There are a number of walks through the bush around Campbelltown, but these are mostly busier trails and can only be done so many times before one wonders if the area holds any other secrets. I was determined to find out and decided, in particular, to see if I could discover a better route through the bush to the Georges River.
And thus I found what I have discovered is known as the 100 Steps Walk. Aside from the name, it was difficult to find out anything about this walk, or who created the stone staircase it is made from.
The stretch of river at the end of the 100 Steps Walk
All I can be certain of is that whoever put the steps in place and hewed them from the surrounding rock - no easy feat - must have felt the same desire I had to have a more secluded way to the water through the intact stillness of the bush.
As the walk is not well known, there are no signs designating the way so a little trial and error was necessary to locate the beginning of the descent.
You will find it down the end of Duncan Street in Minto Heights, where the tar seal peters off a metre or so off the road - the first steps camouflaged by wispy grass.You will not be able to drive right up to the start of the walk however, as there is a locked gate a little way off preventing cars from going all the way.
The beginning of the trail at the end of Duncan Street
Once it must have been a very even route, allowing you to walk quite easily, but over time, erosion and the elements have taken their toll and now not all of the steps are in place - and many of those that are have shifted.
At certain points along the walk you will find yourself clambering rather than walking as spaces between the stairs become more uneven and tree roots have become part of the stairway. This makes the walk just that much more interesting. Lots of character here.
In spite of any distraction related to maintaining your footing, be sure to observe the bush around you as you go. Aside from the trees towering above you, you will see many species of colourful fungi, ferns perched in the cracks of rocks, and pretty bush flowers beside the way.
It is wonderfully quiet but for the sounds of the bush as you are miles from busy roads. Consider making this a leisurely walk and give yourself half an hour to get to the bottom. Nevertheless, the route can definitely be completed more quickly.
Regrettably, once you get down to the water you will find, that there isn't a clear open space to stop for a rest. It is more a case of finding a flat rock to perch on, or stepping through a bit of brush to have a better view of the river.
You can certainly take a moment for a snack somewhere in the small clearing, but this is not a great place for a picnic. As such - and taking into consideration the difficulty of the descent - this is not the kind of walk to take with young children, or for people with mobility issues. It's steep on the way down followed by a difficult ascent from the river on the return journey
In saying that, it is perfect for small groups of friends who don't mind an unmanicured bush experience.
The charm of this unique little walk is its isolation, and the sense of mystery behind its existence. However it came to be, it is a welcome addition to the list of interesting bush walks that lead to the Georges River.