D'Aguilar National Park borders the outskirts of Brisbane. It is divided into two sections – South D'Aguilar section (once called Brisbane Forest Park) and the Mount Mee Section.
The Somerset trail is in the Mount Mee section of the National Park and is about a 90 minute drive north west of the city, (a little less if you live in the northern suburbs).
The drive takes you through the pretty towns of Samford and Daybro. You feel as if you are leaving the city far behind as you continue towards the park through farms and bushland. The walk begins at the Gantry day-use area, if you don't have a four-wheel-drive this is also as far as you can travel in the Mount Mee section of the park. There are two walks that begin here, the short one kilometre Piccabeen circuit and the longer Somerset Trail.
Passing through open forest on the Somerset Trail.
The Somerset Trail is a thirteen kilometre hike through a variety of bushland, including scribbly gum forests, dry open forests and rainforest in the low lying areas. Although the walk is a decent length the track is well defined and the gradients not too steep. We found it quite easy and completed in less than the four hours recommended. This walk would be suitable for children that have been on bushwalks before and that have a reasonable level of fitness, we saw several families along the way.
The distinctive marks on the Scribbly Gums bark are left by the larvae of wood boring moths.
A trail accessible by trail bikes and four-wheel-drives intersects the walk in several places and joins up at the Somerset lookout. On the weekend this drive can be quite busy and the noise of the vehicles does carry. If it is complete peace and quiet you are after it may be best to wait for a weekday.
The walk finishes back at the Gantry day-use area. The area gets its name from the building that is a remnant of the small saw mill operation that ran here up to 1981. Here there are shelters, toilets, picnic tables and a large lawn area. It is a great place to have a picnic or BBQ after a good walk.