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Published April 9th 2013
Mt Evelyn to Silvan, if you survive 'heart attack hill'
After visiting Olinda Falls and checking out the massive trees and of course, the waterfall. We were preparing to walk on the Mechanics track from the Olinda Picnic Grounds on the Olinda Valley track, however we were advised the prams may become stuck as the tracks are narrow and the trees close to the track.
We were asking people from a local bush walking club what tracks they would advise? The first was a paved track at a gentle 2 kilometres,"perfect for prams" to me that means "boring" where is the fun in driving for an hour to go for a 2 km walk . My response was probably a little direct "we want to go for a decent walk" after some consideration he suggested the Olinda Creek Trail. With a smirk on his face and a bit of a wink to his fellow walker, he commented "you may have some fun on that, it's pretty steep".
We decided to give it a go. After the smirk and wink, we knew we would be in for a challenge, but just what was in-store for us?
We got in the car and drove to the Mt Evelyn Recreation Reserve, which is the starting point for the walk. We got the kids in the prams, water, snacks and whatever else they needed, and we were off.
The first 100 meters is a narrow washed out track that suddenly opens up to a large grassed expanse and a large hill (yes you have to climb it). If you don't have a heart attack in the first 500 metres, it's safe to say you will be fine for the remainder of the trail, so that's a positive.
Top of 'heart attack hill' but photo does not show the steepness
Once you get to the top of the hill you need to go over the fence and turn left the follow the fire trail all the way. The walk is clearly signposted, so there is no need to worry about becoming lost. The trail is undulating most of the way and is listed as being moderate to hard, I think that rating is more moderate.
After approximately 4km there is a sign that will direct you down into this amazing fern gully, continue down to the creek and cross the wooden bridge to the other side, you then start ascending out of the gully and in through huge trees, here we saw many native flowers.
After the children had a play at the park and the prams stopped to have a rest ( our poor prams) we went up to the Reservoir lookout, you can see a small bit of the dam but I wouldn't call it a lookout as such, the native shrubs they have planted are overtaking the scenery.
It's starting to get late in the afternoon, and with no watches or mobile phones and without knowing the time we decided we should start to head back.
On the way back with tired children getting pushed up and down the hills in the pram, we were reflecting on how enjoyable our day had been and how lucky we were to find out about this trail. Even if it was to the amusement of the men who recommended this trail, probably just to see how mad 2 adults with 2 prams and four children are, to attempt the walk.
But you know it was a great day, we loved the challenge, the scenery and the wildlife and to our surprise the children loved it to.
We were happy to get back to the car and wash all the crystallised sweat off our faces and enjoy my favourite beverage, a cold can of Pepsi Max. Ah that's the life!
The walk is 5.6 km each way and you can begin at either Mt Evelyn Recreation Reserve or at Silvan Dam, however I recommended starting at Mt Evelyn as the scenery gets better and better all the way to the dam. This is an out and back walk, not a circuit.