3 October 2019

Canberra Day Trips: Tackle the Corn Trail

| Canberra Day Trips
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The start of the Corn Trail in the Buckenbowra Valley. Photo Alex Rea.

Want a challenging walk that takes you through pristine scenery? Keen to push yourself while you traverse a route that has been used for thousands of years? Then the difficult but rewarding Corn Trail walk, through Monga National Park near the top of Clyde Mountain, could be for you. The historic trail is an opportunity for hikers or horse riders to experience a wide variety of stunning landscapes and follow in the footsteps of people from the past.

The Corn Trail walking track was first used by Aboriginal people on their seasonal travels between the coast and the tablelands, then later by European settlers on pack horses carrying supplies. It was also used to bring cattle from the tablelands to the coast, and by gold prospectors. It was reconstructed as part of an Australian Bicentennial project so walkers can experience the rich history of the coastal pioneers.

About the trail

This historic trail takes you downhill from high mountain ridges to deep rainforest-filled valleys. You’ll pass the gently flowing Buckenbowra River, wander through warm temperate rainforest and walk through eucalypt forests. You’ll also catch glimpses of Mount Budawang and the sandstone peaks of Pigeon House (Didthul) and Castle Mountain further north as you go.

The trail heads at both ends have good interpretation material and trail information but the directional signage on this trail is very limited and just enough keep you on track.

The trail is well worn, sandy, easy to follow, and apart from a couple of exceptions not overly steep. Some of the paths on the lower half of the trail also slope very quickly away and it pays to keep a close eye on your footing.

Walking the corn trail. Photo: J Studholme

Before you go

  • You need to be an experienced walker with a good level of fitness to take on this trail, and it’s important that you are comfortable undertaking a walk in a remote area.
  • Be sure to bring water to drink, maps, sunscreen, sturdy walking shoes and maps.
  • There’s no mobile reception so bringing a Personal Locator Beacon is recommended.
  • Let someone know your plans to do the walk, and advise them when you’re back safely
  • Be well-prepared for all kinds of weather.

Getting there

Take the Kings Highway from Canberra, through Queanbeyan, Bungendore and Braidwood. There are two access points, both with parking available:

  1. Around 20km south east of Braidwood, you’ll see River Forest Road. Take the first left turn around 200m later and follow the road until you get to Dasyurus picnic area, where the walking track starts.
  2. The track finishes at the Lower Corn Trail car park. Get to this car park via the Misty Mountain Road, which also comes off the Kings Highway, and No Name Mountain Road. It will take you around 40 minutes from the Kings Highway to get to the car park. The last section is suitable for 4WD vehicles only.

It is highly recommended that you walk the trail from top to bottom, starting from the Dasyurus picnic area end. Either get dropped off and picked up or arrange to leave your vehicle in the lower car park off Misty Mountain Road before you set off from the top. Allow a minimum of six hours depending on your fitness. It is also recommended that you carry food and water.

The roads to the car parks at both ends of the trail can become boggy when it rains.

Park entry points

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A special place #eurobodalla #corntrail

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When to go

  • In autumn, the weather is mild and the gorgeous plumwood trees flower and make the track smell lovely.
  • In spring, the area bursts into flower.
  • In winter the days are shorter but show the diverse natural landscape of the region in a different light.

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