writer and environmentalist from the UK who has called Melbourne home since 2014. She is a graduate of English Literature and is particularly interested in the connection between language and landscape.
You can find her on Twitter at @saesteorra.
Originally published on Walking Maps.
All images courtesy of Alex Mullarky.