Distance: Less than 5km
I hiked to the top of Black Hill from the other side this morning. Completely different feel to when I walked it via the Black Hill Summit Loop last month.
The hike starts at Gate 15 on Montacute Road. It’s an out and back hike as opposed to a loop.
I was initially concerned that I wouldn’t have a safe spot to park off of the road, or that if I missed the trailhead I would be stuck on Montacute Road with nowhere to turn around (you’re already deep in the Adelaide Hills). By looking up the road on Google Maps, and selecting the “Satellite” view, I got a great view of where to park and where to start the walk from. There are 2 dirt clearings directly next to the gate and 1 clearing a little bit before you get to the gate as well.
Driving to new places is not one of my strengths, so just finding my way to the start of these hikes on my own in the Adelaide Hills is something that pushes me out of my comfort zone.
I was expecting take the Black Hill Track the whole way up to the summit – however you actually start out walking on the Quarry Track, which then turns into the Black Hill Track.
It’s quite intimidating when get out your car and start on your way up – you’re up high before you know it. The trail consists of wide fire track for 95% of the walk, however you often have steep drops to one side of you. It can be very windy – I thought I was going to be blown off the side a couple of times!
The hillside to the side of you consists of bright orange rock a lot of the way, which is quite stunning. There’s evidence of rock fall along the way as well. The flowers were beautiful.
I loved being able to look down and see the winding track I’d just walked on far below me (see the main title photo).
It starts to get tough about 85% of the way up – it’s steep and slippery. There’s a bench to your left as you get closer to the top – it’s the perfect spot to stop and catch your breath. One last push and you reach the Summit Trail, where you turn off for a short section to get to the summit.
The summit itself is nothing spectacular and there aren’t any views. Just a rock cairn in a clearing in the bush. It’s a relief to know you’ve reached it though, and you’ve earned the right to head back down. It was a familiar feeling seeing the cairn, after being here once before and also feeling elated that I’d made it to the top that time too.
Coming back down I was glad I had good grip on my boots. I wouldn’t like to do this in sneakers (trainers).
This trail follows along Section 5 of the Yurrebilla Trail, which in total is 54 km (33 1/2 miles). Because of it’s close proximity to Adelaide and in particular to my home, this would be one of the easier trails for me to complete on my own. Might have to add it to the list.
I didn’t see much wildlife except for birds. Oh and there were lots of smaller lizards, which I learned to be careful not to step on when I left the trail to take photos.
I felt good about myself having completed this hike. It was hard work and a bit intimidating. I couldn’t find out much information about it online before I headed out – it wasn’t listed on Walking SA as a walk in it’s own right. The Walking SA website does have a topographic map for Section 5 of the Yurrebilla Trail, which is helpful.
Overall, I think I prefer the loop starting from Addison Road as a means to getting to the summit compared to this one. Mainly because the trail itself is a bit more interesting to walk on and the views are particularly breathtaking in parts.
I’m enjoying getting to know this Conservation Park and I have one or two more walks up my sleeve that I want to do in or close to this Park. I’ll post some more of my favourite photos from this hike shortly.