Walk status: On-lead and Off-lead
According to the council website this reserve has areas of off-lead, however its unclear when you get there where that is exactly and all you see is dogs on-lead signs. The rule specifies: Dogs must be on a leash throughout all bush areas within the reserve, and controlled either on or off leash in all other parts of the reserve.
I picked a walk out here after searching Google Maps for large green areas and then googling what they are. I'd gone out this way to do a walk previously but never known this was hiding just down the road from the town centre. Team this up with the market days on Sunday mornings and you can make a day of it.
Located at the end of Thorps Quarry Road, lies the reserve and home to Camp Sladdin. The parking area is to the left of the entrance, and access to the walks is past Camp Sladdin across a footbridge. A few of the trails marked on the map in the pics were closed due to the recent rain we had and construction was happening in these areas so you're not guaranteed access to some of these.
The main track that people use here is called the Totara Track which leads to the Summit. After crossing the footbridge and following the path you'll see the sign that shows the options for the tracks. To walk to the Summit take the track to the left of the sign that leads into the bush.
Oh hey there's stairs, im sure there are just a few and then it will level out....right? Well that was stupid, why I thought a track that lead to the summit of something would only involve a few stairs is just stupidity. What you see at the start of the walk is exactly how this walk is pretty much the entire way so decide now if you want to continue. Now if you're super fit like some of the people we saw, then you're barely breaking a sweat to the summit. I on the other hand looked like I was dying, and had to stop a few times to motivate myself to keep climbing. Even George was starting to look a little weary by the end.
It's a really nice walk, except the stairs. Climbing through the canopy of trees is really lovely, until you get to that next set of stairs and then if you're like me you'll be saying many expletives under your breath. Some of the stairs were quite worn so had to be carefully navigated, and one particular area was really muddy.
At about the time you want to give up on those damn stairs, keep going. You will get there eventually and the viewing platform gives you a great spot for a picnic, or a much needed refreshment break. The platform gives you views out to the ocean, across Clevedon and back towards the city and you can spot the SkyTower in the distance.
It's safe to say, returning downhill was a welcome relief and it was satisfying to look back up and know we would probably never have to walk those stairs again!
In total it took us around 45min excluding the stop at the top and total distance was 3.4kms.
You can read more about the reserve here: Clevedon Scenic Reserve Brochure
Location: Thorps Quarry Road, Clevedon.
Things to know:
There are toilets here
There is a confidence course located next to the camp, but the flying fox is not accessible to the public.
Plenty of parking
Lots of space for a picnic, up at the summit or at the end of the Quarry track