The Reids Tramline walk provides an entertaining look at some of the relics of the historic tramline along which horses, and later, steam-powered locomotives hauled huge logs out of the forest. Tramlines such as these meant that the timber industry in Powelltown and the surrounding forest became a hugely successful business, and provided locals with full time employment.
Location and Access
The Reids Tramline walk starts and finishes at the Powelltown picnic area, which is opposite the Department of Natural Resources and Environment office. The first part of the walk takes you past the present day sawmill in town, you may notice the original workers cottages above the mill. Powelltown is about 80km from Melbourne and can be accessed from Noojee or Yarra.
This walk travels through the Powelltown township and then follows the historic Reids Tramline from the eastern end of Powelltown to the site of Reids Mill. Along the way, lengths of the old tramline can be seen, and relics of the old sawmill remain at the mill site. Three bridge crossings over the Little Yarra River are included in the walk. The 2.5 hour loop walk is approximately 6 km long. It should be noted that, although the walk from Powelltown to the mill site is of very moderate grade, the return journey is a little more challenging. The return route is via Big Bertha's track, which contains some very steep slopes. For those who prefer a more relaxing walk, drive to the small car park at the eastern end of Powelltown. From this car park make the 2 km walk to the mill site and return along the same track.
The Powelltown picnic area is very well equipped with toilets , a sheltered picnic table and BBQ/fireplaces. There are also some very useful and interesting information boards outlining other was and recreation activities within the Yarra State Forest , general information about plant and animal species, and the history of the area. There are no facilities at the Reids Mill site.
Plant and Animals
There have been over 70 species of plants, and hundreds of species of animals identified in the area. Some of the more common plant species you will encounter include Mountain Ash, Silver Wattle, Mountain Pepper and Hazel Pomaderris. You may also come across any number of animal species such as the Common Wombat, Swamp Wallaby and Greater Glider. Some particularly interesting birds known to frequent the area are the Laughing Kookaburra, Crimson Rosella, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo and the Superb Lyrebird.
Looking After the Site
Please protect this fragile area by staying on the walking track at all times. The flora and fauna are protected so please respect the forest and the animals. Pets are permitted in the area but please keep them on a lead. Please take your rubbish with you. Remember, if you take it in, it's your responsibility to take it out.
Motorbikes, pushbikes and horses are not permitted on walking tracks.
In the Yarra State Forest the weather can change very quickly, so be prepared for any conditions. Carry plenty of food and water; some warm clothes and a waterproof jacket. Wear good sturdy shoes, and don't forget to let someone know where you are going and when you 'll be back. Take care on forest roads as they are generally narrow and windy, and can become slippery after rain.
Logging trucks and other vehicles use the roads frequently. Further information on this and other walks in the Yarra State Forest can be obtained from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment offices.