Riverhead Forest - Boundary Road Loop
Walk status: Off-lead
A few weeks ago, trying to occupy not only George, but my parent's dog Maisy I took the dogs to explore Boundary Road. Turns out that walk wont be making it to the blog after having to make our way through swampy waters. Determined not to give up on exploring Boundary Road, George and I gave it a second chance and went a different route so fear not there are no swamps on this walk, just a fair bit of mud!
Boundary Road is located off Mill Flat Road, but its easily missed with just a small yellow sign and no real 'road' to pull into. There is a small driveway to pull off Mill Flat Road but only sized to fit a single car width. I managed to squeeze my tiny car to the side as much as possible so if there was by chance another car that needed to access the drive, they could squeeze past me. The gate is locked to vehicles, but there's always a chance someone with a key needs to access it. The alternative is to park at Deacon Road East which has a bit more space and either walk back to Boundary or do the loop in the opposite way.
Walking Boundary Road is a pleasant start to the walk. It borders a few of the local's houses and is gravel all the way. Some of the gravel is large stones so you want good footwear here. Note that there is a property further up Boundary Road on the area where it flattens out (after the power station) that has two dogs that like to run the fence line and bark at passer's by. After experiencing them the last time we walked up here, I put George on a lead just to avoid them hyping each other up. We didn't see them on this day, but be aware they are there. They can't get out, so they just being good guard doggies.
Boundary Road is quite hilly, so you can get a bit of a puff going. It does offer some great views over the forest when you get high enough. There are a few options to take side paths off Boundary Road, but these are typical forest trials, muddy and unmarked on the map so be careful of your choices. I would suggest sticking to the main track unless you know the area well.
Eventually Boundary Road becomes Cobblers Lane (not marked by any signage or change in track, but is noted on maps). Eventually Cobblers Lane leads you up to another small intersection of forest trials (this is where Goldilocks Walk - another we have documented brings you out). At this small intersection there are usually some beehives so watch your dog if they are a bit nosey, its easy for them to get stung.
Continuing straight to stay on the gravel road, you're now walking Blake Road. Soon enough you reach a main intersection of gravel roads. If coming from the Boundary Road direction as ive documented, Deacon Road East is the road on the right, heading down the hill.
Deacon Road East is a muddy track in comparison (in the wetter months) to Boundary Road, so if you want to keep clean, consider turning around here and heading back the way you came. If you want to be a bit adventurous then keep going. In summer months this track is fine, so don't hesitate to give it a go in the warmer months.
Deacon Road East is all downhill and in this particular instance had many a mud sludge patch to make our way through, or large water puddles that weren't easily avoided. Those hiking boots I got are certainly coming in handy as I was happy to keep going, when previously in sneakers I might have hesitated, said a few choice swear words and headed back to avoid the mud. It's all part of the adventure though, so just embrace it! Watch out for motorbikes and horses on this road, its a popular one for them to use.
Crossing the bridge at the bottom of Deacon Road East ends the muddy adventure and you're back to walking on a nice road track again. Head left after the bridge. Walk Deacon Road East until you get to the entrance. You have a choice here of walking the road to get back to the car, or heading back into the forest as we did. As there is no real berm on the road, its a risky one to walk. I'd rather chance a bit more mud than have a risky encounter with a car coming round the corner.
If you choose the forest as we did, look out for the pathway just before the entrance gate. Thanks to the motorbike club they've cleared it pretty well and put steel crossings to get across a area thats a bit boggy. Follow the short path through the forest until you reach a grassy track that leads alongside the road. You want to continue to follow this until it brings you out onto Mill Flat Road, do not head into the forest as there are no clear paths through this area and the swamp I mentioned exists here!
This is the only point you will need to walk the road, and its a much shorter distance with clear visibility for cars. Upon reaching the road you want to head right and after a short distance you will reach the Boundary Road entrance where you parked up.
The total loop took us around 1.5 hours and was 6.4kms in total. In the warmers months when you're not navigating the mud, I imagine you could walk it quicker.
Location: Boundary Road, gate is located off Mill Flat Road
Carparking is very limited, as there is just a small area in front of the gate to pull off the main road. There is no suitable parking on Mill Flat Road.
Things to know:
There are no toilets here
The gate is locked to vehicles, but walkers and bike riders still have access.
Boundary Road > Blake Road > Deacon Road East > Mill Flat Road