30 March 2013 Dowling-Sherwood


Tidbinbilla Range and beyond from Dowling

Map: Cotter Dam 1:25000

Walk Description

This walk was organised and led by me as a CBC short-notice walk:

Easter Saturday 30 March: Dowling-Sherwood - M/E-M. In town for Easter and want a day walk? A mild wander North-East of Blue Range Hut on forestry roads to Dowling trig and the Sherwood historic site. Only 200m off-track on the descent from Dowling. Around 14km and 400m climb. Map: Cotter Dam. Leader: John Evans - john@johnevans.id.au, 0417 436 877. Transport: ~$6 per person.

14 of us drove in 3 vehicles from Canberra via the Cotter, then Brindabella Rd and Blue Range Rd to park near the intersection of Blue Range Rd and East West Rd, just before where the entry to Blue Range Hut is gated off.

Further Information

You can get an idea of the area from trips on 13 Mar 12, 6 Mar 12 and 19 Apr 11.

Track Map

Track map: thumbnail is active - click for a larger picture


Track Notes

This was a mild wander, boring in parts as we tromped fire trail, but lifted by a couple of points of interest. The first attempt at reaching Uriarra weir from Sherwood was particularly interesting. Great new and old friends had plenty of banter, rivaling and even surpassing at times that of Tuesday walkers.

Noisy yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos E of Blue Range Hut. A little off-track detour under the power lines SW of Dowling on the ascent used up my 200m walk description allowance, where it was supposed to be available for the descent.

Morning tea by the trig (my first for the CBC Centenary of Canberra 'Stretch Your Legs' events).

The W side of Dowling is totally different from the S side and we enjoyed a dry and rocky slip and slide down that flank, steep in places. But all safely down to the U-bend in the fire trail.

I had to admit that the next leg, generally W-ish to the foot of Two Sticks Hill, was for exercise and time consumption. But at last we found a blue 'Sherwood' trail marker and turned away to the S and SE. Lovely park-like open grassed area, with young deciduous trees, on the SW of the fire trail as we approached the Sherwood site.

Turned left into Sherwood. The walnut tree is half dead under the towering oaks. Down past the emerging daffodils to the seat.

11.35am was too early for lunch, so I hatched another plan. I thought I'd remembered previously stepping across Uriarra Creek and pressing through the blackberries to visit Uriarra weir. Not sure now, particularly after today's scratchy effort - we didn't get far. Back with bloodied knees and tail between my legs, we enjoyed an early and long lunch.

After our repast, we walked across the fire trail and up to the seat and Phillips' graves and plaque. Have a look at 13 Mar 12 with the 29 Apr 01 photo and the 13 Mar 12 photo of the same area. So sad what fire does.

Never happy at being thwarted, we then forayed across the open area towards Uriarra Creek, found an animal pad across the creek and through the blackberries and visited Uriarra weir.

Back to a previous corner passed in the morning, then generally SW to the saddle above Blue Range arboretum. Down past the burnt out tree skeletons, around the corner with the tin shed (Blue Range camp tool shed) and so to Blue Range Hut. Several campers. To the corner with the cars, where a family with trail bikes was ensconced.

A pleasant day.


Distance: 15.3km Climb: 400m. Time: 8.40am - 1.55pm (5hrs 15 mins), with 50mins of breaks.

Grading: M/E-M; M(9)

Walk Participants

14 walkers - Virginia B and Terence U, Cynthia B and Chris R, Evelyn C, Mark H, Lisa and Stephen M, Andy M, Pam M, Andrew P, Mark R, Phillip S, me.

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This page last updated 2Sep22