The area around Marysville has a range of wonderful trails of varying distance and difficulty. The Marysville Forest Trails offer a variety of experiences from gentle half hour strolls to full day hikes. There are mountain vistas, fern walks and spectacular waterfalls.
Early visitors based themselves in grand Victorian guesthouses, took horse buggy rides along Lady Talbot Drive and picnicked beneath tree ferns and towering Mountain Ash. In the wake of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, Marysville has revitalised a network of shared trails that enable walkers, cyclists and horseriders to experience the best nature has to offer. Visit the majestic Steavenson Falls, take a forest drive to the Beeches or enjoy the expansive view at Keppel Lookout. Experience the region’s rich logging history at the Cambarville Historic Township and walk among some of Australia’s tallest and oldest living trees.
The trails include:
1. Steavenson Falls Trail
An easy stroll to one of Victoria’s highest waterfalls. The falls were opened to tourists in 1866, and drop a total of 84m into the Steavenson River valley. The gravelled path and falls are floodlit between dusk and midnight.
2. Beauty Spot Trail
This easy nature trail has long been one of Marysville’s most loved short walks.
The trail follows winding Leary Creek, deep among the tree fern groves that are a feature of this walk. Beauty Spot Trail is noted for its abundant bird life, which is at its noisy best at dusk and dawn. A number of interpretive signs along the trail highlight the flora and fauna that inhabit the forest.
3. Gilberts Gully Trail
Tucked away in the Wilks Creek Valley below Mt Gordon, this gentle circuit walk is easily accessible from the centre of Marysville. The walk passes through a dry mixed species forest before crossing a wetland on boardwalks and steel bridges. Wilks Creek was named after the engineer Clement Wilks, who in the 1860s and 70s, designed a number of the bridges and culverts along the historic Yarra Track which provided access to the Woods Point Goldfields.
4. Tree Fern Gully Trail
This gently undulating shared trail links Marysville with Steavenson Falls Scenic Reserve and is the best way to approach the falls. Walkers and cyclists will pass through stands of tall Manna Gum, Mountain Ash and shady tree fern groves that surround the rushing Steavenson River.
5. Michaeldene Trail
The attractive bushland linking the Steavenson and Taggerty Rivers allows walkers and cyclists to step back in time to Marysville’s historic logging past. Sections of this mostly flat circuit follow old tramline alignments, which in places reveal the original timber sleepers on which the big logs were transported to the nearby sawmill. The Trestle Bridge was built to span a small gully and provide access to the timber on Red Hill. The Taggerty River Lookout offers views over the Taggerty River.
6. Wilks Creek Trail
This energetic walking and cycling trail loops through the Wilks Creek catchment passing through a variety of forest types. Part of this path is shared with the Bicentennial National Trail, the 5330km long horse trail linking Healesville (Vic) to Cooktown (Qld) along the Great Dividing Range. The historic Anderson No.1 Mill site was one of the most productive sawmills in the region, supporting a small community, shops and even a school. Today Anderson Mill is an ideal place to take a breather and enjoy your lunch.
7. Keppel Lookout Trail
The most challenging walk in the area, Keppel Lookout Trail climbs up through Mountain Ash and Stringybark forest to visit four of Marysville’s best lookouts. There are spectacular views across Marysville, Cathedral Range State Park and Steavenson Falls. The trail is fairly uneven and steep in places, and walkers need to be self sufficient with food and water and wear sturdy footwear.
8. The Beeches
Immerse yourself in the best rainforest trail the national park has to offer. This enjoyable circuit walk skirts through Mountain Ash regrowth before entering a delightful temperate rainforest of Myrtle Beech, Southern Sassafras, Blackwood, tall tree ferns and thick green mosses. The trail passes Taggerty Cascades, which provide a noisy contrast to the quiet Whitehouse Creek. A number of timber bridges and floating boardwalks are crossed along the way. Lyrebirds are common in the area.
9. Taggerty Cascades
Fed by the waters of nearby Lake Mountain, the Taggerty River thunders over a jumble of large granite boulders as it plunges through a rainforest pocket filled with dense tree ferns and Myrtle Beech. A winding stepped path descends through the darkened understorey, just metres from the raging torrent, to a timber bridge spanning the river. Watch for lyrebirds that can often be seen scratching for grubs along the trail.
10. Keppel Falls
An invigorating walk upstream along the Taggerty River, Keppel Falls is a tiered waterfall, rushing and tumbling down large boulders, slabs and mossy logs. Named after the Keppel brothers who discovered the falls in the early 1880s, Keppel Falls drains the forested southern slopes of nearby Mt Margaret and is an impressive sight after snow melt and recent rain. A lookout is located below the falls.
11. Phantom Falls
Phantom Falls rushes over smooth granite boulders, twisting and turning among fallen logs before cascading down to the Taggerty River. Tree ferns and Myrtle Beech line the walking trail that crosses two bridges along the way. There are extensive views of the river valley and surrounding Mountain Ash skeletons are a stark reminder of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.
12. Cambarville Historic Township
During the 1860s, Cambarville was an important stopping point along the busy road leading to the Woods Point Goldfields. Later, Cambarville became a bustling timber town having a large steam-driven sawmill, houses, a school and shops. This easy circuit passes the old Chalet Hubertus, the school and sawmill sites. There are interpretative signs along the way.
13. Cumberland Falls
Experience the majesty of the tallest flowering trees in the world. This breathtaking walk passes through rare mature-aged Mountain Ash to beneath the Big Tree, a 400-year-old giant standing 85m above the forest floor. Hidden nearby, in a damp rainforest gully, are Cora Lynn Falls and Cumberland Falls. There are sweeping views of the Cumberland Valley from Sovereign View.