Lazy Sunday Walk to Mount Scott
December 6th 2015. In search of an interesting walk and a Sunday picnic, Graham, James, Shizuka, Rusty and I decided to revisit the walk to Mt Scott.
Graham, James and I did this walk over 10 years ago. At the time, forestry operations had obscured the entrance to the walk. In fact we almost didn’t start the walk. However, I still also have memories of the fabulous views from the summit and looking down to watch a majestic wedge-tail eagle soaring on the thermals just below us!
Where is the Mount Scott Walk?
From Tin Dragon Trail Cottages turn left into Branxholm and head towards Scottsdale (A3 Highway). When you reach the Ling Siding (80 km/hr zone) see the United Petrol pump on your right. Turn immediately left off the A3 onto the Ten Mile Track. Continue till you see the South Springfield Rd turnoff to your left. Continue on the South Springfield road for 10km.
Don’t turn right to the South Springfield reserve or the Headquarters Dam. Take the left-hand fork of the road. You will see a largish blue signpost for the Mt Scott walk directing you. The start of the walk is 300m from this turn-off. When you are confronted with another fork in the road (unlabeled) look carefully for a small old sign with an arrow pointing to Mt Scott. You are now close to the start of the walk.
You should see an eroded trail-bike track on your left. Park near here and walk along the road till you find the sign-posted entrance to the walk.
How Long does the Walk to Mount Scott take?
Set aside four to five hours for this adventure. You will want to savour the majesty of the ancient trees and the view out across Scottsdale to the ocean. Of course you will also want to enjoy that hot cup of tea and the picnic you have lovingly carried up the mountain! Hint: Take a pencil or pen so you can write an entry in the visitors book located in a sealed bucket on the summit.
Our Experience of the Mount Scott Walk
Oh dear. Deja-vu. When we thought we were near the start of the track, we drove up and down one to two km, but couldn’t see the signpost. There was a trail bike track on our left, so we came back to this point and decided to start walking.
After a few minutes walking in the hot sun alongside uninspiring views of eucalypt plantation and weeds, we were about to give up and go home, But then I noticed an orange tag on a tree. Eureeka! Despite the lack of visible track this was an entrance onto the old track. We marked this entrance with a stone cairn and proceeded.
You should walk slowly and look carefully for the track markings. Because you may become engaged with the beauty of the remnant wet forest and then it is easy to miss the markers. Furthermore some of the markers and track sections were obscured by tree-fall.
After a few minutes walking, it was hard to imagine this beautiful place, sadly, surrounded by plantation and weeds. Even on a hot summer’s day it was cool under the canopy of the ancient man ferns, with the dampness of the forest under foot.
As we steadily ascended, the Tin Dragon Trails Cottage team didn’t need much encouragement for a photo stop!
Extensive tree-fall from previous years’ storms added an extra challenge to our uphill climb.
The rotting tree-fall provided ideal habitat for interesting fungi.
Wise old rocks were covered in ferns, mosses and lichens.
We walked among giants!
High up in the Myrtle tree branches the myrtle oranges were blooming. These fungi are edible, but seem to have no taste. Yes we did eat some!
A few tall eucalypts were fighting for supremacy of the wet forest
The tall man ferns reminded us that this remnant forest was here long before Scott explored the region
As we approached the summit it became muddy under foot from water oosing up from underground.
Presumably this beginning of a mountain stream was the reason for this patch of forest not being clear-felled. So for the moment this remnant forest will not be forced to make money under the hungry sound of chainsaws.
Of course this wet area was perfect habitat for Tasmania’s endemic burrowing crayfish and ubiquitous leaches. Graham was singled out by three of the little suckers!
On the summit the forest opens up with more tea trees and grasses–nearly there, reward in sight. Even Rusty was looking exhausted. She was happy to rest in the shade of a tree while we explored the summit.
Then the grand finale. You can take a rest and enjoy the view, hot cup of tea, cake and sandwich. Rusty was given a bowl of refreshing water. Don’t forget to take a pen, so you can make a mark for history.
The walk down always seems much faster. I think it took us about 90 minutes to return to our car. Remember though that I take my time, with stops to take photos, smell the spiciness of the forest and soak up its calming greenness.
Walking out into the strong sunlight and heat of the gravel road was like returning to another world. We were again surrounded by the hard working dry forest and weeds.
Rather than returning to Branxholm via the Ten Mile Track, we headed into Scottsdale and JoDonny’s Cafe for a large pizza and coffee. (I didn’t have the energy-levels to cook a meal at home.)
If you wish to learn more about our tourist accommodation in North East Tasmania, please explore our Tin Dragon Cottages web site. We look forward to hosting your next stay in Tasmania!