This hidden away gem is for those who like an easy walk without the crowds of the more popular parks. It is about 3.5 kms from the Lilydale Railway Station along the Maroondah Highway on the corner of Ingram Road, Coldstream.
The main entrance is off Ingham Road with a car park at the entrance. Your first sight upon entering the reserve is a gazebo atop a slight rise in the landscape. The gazebo boasts a large picnic table and seats plus two park bench type seats. A tap on one of the corner posts provides water for man and dog alike. Dogs are encouraged in designated on lead and off lead areas.
The 14 hectare reserve can also be entered from Belchester Avenue, on the northern end of the reserve, but it is a no through road and only offers street parking. There is also an entrance as you turn into Ingram Road with a small off road parking area.
The gazebo is prominent as you enter the reserve from the car park.
The area was bequeathed by Margaret Lewis in 1981and is well maintained by the Yarra Ranges Council and the Friends of the Margaret Lewis Reserve Inc. A memorial plaque set on a boulder adjacent to the gazebo commemorates the memory of Margaret. There is another plaque in the reserve commemorating Val Sheehan, a local historian.
Part of the area has been planted and maintained by the staff, students and parents of the Coldstream Primary School, which is adjacent to the reserve.
The area planted and maintained by the nearby Coldstream Primary School.
Birds are a constant sighting, but the tread of feet on the gravel paths warns them of your approach, so often only a fleeting glance is seen. Observed have been magpies, currawongs, doves, noisy minors, kookaburras, tawny frogmouths and a fleeting streak of colour suggesting parrots. Monarch butterflies are a constant sight, flittering away as we approach them.
On my three walks through the reserve I saw very few birds with this magpie being happy to have their photo taken.
Very few, if any, native animals call the reserve home. The president of the Friends of the Margaret Lewis Reserve, Morris Maxwell reports that echidnas were once in resident but none have been sighted for two years. He also said that occasional visits from kangaroos and a wombat had been seen in the past.
Even the most casual walker cannot fail to see the hundreds of newly planted shrubs, protected by plastic surrounds, part of the initiative to return the area to its native habitat, for both flora and fauna.
In the foreground are many of the shrubs planted in the reserve with a picnic area visible through the trees.
Along both walking tracks are numerous park bench type seats, allowing the not so fit a rest or just to sit in solitude and observe their surroundings. On a sunny day, many of the seats situated under the shade of trees give respite from the sun.
One of the many track side seats situated in shady areas.