Date:15th June 2019 – Summit: 1144m
With the appeal of mountain biking now completely lost, and the Mt Marian summit track less than 2km further down the East-West Trail, we decided to leave the bikes chained up in the bush and continue on foot for our final Abel of the day.
Distance: 6.6km out and back to the Trestle Mountain Trail head.
Time taken: Under 2 hrs, walking all the way this time.
Difficulty: The Mt Marian Track is more overgrown and less obvious in places, but the elevation and terrain is quite easy.
Type of track: Fire trail and single track, well marked.
Access from: East-West Track.
Having returned back down from the summit of Trestle Mountain, the East-West Trail continues its way around its north-western flank, passing the Ringwood Trail until a signpost indicating the start of the Mt. Marian trail head is reached after approximately 2km.
The sign itself indicated that the 1.2km to the summit wasn’t actually a formal track but merely a ‘route’, and sure enough the initial few hundred metres found us pushing through long grass trying to stay on the at times indistinct pad. The occasional ruben tape and official marker were found, making this still a relatively trivial affair, though definitely a degree less so than the more maintained tracks we’d been on earlier in the day.
Predictably as altitude was gained, the vegetation receded to lower-lying scrub and the now rockier pad becomes much easier to follow. The rise was gradual and easy going, slowly snaking its way around the occasional boulder outcrop towards the rocky ridgeline that forms Mt Marian’s apex.
After a few more hundred metres along the ridgeline the now exposed track then came to an abrupt halt, and a small rock cairn indicated we’d finally reached the summit. Three out of three for the day! By now the sun was doing its best to push through the mid afternoon gloom so we took a short break for a late lunch and make the most of the views we could muster.
Refuelled and still with some ways to go to get ourselves back to the car, we retraced our steps back to the East-West Track and then to the Trestle Mountain trailhead where we reunited ourselves with our bikes and rode (mostly!) back to the Collins Cap track. While the bikes had clearly been a hindrance for most of the day, they did have the benefit of making the trip back down the mountain to the end of Suhrs Road much, much faster than it had been on the way up!
All in all, despite the misstep in trying to use the mountain bikes and the vagaries of winter weather, it had been a very successful trip with all three Abels in the area now safely in the bag. It was a big day out but even on foot is quite manageable for those with a bit of fitness. The Wellington Park area is a wonderful gem for bushwalking, especially for those just starting out and are looking for well marked and unintimidating trails that still offer a challenge and great views from the summits. All this just on the edge of our capital city too – what’s not to like?