It’s Easter Saturday and I decide to head down to Mt Barney National Park to walk/run the Cronin Creek Track. Mt Barney is one of the rocky massiffs in South-East Queensland’s Scenic Rim and is about 100km from my home. I’ve never walked to the summit because it is quite exposed and requires some rock-climbing skills but I have decided to work up to it over the next year.
I follow the track uphill from the Yellow Pinch carpark. There’s a gate at the top where the track splits. The trail to the left goes through a turnstile and follows a wide fire trail downhill; the trail to the right is a single track that goes up a steep hill. Despite knowing that the Cronin Creek Track follows the base of Mt Barney and is part of the summit trail that walkers use to access the south ridge ascent, I turn right up the hill. I have a map on my GPS so I can see that there’s going to be a steep valley between me and Mt Barney if I climb the hill but I don’t expect a popular bushwalk to follow fire trail and there are no signs.
The views from the top of the hill are amazing. Mount Barney rises on the other side of a deep valley and I can see Mount Lindsay (I call it the Jelly Top) standing in the distance.
It’s a tough scramble down the other side of the hill to a delightful creek. I slide down the loose scree for about half-an-hour before finally reaching the rocky creek. On the way down I use trees to arrest my slides. It’s exhilarating and confirms that I’m definitely on the wrong track because there’s no way people would regularly use this trail to carry heavy overnight packs. Still, I continue because I like an adventure and love mountain creeks.
The scramble back to the top of the hill is tougher than the slide down. But it makes a good training session. My heart rate skyrockets to 95% as I scramble up the hill, covering some sections on all fours. It’s starting to get hotter as I climb the hill but I’m having fun.
After dropping down off the hill I go through the turnstile and head down the Cronin Creek Track. The first kilometre or so of the track follows fire trail through farm lands. The trail is like a gum tree lined avenue and I enjoy walking along it. I had intended to run but the effort of climbing the hill has taken it out of me and my heart rate is still sitting at the upper end of the aerobic zone. So I just enjoy the scenery.
Once it enters Mt Barney National Park proper, the trail travels through open woodlands. I enjoy the cool shady trail.
My reward for the walk was a rest at Cronin Creek. It was flowing quite quickly after the recent rains and the cool water was soothing on my feet. I rested for a while enjoying the quiet location where nothing but the gurgling water and singing birds to disturb my meditation.
After the walk up to the view and down to Cronin Creek I decide to run back to Yellow Pinch. It’s a fantastic feeling to run the trails.
Total: 10.1km walk / trail run