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Monday, April 25, 2011

O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail - Dee River



Now part of the Yarra Ranges National Park, the O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail is a long, step-on, step-off 27 km walking/cycling/horse route starting at Don Rd, Launching Place, and ending at the O'Shannassy Reservoir, about 80 km east of Melbourne, past the town of Warburton.

The Aqueduct was constructed between 1911 and 1915, and decommissioned in 1997. The maintenance track, known as Road 18, has been opened up progressively for walkers, horse-riders and cyclists, following transfer of land ownership from Melbourne Water to Parks Victoria.

The Trail passes through magnificent Mountain Ash forest, past fern gullies, with excellent views across the Yarra Valley towards Mt Little Joe and the mountains near Big Pats Creek. It winds its way around the base of Mt Donna Buang, Mt Victoria and Ben Cairn, passing many aqueduct engineering works, bridges, syphons, huts, distance marker posts and old maintenance sheds.

New access gates for management vehicles and walkers have been built at various locations along the route.

Sadly, there has been massive encroachment of vegetation, fallen trees, branches, and weeds in sections of the Aqueduct.

I have completed the 23 km of the Trail which is open to walkers - 46 km return, in several trips!

On Sunday April 24, 2011,I reviewed a section of the Trail, starting at the access point at the newly constructed car-park and picnic ground at the end of Dee Rd, West Warburton.

There is an informative display board and map at the picnic ground.

My exploration took me east over the old trestle bridge, then on to the abandoned Outlet Valve No. 1 at the creek. This was my turnaround point - the distance was about 4 km overall.

See the Parks Victoria site for full details and maps:

www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/resources05/05_1751.pdf

See all of the Photos of my visit!

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