Walk status: Off-lead
This was our first walk in Riverhead Forest. Ambling along the gravel path just enjoying the sights and sounds, we come across our first sighting of the beehives. George goes to investigate, and a bee takes a liking to his rear end. Much to his disgust, it not only stung him in a very unfortunate place, it then tried to burrow its way into his fur. I should have known about that point that this walk wasn't going to go well. I managed to get the bee out and although I had one miserable looking dog on my hands, we persevered.
We entered via Browns Road, off Old North Road. Browns Road soon forks into what becomes Barlow Road. We'd recovered from the bee incident and were having a great time exploring. We came across a wide forest track that by the looks of the map on Map My Dog Walk was going to eventually loop us back to where I had parked.
We headed down 'Foresty Road'. The track looked to head straight, but I realised shortly after that it lead us to a dead end. Seeing where we were on the GPS I realised the track actually named Foresty Road was actually just a small pathway that we had already passed. We turned back and started heading along the track.
It was a lovely walk through the forest, until we got to an area of knee deep mud that we couldn't avoid. George was starting to wonder what the hell we were doing here, and I was starting to realise how bad an idea it was to go off the main track! According to GPS I wasn't far from getting back to a main track, so we kept going but it was very messy.
After managing our way through the mud pit, the track seemed to disappear. We were in the depths of the forest with no obvious track to follow. It's about this time that you hope your GPS on the app is working and can direct you out. I had a rough idea of where we were, thanks to the GPS so although we were no longer following an actual track, it was showing that we were heading in the right direction. We had to cross some water, trek back up a rather large hill, but finally found our way back to the main track and back to Browns Road.
In the end it only took an hour and just over 5kms of walking, but it was slow going! It was around the end of winter that we first did this walk, so in the real heat of summer when the ground is dry, we will give it another go. There are better walks than this one that we've since discovered so not a good choice for your first attempt at the forest.
This walk highlighted how easy it is to get lost, so please be careful! We were determined to not let this one particular walk ruin our experience of the forest, so every weekend since we've tried a new route and discovered some real gems. One day we will conquer Hell again!!
Location: Browns Road entrance, located off Old North Road
Carparking is limited, as there is a just a gravel lay by off Old North Road to turn into and park up. There is no suitable parking on Old North Road.
Things to know:
There are no toilets here
The gate is locked to vehicles, but walkers and bike riders still have access.
Browns Road > Right onto Barlow Road > Right onto Foresty Road > Got lost > Back up to another Foresty Road > Browns Road