Here’s a great walk or good mid-range ‘taster’ run that treats you to all the major delights of the Warburton township: riverbank settings, the historic Aqueduct perched high above and its impressive fern walls, views over Warburton Valley, and plenty of native bushland.
The loop circuit takes runners first out west on a riverbank run toward the town entrance and golf course. Crossing the river on Mayer Bridge, it heads back towards town before turning off and up a short, pinchy climb which also happens to be one of the Southern Hemisphere’s steepest residential streets.
The route turns to trail before greeting the O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail. Carved into the mountainside and flat-lining along its contours, this trail was once the access road for maintaining the conduit for one of Melbourne’s main water supplies, an open concrete aqueduct built between 1911 and 1914. Today it makes for a wonderful, mostly flat, run, walk or ride from Don Valley all the way out to O'Shannassy Weir, with Warburton placed roughly halfway.
As you run east, you’ll cruise past peaceful and tranquil mountain ash that stand like tall sentinels and in front of walls of tree ferns, maybe spying a few lyrebirds, for which the Warburton Valley is famous. Remember that the Aqueduct Trail is shared-use, be aware that you may come across walkers, riders, and horse-riders in addition to other runners.
Reaching the eastern end of town and just before crossing the Donna Buang Rd, the route hops off the Aqueduct Trail, linking a short roadside stretch back to riverside trails that will sweep you back into the township.
|High-Low Aqueduct & River Walk
|Grade (if available)
Run: Moderate TrailScore technical Blue 23/45, TrailScore general Blue 5/10
|Warburton Main street
|Warburton Main Street
|8 km (return)
|Features of the historic aqueduct including giant fern walls and historic water race, hard-packed aqueduct trail; native bushland, a short but beefy hill climb, views of the Warburton Valley, famous Swing Bridge
|Toilets: Warburton township
Car parking: Warburton township
|Can be undertaken all year though in winter be prepared for cold temperatures and mud puddles
As described you can run this loop in either direction. You can also extend the distance by running out-and-back sections in either direction on the Aqueduct Trail.
The Walks eGuide features over 200 walks and trails in the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley. Covering all ability levels, whether your walk is dog-friendly or where to find your nearest toilet is covered in the Walks eGuide. At $15, it's a steal so grab your copy now!