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Proposed Loddon River Walk

Loddon river Vaughan Springs
Loddon river
Loddon River and Vaughan Springs Spillway

We walked the Golden Gullies Walk from Vaughan Mineral Springs (near Castlemaine) on Sunday to recheck our original notes used in our popular Daywalks Around Melbourneguide. We also completed a GPS track of the walk, which we will add to our downloads page when the new The Goldfieldsguide is released this spring.

The Golden Gullies Walk is one of my personal favourites and I’ve done it at least half a dozen times. Unfortunately, the section linking Vaughan Mineral Springs with Central and Glenluce Springs is always under attack by weeds, the most invasive of which are thistles and blackberries (other major nasties include the willow, which is badly chocking up the river). Depending upon the season the water race which follows the river can be so overrun with blackberries that it isn’t actually possible to walk along it. It’s a real shame to see what should be one of the regions most beautiful and historic locations reduced to little more than a blackberry patch.

Loddon river Vaughan Springs
Water race and stone walling above the Loddon River.

So here’s my proposal.

A new walking trail to be constructed from Vaughan Mineral Springs along the south side of the river to opposite Glenluce Springs. A foot bridge could then be constructed across the Loddon River to provide access to Glenluce Springs. A walking trail would then run along the north side of the river past Central Springs to finish back at Vaughan Springs. The total distance of this proposed Loddon River Walk would be just 5km and would provide visitors to Vaughan Springs with potentially one of the most interesting and scenic walks in the entire Goldfields region. The walk would be graded easy andwould link three historically interesting mineral springs along the way. Much of the trail along the south side of the river is already in place with only minor relocations and repair work needed along the existing water race. On the north side of the river the trail between Central Springs and Vaughan Mineral Springs is also in place as it follows a 1km section of the Goldfields Track. The rest of the trail linking Glenluce Springs and Central Springs would need to be constructed along the river bank.

Lodden river chimney
Large chimney ruin on Sebastapol Creek.

To keep costs down the new bridge spanning the river could be built as a concrete causeway, similar to the one in Vaughan Springs. The bulk of the cost in constructing this walk would be in enacting a vigorous weed elimination schedule. Future maintenance of the trail could in a large part be handed over to the community (in cooperation with Parks Victoria).The advantages of such a trail are numerous. Currently Vaughan Mineral Springs is fairly run-down and is unfortunately looking sadder and sadder each year. The marketing of the Loddon River Walk could re-energise this once very popular destination with an increase in visitor numbers. Vaughan Mineral Springs could also become an important staging point for the adjoining Goldfields Track. Last and not least, the construction of a Loddon River Walk would be beneficial to the river and could become a showcase for its environmental health.

Loddon River tunnel
Old gold mine in Sailors Gully.


3 thoughts on “Proposed Loddon River Walk

  1. This July I paid a visit to a place so vivid in my memory from some 40 years ago, Glenluce springs. What I saw almost brought me to tears! The old mineral springs well had been capped with no sign of the old cast iron lever plunger pump that was so catagoristic of the springs in the area. Apart from capping, it looks like no maintenance has been done in the area for years! So much for old memories. At least they have not destroyed totally the Vaughan Springs park like they have with Hepburn! What an abomination Hepburn is now when compared to how it used to be in the 1950’s and 60’s. Glenluce used to have (in my opinion) the absolutely best tasting and longest lasting mineral water of the springs area and a part of its beauty was that mostly only locals knew about it and that is probably the cause of its demise – lack of community support.
    Time to move on.
    Ian & Zina Foster

  2. We tried to walk along the south side of the Loddon from Vaughn Springs to Glenluse today 28/2/17. The track is in very poor condition now. Parts look like they were washed away in the heavy rain last winter and no maintenance has been done. The turn off from the Great Dividing Range trail is very hard to find. We missed it completely to start with. I remember walking along this track 20 years ago with a small child would not do so now it’s much too dangerous.

    1. Hi Sylvia. Sorry to hear that the trail is in such bad condition. Obviously my proposal and outline for a loop walk from Vaughn Springs to Glenluse and return has fallen on deaf ears. A missed opportunity. Thanks for the update.

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