Sunday 24 January 2021

Bill Shepherd Memorial Circuit. Wilmot River, Alma, Tasmania. 11km round trip.

Lucy's Track.  Dooley's Track.  They join up as a sweet little loop trail that deserve a heck of a lot of love and hopefully not too many visitors. 

Well marked and maintained thanks to local volunteers, this watercourse ramble winds around a steep sided section of the picturesque Wilmot River in Central Tasmania.

Getting there:

Travelling from Launceston, takes around 1 hour, 20 minutes.

Head West on the Bass Highway and choose a turn off to Sheffield.  Roll through the pretty town centre and chug on through on the B14 for 13km, then left onto Lower Barrington Road ( C144) for a kilometre until the C144 hangs a left and becomes Lake Paloona Road and spins around for 6.5km until a left onto Wilmot Road (C132) for 3.5km and your looking for a parking spot on the twisty hill after the bridge.  

Or plug in the following numbers 4RC8P6FC+GW into Google maps. That'll do it.

There's a yellow metal sign nailed to a tree to indicate the parking area.

Cross the road, hop the wire fence guard, go left and look for the car tyre staircase heading down to the river.

Track grading:

Thanks to the recently departed Bill Shepherd and his trail building comrades, Lucy's Track and this section of the Dooley's Track are distinctly marked, thoughtfully built, super well maintained and quite obviously very much loved.  
There is a sense of local ownership reflected in the absence of garbage and proliferation of hand made signage and I was fortunate to be following a few hours behind a regular trail maintaining stalwart 'Max' who had cleared the Lucy's Track section of the trail up to the East Ellis crossing the very day I hiked the circuit.

It was a cheerful sunny Summer's day; I wore shorts, t shirt and Earth Runner sandals.  
I had poles with me and they were useful on the steepish bits that deviated away from the waters edge. 

You are in the forest canopy for the most part but I'd take a hat.

Map sourced from the Kentish Walks Private Facebook group under Files
I first became aware of the various trails adjacent to the Wilmot River via bountiful posts from Bill Shepherd on in the Tasmania section (this website is a gold mine to unearth information about walking in Australia).  After hearing of his passing late last year I decided to get off my arse and finally chase one of his trails. Pleased I did so, I was stoked!  

Trout in the river, lovely tall white gums, dogwood shrubs trailside.  Loads of chill out spots and a sense of wildness.  Bang on.

To be honest anything I write here that isn't hyperbolic nature inspired prose is drawn directly from the late Bill Shepherd's still active Wilmot River Walks website and the very useful 'Kentish Walks' Facebook group page that includes the informative 2 page PDF download of the circuit including map and clockwise walking directions.  Which is all you need, really.

So go walk it.  

I like these poetic words sprinkled along the trail.