SHORT WALKS & HIKING TRAILS
Walk in the footsteps of those who went before us, spend time among alpine ash - the tallest flowering trees in the world - wander through whimsical snow gums and rejuvenate your senses in the crisp mountain air. Harrietville is where you come to slow down, to reset and to reconnect with the natural world. So leave your car parked in the yard; it's time to walk.
SHORT WALKS AROUND HARRIETVILLE
Harrietville has a number of lovely short walks to help you while-away the hours. The Riverside Walk along the East Branch of the Ovens River starts at Pioneer Park and makes for a flat 1.6km relaxing stroll along the water's edge. You may even come across a nice spot to have a swim.
Cut across to the West Branch of the Ovens River at the Harrietville Recreation Reserve to explore the 1.6km Charlie Miley Walk, dedicated to the champion axeman. The two river branches join to form the Ovens River just north of Harrietville's Pioneer Park.
Another short waterside walk is the Tronoh Dredge Hole Loop that circles the lake for about 1.5km. A number of other short loop walks past old mining features branch off from the trail's southern end.
Finally, the Great Valley Trail is a flat sealed shared path that runs northward between river views and bucolic pastures set among the mountain ranges. The trail joins the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail and continues to Bright, Myrtleford and Wangaratta over 100km away. A short option, however, is the walk or ride to the Mountain Fresh Trout and Salmon Farm, 10km return from Harrietville.
HALF-DAY & DAY HIKES FROM HARRIETVILLE
The walk to Washington Creek immerses you in the bushland of the lower mountains. The trail starts in Harrietville and climbs upward along a Grade 2 track to the creek junction, which is a tranquil spot to stop for a bush picnic before returning along the same path.
The Washington Creek walk is the first section of the Bon Accord Walking Track that accends to The Razorback ridge that connects Mount Feathertop and Mount Hotham. The Bon Accord Track was the original track used by walkers and horse riders up to the saddle prior to the creation of the Great Alpine Road.
The Bon Accord Track is a difficult and rewarding trail that can be hiked as a 24km-return walk, or as the start of a multi-day loop through the Alpine National Park up to Mount Feathertop and down Bungalo Spur back to Harrietville.
Bungalow Spur Track is the most popular hike up to the spectacular 1,922m high summit of Mount Feathertop. It's a challenging 22km-return walk from Harrietville into alpine territory past the Federation Hut camping area. Bungalow Spur and Bon Accord Track should not be attempted by regular hikers during the snow season.
ALPINE NATIONAL PARK
Harrietville is situated at the base of the Alpine National Park, and while avid hikers may like to attempt the challenging ascent trails that leave Harrietville for the peaks, others who would like to experience easier and shorter walks in alpine Australia can base themselves in Harrietville and drive up to the many trails that explore the park around Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain.
HISTORIC HUT WALKS
The Victorian High Country is home to over 60 historic huts built as refuges for the mountain cattlemen of the past, skiers and hikers, and the road workers who maintained the first Alpine Road over the Great Dividing Range. Many of the huts are now protected by the Alpine National Park and some are easily accessible on day trips from Harrietville up to Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain.
PREPARE FOR ANYTHING
From snow to bushfires, floods and gale-force winds, the weather in the High Country can be fierce and change rapidly. Always check conditions before venturing out, ensure your equipment is working and carry adequate food, water and warm clothing. Importantly, download the VicEmergency and the Emergency Plus apps to your phone.
Notify someone of your plans before you set out. Many parts of the High Country have poor or no mobile phone coverage. Emergency beacons and satellite devices are recommended for your safety.
LEAVE NO TRACE
Our region is sensitive to human presence. We are privileged to have endangered animals such as platypus, pygmy possums and alpine dingoes surviving in our environment. Your behaviour has a direct impact on our flora and fauna. When driving or riding, stay on formed roads and don't cut new lines. Protect our wildlife and the beauty of our environment by taking all rubbish with you.
Never light a fire on a Total Fire Ban day. When fires are permitted, always extinguish your campfire completely before leaving. Enjoy our outdoors, and remember, leave no trace.
OTHER THINGS TO DO
Climb above the clouds on Australia's highest sealed road to where the mountaintops stretch as far as the eye can see.