Riverhead Forest - Pink Arrow Walk
Walk status: Off-lead
It's going to get harder trying to find names for these walks, so here we are with 'Pink Arrow' Walk!
A few weeks ago, a dog named Charley was lost in the forest after going for a walk with a group and choosing to head off on her own path. She was lost for about a week, although thankfully she's now reunited with her owners. We took the opportunity to help search for her by visiting some of our usual spots, and trying some new ones.
On one of our walks looking for Charley, we met a lady who told me about another track through the forest, entering at Browns Road. We were already heading off in a slightly different direction looking for Charley, but in the end George picked the path on the way home and it ended up being the walk the lady had talked about so I decided we would give it a go.
I don't have a good reference from Map My Dog walk for this track, and we went for about 7.5kms that day looking for Charley so we ended up weaving up and down forest tracks and roads. However I did try walking it again last weekend, only to enter and get lost trying to find the track so here's how I recommend trying out Pink Arrow Walk. Its not quite as long as shown on the Map My Dog walk reference photo, as I chose to walk down the road a bit after popping out from the forest, and then we headed back in to return home.
Enter on Browns Road entrance. Head straight and up the hill past the fork in the road, staying on Browns Road. You'll soon reach a small clearing on the left with a track into the forest, on the opposite side of the road is a fencepost that looked to previously hold a sign, but the sign is long gone now. This is the easiest spot to enter this walk as the arrows all face the right way to lead you back to Browns Road where you entered. You want to head left upon entering and you'll soon start to see the arrows on the trees that will guide you.
Follow the Pink Arrows back through the forest to lead you back out to the main track to Browns Road. This walk is very up and down, and some hills can be steep so be prepared that this isn't the easiest of walks. It's also used by mountain bikers, so keep an ear out for them coming and restrain your dog till they've passed to ensure your dog doesn't get in their way. George loves this walk and its perfect for the heat of summer as its cool walking through the shade of the forest. There isn't any shade on the main road to get to the forest path though, so plan to head out a little earlier to avoid the full heat.
If you're walking a casual pace, this walk can be done in about 45mins or so. The ups and downs of the track can make it a little slower as you'll need to watch your footing as the mountain bikes have carved up the track to be a bit bumpy in places and even though the weather is improving, its still muddy in parts as the forest keeps the track quite shaded.
You can enter this walk from the opposite end directly at the entrance where you parked. But a word of warning, its a lot harder to find the arrows when you enter from this end as they aren't pointing in that direction. I think after getting lost the other weekend, ive sussed it now, but its worth doing a few walks along the main road and coming back this way to get your bearings before trying to start it at Browns Road. If you do choose to start at Browns Road, then stick high and close to the main forest road, most of the track sits high on the hill rather than down amongst the trees.
Theres a big clearing at the Browns Road entrance off to the left once you come through the gate. If you want to start the walk through the forest here, then head into this clearing and look for the opening (ive taken a photo of it for reference). If Browns Road is on your right, then the forest track will be in front of you, positioned near the far corner of the clearing.
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 > Unnamed Forest Track > Browns Road