This new trail is a shortcut up Mt Coot-tha to the Gold Mine
The Brisbane City Council has opening up a whole range of new trails on Mt Coot-tha. One new interesting trail is the Scorpion Trail, which is a nice short cut up to Ghost Hole Gold Mine. The main advantage of this track is that it ends across the road from the Gold Mine Picnic area, while in the past you had to walk along the road to the Gold Mine.
The trail links to several trails and starting points at the base of the mountain. So I am going to describe how one of the best options, which involves hiking from the base of the Honeyeater track off Fleming Road in Chapel Hill. You could also start hiking from The Gap Creek Reserve Picnic Area or the Greenford Street where the Kokoda Trail starts.
From the car park at The Hut off Fleming Road in Chapel Hill, you simply start up the Honeyeater Track until you come to an intersection just before the water tank reservoir. Then turn left down the Resevoir Trail onto the Kamala Trail.
At the time that I last walked this track, it was not well sign posted. However while it does sound a little confusing, if you stick to the wider fire trails and avoid side journeys onto narrow tracks, the there is only one path to follow. Also, every time I go back to Mt Coot-tha they seem to have added more sign posts, so hopefully they will add some more signs soon. I think the Brisbane Council is doing a pretty good job, though all these new trails are works in progress.
The Kamala Trail leads pretty much straight onto the Scorpion Trail. While there is an alternative path tp the left that you can follow, it is pretty obvious which one is the Scorpion Trail as it is heading up Mt Coot-tha.
Now a quick note on the name. Most of the names of the trails give you a good idea of what you will find there. The Bellbird Trail is where you can hear bellbirds. If you spotlight the Powerful Owl Trail at night, you are likely to see some of those owls. Now I was on the lookout for scorpions on the Scorpion Trail, but I am sorry to say (though you might be happy to hear) that we didn't see any.
So once to the top of the trail, you are at the Sir Samuel Griffith Drive and the Gold Mine is just across the road. This is a lovely little spot to stop and rest after the steep walk and the council has setup the area with a small picnic area, and a historic trail with some signage talking about the history of the location.
How you come down the mountain is a matter of choice. Normally when walking Mt Coot-tha I try to find to find a circuit. In this case, you can follow the track to the Gold Mine and then a new track continues up to the Powerful Owl Trail. Actually, there was always an unofficial track there. At the Powerful Owl Trail turn left and then it will take you back to the Sir Samuel Griffith Drive and you can cross the road and descend Mt Coot-tha either by the Jacksonia Track or the Kokoda Trail.
Whichever way you go down, you will be looking to turn left at the base of the track down and follow the path back to the Kamala Trail. Remember to stick to wider trails and avoid the narrower tracks, many of which are mountain bike paths.
Walking back towards the Kamala Trail and the start of the hike