When it comes to bushland reserves, nothing quite matches the little known North Lakes Environmental Park and surrounds. With several of the lakes that gives North Lakes its name, it also has a creek, well maintained paths, barbecue areas and bush paths. All this combines to provide a great bushland experience.
The problem with just popping into Brisbane's bushland reserves for a walk is that it is hard to work out where is the best place to start. North Lakes Environmental Park is no exception. First of all the south side is nicer than the north side. I would suggest heading to one of the lakes such as Woodside Lake off Lacebark St. There are nicely maintained walking and cycle paths from here that stay close the road. Perfect for a stroll or to walk your dog.
Whitebeech Lakes, off Whitebeech Court is probably a better place to start walking if you want to get onto more bush paths and trails. But if you wish to explore the area, you can start anywhere.
Being at the upper end of Hays Inlet, there is plenty of wildlife around. The lakes are the best options to see wildlife. There is a population of swans that certainly enjoy the lakes as well as numerous wading birds.
If you go away from the road and head to the creek, especially in the early morning or late afternoon, you may be lucky and see some kangaroos, swamp wallabies and don't forget to keep your eyes open for some koalas.
Walking the North Lakes Environmental Park
As a bushland reserve it leaves a bit to be desired for walking. You could do the circumference of the park, though you would end up walking alongside some busy roads. For people going for a stroll you may want to stick to the nicely maintained paths on the south side of the park that link up to other parks, lakes and paths in North Lakes.
Now there is no official crossing of Hays Inlet except at the roads at either end of the park, but local kids, bless their hearts, have constructed a makeshift crossing from various odd logs and planks at the narrow areas. If I remember correctly, this is just south of Lydia Court and you are welcome to try this crossing at your own risk.
This little known environmental park is a great place to wander around. You can just walk around the lake and admire the swans or head off into the bush away from other people. Don't forget to bring some sausages to throw on a barbecue afterwards.