Walking the foothills of Mount Stuart

A week ago I joined my first Wildlife Queensland walk for the year, having missed an expedition to their Mahogany Glider Project Area in March and the branch’s 50th birthday party in April.

Their May walk took us up into the foothills of Mount Stuart behind the Western Campus of James Cook University. It began on a purpose-built walking track but quickly led us onto an impressive network of mountain bike trails, all new to me and a very easy way to “go bush” just a few minutes from suburban Townsville.

We encountered a few riders and one of them was very happy to talk to us about the network of trails, created largely by the riders’ club although the University also contributed. He recommended Trailforks, a specialised mapping app with many extras, and you don’t even need to download the app to find it useful. A search from its home page, for instance, quickly took me to a map  which let me zoom in on our walking area.

Mt Stuart bike trails
A tangle of trails, all coded from green (easy) to black (scary)

Mountain bike trails are a great resource for walkers, especially with these maps. WQ walked the Under the Radar bike trail on the Town Common soon after it was opened, and I have walked part way down the Mt Stuart trail on a couple of occasions, on my way home from visits to the Lookout. Walkers always need to remember, however, that bikes have right of way and can appear very suddenly.

A full report of the walk will appear on the WQ site in due course so I will content myself here with a few landscape photos.

View from foothills of Mount Stuart
Looking up to the Mount Stuart towers
foothills of Mt Stuart
Looking towards the second crest of our trail from the first
View from foothills of Mount Stuart
View over suburbs and the Common to Many Peaks Range and Magnetic Island

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