Grand old track back to delight

Wednesday, 6th December, 2017

COOL WORLD – Follow the footsteps of pioneers on the restored Grand Canyon Track near Blackheath, which has been trodden by Blue Mountains visitors for a century. Photo: R. Garthwin, NPWS.

ONE OF Australia’s oldest bushwalking tracks has fully reopened in Blackheath after an almost decade-long restoration costing  $4.8 million.

The Blue Mountains’ Grand Canyon Track, which is more than a century old, has undergone a 4.5km restoration across some of the most challenging terrain for walking track construction in Australia.

More than 90,000 people use the track every year – more than triple its use since the project began in 2008. It is expected that more than a million visitors will use it between now and  2030.

The restoration included lowering 2000 loads of materials into the narrow canyon by helicopter, with more than 100 staff and  contractors contributing to the project over nine years. The track remained partially opened during the project.

Setting out from Evans Lookout, the 6.3km loop track takes you into the heart of this World Heritage-listed landscape, which bushwalkers have trodden since 1907.

The well-shaded track meanders through luscious native vegetation of ferns and golden wattles, and sticks close to Greaves Creek, which makes it a particularly good walk in the summer.

You can shorten the loop by leaving a second car at the Evans Lookout Road entrance or spend the day and stop for lunch at the nearby picnic area before returning to the lookout.

The NPWS gives the walk a Grade 3 grading, meaning it is suitable for most ages and fitness levels, although some bushwalking experience is recommended. It says tracks with this grading may have short, steep hill sections, a rough surface and many steps.

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