Today I went for a trudge along the North South Track.
What’s that, you say? What is the North South Track?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
The North South Track is in Hobart and Glenorchy, and is a purpose built shared-use track in Wellington Park linking The Springs (about halfway up Mt Wellington) with the Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park. It runs… errr… in a north south direction…
I say shared-use, but it is predominantly used by mountain-bikers. The trail is built for riders of any ability, and has a number of challenging features for the more confident riders along the way. There is good visibility for most of the length, and only a few tight corners toward the top where you will need to keep your eyes and ears peeled for riders. It’s also not steep.
The length of the trail varies, depending where you start, where you finish and who you listen to. Today I trudged about 24km in just under 5 hours. It’s a gem of a trail that’s only about 10km from where I live. I should have done this years ago.
I started at the Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park end, which meant that the first half of the trip was mostly uphill. Depending on your level of stupidity, you can start at The Springs and walk the last 12km upwards if you like.
This link will take you to the Glenorchy Council page that contains heaps of info about how to get there.
Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park is at the very top of Tolosa Street in Glenorchy. Seriously, drive up Tolosa Street, go past Tolosa Park, and stop when you can go no further. That is the Mountain Bike Park. You should see this sign.
Sometimes the gate will be closed, and sometimes it will not. Glenorchy Council advise that you should park here and make your way into the park – squeeze through the gap in the gate.
Walk up the hill, and follow the signs until you find the trail you’re after. Here’s a hint: look for this sign.
The trail within the Mountain Bike Park is mainly for benefit of riders, so the uphill part zigzags back and forth upwards. Of course, for walkers there is the odd opportunity to go cross country. Remember to look out for snakes.
I won’t bore you with too many details; the trail is remarkably easy to follow. It’s well signposted the whole way.
Several times you will cross other trails, fire trails, creeks and the occasional wandering monsters. Just kidding about the monsters. Fear not if you take the wrong path, there is always a signpost a short way in to each trail and offshoot that tells you where you are. Or more importantly, where you aren’t.
I’m not too sure what happened here. I looked around for ages trying to see the rest of the bike, or the rider…
The trail is broken up into two main sections. The first 7 or so kilometres from the Mountain Bike Park leads to Junction Cabin. So named because it is a cabin at the junction of several trails. I know I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but we Tasmanians can’t think of exciting names for things… like Main Road, Junction Cabin… anyways, I digress… Junction Cabin is a nice spot to rest.
After Junction Cabin you go from the drier Eucalypt ‘hill’ environment, to sub-alpine rainforest, which usually happens in Tasmania about 500 metres up. Here’s where the real excitement will be for the riders on the way down.
About two kilometres from the end you will cross a rocky bit that has some great-looking boulders/ scree all around. If you look upwards, you can see the Organ Pipes of Mt Wellington.
The trail has lots of cool little nooks and crannies.
Here is where the trail ends.
Just a little further past the end of the trail at The Springs is a nice little lookout.
Then, turn around and retrace your steps. Walk back to your car.
On the return, I was feeling a little adventurous and did some stunt-trudging; i.e. I walked along the ‘optional technical features’ for riders along the way, to make it more fun. I’m so glad I didn’t fall off, that could have been embarrassing…
Anyway, I managed to make my way back down without any serious incidents. Oh, except I did find this monster on the way back down…
Thanks for reading.