A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was hoping to walk the full length of the Many Peaks Trail in the Town Common Conservation Park (map – pdf) and on Thursday I finally did it. I had ideal weather for it, mostly sunny but with enough cloud and breeze to keep temperatures very comfortable.
I left the Pallarenda carpark at about 8.30, went up the hill just before Tegoora Rock, then along (and slowly but steadily up) the trail to reach the summit of Mount Marlow (213 metres) for an early lunch, continuing down to the old Bald Rock carpark and returning via the Lagoon Trail to be back at Pallarenda by mid-afternoon. This timing and direction of travel worked well, since the sun was behind me most of the way rather than in my eyes. I could have completed the trip much faster but wouldn’t have had time to admire the views or look at the wildlife.
Track Conditions Vary
The Lagoon track alongside the wetlands is a park maintenance road and is all very easy going but the Many Peaks track varies from a well-made (but often steep) path to a rubbly rock-hop with patches of open walking.
The track between Tegoora Rock and the peak of Mt Marlow loosely parallels the ridge line of the range about three quarters of the way up its inland (southern) side so I was in shade for most of the first section of my walk. Note to southerners: this is a Good Thing in our climate!
Views from Mount Marlow
The summit of Mount Marlow, the highest point of the track and of the Range, has been cleared and had been burnt off shortly before my visit. It offers spectacular views – north-west up the coast, north over Shelly Beach to the islands of the Palm Group, east to Magnetic Island, and south and west over the Common to Townsville.
The track down from the summit to Bald Rock descends quite steeply for nearly all of its three kilometres. It is mostly well made and maintained but I would rather go down it than up; the climb at Tegoora Rock is less demanding.
From Bald Rock, there are several choices of return trip. The Lagoon trail is the easiest, the Freshwater trail is a little longer but still easy walking on level ground, the Under the Radar trail is the longest and most interesting but risks close encounters with the mountain bikers who own it, while going back over the Many Peaks track provides more good exercise but the fewest new sights.
I saw lots of birds and insects (and one snake) on the walk and may post some photos of them here in a few days.