This hike has some technical singletrack with nice ups and downs, river crossings in two places, and a few parts with somewhat difficult climbing involved. There is a nice portion along Rockburn Branch Trail
where you hike along the river and also make a crossing.
Start at the Morning Choice Trail
entrance off Landing Road and take the left hand trail. Shortly after is a river crossing with stepping stones (or just hike through if it's warm :-)). After this, a short ascent begins, and this area is popular with walkers and mountain bikers so keep an eye out for them. Take the path to the Avalon Area when you see the sign for it and the Cascade Falls Trail
About 500m past the second Old Track Loop
trail entrance, take a left. It is not very obvious and not signposted. Carry on through the forest, into open land, hugging the edge of the field. You'll see a ruined building in the woods after this open area. Another open area comes up and then back into the forest for some twisty singletrack before heading down hill into the Avalon Area. At the intersection, continue straight on, now following the purple blazed trail.
Now on Rockburn Branch Trail
, follow it round and when you come to a wooden bridge on the trail, keep to the left. Continue until you come to a thin tree with a purple blaze. The trail to the left isn't obvious, but you'll see it if prepared. Soon you'll come to a river crossing, and there are stepping stones to go across, or if the temperatures are good, just splash straight through!
Keep hiking along the trail, and at this point, there are some short and steep uphill sections with rocks. Cross the lane and carry on the trail for the home stretch. Beware that if the trail is wet at this point, it can be quite tricky to complete this without taking a few strategic navigation stops. I had to contemplate the best route a fair bit when it was too muddy to hike straight through. Furthermore, this section is popular with mountain bike riders so there will be tire tracks to contend with. Just watch your footing here. You'll soon come to a junction where you take a left and hike 100m to the finish.
Shared By: Chris Freeman