Bushwalkers Get In The Loop
BY Deb Kahn
The Border Bushwalking Club completed the Baranduda Loop Hike, which finally took place despite recent bad weather.
Nestled on the outskirts of Albury/Wodonga is Baranduda State Park. The park is a 15 minute drive from the Albury CBD, accessed from Baranduda or Leneva, and is a great place to spend a day hiking close to home. The park has many tracks and sizeable hills that allow people the opportunity to choose the duration and intensity of their day in the great outdoors.
On Saturday 5th July, under a grey sky, Border Bushwalking Club members and visitors hiked the 14km loop. Starting in Barton Drive, we followed the 4WD track found at the base of the hills. After a short 10 minute climb, we left the wide track for a narrow path that would eventually ascend 450 metres to the Ridge Track. This path is rough, uneven, eroded, strewn with fallen trees, criss crossed with animal tracks and very steep in places. Taking approximately 50 minutes of climbing to reach The Ridge Track, this part of the hike has stunning views to the east across Kiewa and it’s environs. Morning tea was a great excuse to catch our breath that most appreciated after the climb.
The hike continued along the Ridge Track until the intersection with Cobb Track, which branched off to the right after about 30 minutes. People were more than happy to know that there was no more climbing for a while, as the track winds it’s way downhill to the valley floor. Spectacular views across to Bandianna, Leneva, Baranduda West and Wodonga in the distance distracted everyone as the wind picked up and the rain tried to fall.
An hour’s stroll saw us on the valley floor and, thanks to the weather clearing slightly, we were able to have lunch in relatively calm conditions. While eating lunch there was only one thing on peoples minds: the long, steep 500 metre ascent up Trig Track. This would have us back on The Ridge Track that we initially climbed to in the morning, at the beginning. Once refuelled by lunch, we started the uphill slog that generally takes between 50 minutes to an hour to complete. The key here is to stop and take in the stunning scenery to the west and appreciate just how high you are climbing and how steep the track is. Another rest at the top had people congratulating each other.
The rest of the hike in the afternoon is a ‘walk in the park’, compared to the morning’s efforts. We descend via Ridge Lane to the locked gate just off the Yackandanda Road. To the left of this locked gate is a small garden gate that allows access to the southern end of Barton Drive. Our cool-down occured as we walk through Baranduda to our cars at the northern end of Barton Drive. Another great day in our local backyard!