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This week my husband and I walked in the Belconnen area. We devised a loop that would walk through the interconnecting reserves stretching from the Pinnacles in the West to Black Mountain in the East then to Bruce Ridge in the North and back through Belconnen.
The remnant forest on the west side of the Pinnacles is lovely and reminded me of the woodland we saw last week at Mulligan’s Flat reserve. The Pinnacles themselves are nice looking rock formations that offer a good view over the Molonglo valley.
From the Pinnacles we skirted to the north of the horse paddocks, crossed Coulter Drive and climbed up Mount Painter.
We had a lovely view of Canberra from Mount Painter, including Black Mountain (tower), Lake Burley Griffin and the Arboretum, and as usual there was a large pod of kangaroos resting just to the south of the summit.
Spring is a delightful time to walk in the bushland around Canberra, not only because of the mild temperatures but mainly because of the abundance of wild flowers that light up the otherwise dry bushland.
From Mount Painter we walked to the South of Cook and Aranda, through the Aranda reserve, under Gungahlin Drive and up to the summit of Black Mountain.
The last time that we walked through Aranda bushland we kept to the fire-trail and longed to explore the many trails that stretched enticingly into the bush. This time we ventured freely along many of the whimsical paths and were rewarded with wildflowers and a feeling of isolation and immersion that is difficult to achieve so close to housing. The undergrowth in the Aranda bushland is different to anything we’ve seen elsewhere in the ACT and I wonder if it’s due to a difference in soil type.
The ascent of Black Mountain slowed our pace slightly but did not diminish our enthusiasm. As usual we were disappointed by the lack of view from the summit and I wondered if it’s deliberate to force tourists to pay to climb into the viewing area of the tower.
Before moving to Canberra I hadn’t seen many white-winged choughs but these gregarious birds are a common sight in Canberra. They always remind me of undertakers with their quiet demeanours and black plumage.
For the first time we continued to the north from Black Mountain and walked around Little Black Mountain. It was surprisingly secluded and the bushland was alive with wildflowers.
From Little Black Mountain we ran across Belconnen Way and into Bruce Ridge reserve, passing close to the reservoir and then under Gungahlin Drive and behind the hospital. The bushland is degraded but still nice. From there we walked up between Bruce and Radford College, coveting the lovely houses in Bruce before climbing down into Belconnen and walking the long way back to our car in the south of Hawker.
It was a long walk with lots of summits and we felt great the entire time. It wasn’t until we were walking through the suburban areas that we noticed tight leg muscles. We really missed the forest once we were back out among cars and houses but at least we were able to admire the Spring gardens with cherry blossoms, tulips, grape hyacinths and irises. It was very interesting to drive along Belconnen Way today and look at the huge distance that we walked along yesterday.
Other walks this year