Mt Cole State Forest and the Pyrenees State Forest (known as the Pyrenees Ranges) are examples of magnificent forests allowing you to go for a walk through cool fern gullies, spectacular tall forests and alpine plateaus with magnificent views for 360 degrees.
Visitors can experience various recreational activities including horse riding, camping, walking, four wheel driving or just enjoy a picnic.
Mt Cole State Forest is a walker's paradise. You can spend as little as a few hours to a week - there is a walk to suit everyone. Examples of walks are:
Distance 21kms: a moderate 11 hour (2 day) walk. Starting at Richard campground is a journey of discovery for the novice and experienced hiker. This walk gives you the opportunity to experience a variety of varied forest environments from lush forests with ferns, the gentle sound of running water from falls, moss covered rocks and weather beaten rocky outcrops - all with magnificent views.
Grevillea to Richards
Distance 1.8kms: a moderate 30 to 45 minute walk to Richards. Take this short journey from The Glut picnic area through Mt Cole to Richards.
Distance 5kms: a moderate 3 hour one way walk from Chinamans to Ben Nevis. This walk is a bird watchers delight and offers great lookouts along the way.
Woods Gully Walk
Distance 1.4Kms: a moderate 40 minute walk.
Distance 9.2kms: a difficult 4 hour one way walk.
Richards to Raglan
Distance 1km: a difficult, steep 30 minutes walk climbing through ferny gullies and encompassed by large granite boulders. You can catch your breadth and enjoy the views at the flat top of the cliffs.
Cave Hill to Sugarloaf
Distance 3.5kms: a moderate 2 hour walk that climbs gently to Cave Hill. The forest changes from tall eucalypt forest with shrubby understorey to open sub albine vegetation. This walk allows you to experience views to the south towards Mt Cole and the western plains.
Sugarloaf to Beeripmo Campground
Distance 1km: a moderate 30 minute walk. A very pleasant stroll!
Mt Buangor to Grevillia
Distance 6.5kms: a moderate 2 to 3 hours walk past Dawson Rock then descends gradually through regrowth forest before joining and following Long Gully. At Long Gully the tall eucalypts become overwhelmingly taller. This walk give you the opportunity to take time to enjoy the steep gullies lined with large tree ferns. walk.
The Pyrenees Ranges has numerous tracks throughout the forest, which also make ideal short walks.
Pyrenees Endurance Walk
Distance 18kms: an intermediate 13 hour one way walk. The Pyrenees Endurance Walk is recommended as an overnight trip starting at the Waterfalls Picnic area with Camerons Track being the halfway point. The walk is considered to be reasonably difficult with some steep sections.
Distance 1km: a basic 20 minute return walk. A pleasant stroll after lunch. The track is signposted from the Waterfalls Picnic Area and follows the course of the No.2 Creek upstream to a rock outcropping. Water flows in the winter months or after heavy rainfall.
Various Short Walks
From Waterfalls Picnic Area an easy walk along Ebling Track to Fraser Track and back will take approximately 1 hour.
A walk along Waterfalls Track on to Schmidt Track to Sugarloaf Track and back will take approximately 2 hours.
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Four Wheel Driving
Both Mt Cole State Forest and the Pyrenees Ranges are popular for private and organised 4WD club activities with something for everyone.
From June to early November seasonal road closures apply.
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Both Mt Cole State Forest and the Pyrenees Ranges welcomes horse riding. The majority of riding opportunities are along existing State Forest roads.
Smith's Bridge picnic area at Mt Cole provides a great base for horse riding.
Horse riding is not permitted on walking tracks.
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Picnic and Camping Facilities
Mt Cole State Forest
There are picnic and camping facilities throughout the Mt Cole State Forest catering for both large and small groups.
There are six different sites - Ditchfields, Chinamans, Mugwamp, Richards, Smith's Bridge and Beeripmo. These sites provide an ideal base for all activities, e.g., walking, horse riding, etc.
Most sites provide picnic facilities, toilets, shelters and fireplaces/pits. Availability for camping is on a first come basis. There is no charge for camping in the area.
Waterfalls Picnic Area is hard to beat for a picnic site in a relaxing forest setting. It is easily accessible from Avoca with toilets, picnic tables, fireplaces and rainwater available throughout most of the year.
Cameron's Track Campground also has toilets, picnic tables, fireplaces and rainwater, with Governor's Rock Lookout having picnic tables and fireplaces only.
You can combine your picnic with a short walk from any of these areas.