Stage 4: Springwood to Linden via Glenbrook Creek & Lady Martin’s Bath
10.5km +474m -313m (Allow 6 hours)
I knew this section was going to be problematic before we set out because I couldn’t find anyone who had walked the tracks recently. Nevertheless, the map shows there is a path… how wrong can I be? I decide to warn my fellow Sole Sisters that it will simply be an adventurous day out… and, I was completely right about the adventurous bit.
We start by following Sassafras Walking Gully Track (very pretty) to join Victory Track (also pretty) heading towards a remote campsite on the intersection of a lagoon (which I believe is simply called The Lagoon – also very pretty) at Glenbrook Creek – this part is all relatively straight forward. From the campsite, there is a track heading up Glenbrook Creek but it is barely discernible. The refrains amongst us are: “where is the track?” and “can anyone find the track?”. We even coin a new term “it’s a bit pathy”. I stress that we are not lost, as we are following the creek, and I know it will eventually reach our destination but we are faced with a completely overgrown track, multiple displaced logs and considerable bush bashing. There simply is no track here for nearly 4km. Jean is optimistic (in a way that only the Irish can be) – she declares that the track is most likely being cleared from the opposite direction and at some point we will meet the track. I decide that if we haven’t found the track by lunchtime, then we should probably turn around (this is really to placate Lisa). Needless to say, it is slow going as we navigate obstacles for several kilometres.
Amazingly, Jean proves correct (luck of the Irish, perhaps?) – someone is indeed clearing the track from the opposite direction and we finally come across fresh cuts in the vegetation and tagged branches. We are mightily relieved to find the track, put away our maps and follow it.
It is therefore, with some surprise, that we discover we are walking on an unmarked, unnamed track (near Linden – but that is about all I can tell you) that pops us out near Lady Martin’s Bath. This historical gem was created by Paddy Ryan, a local stonemason in 1882-1883 from a natural spring for Sir James Martin, three time Premier of NSW and Chief Justice of Supreme Court of NSW (Martin Place, in Sydney’s CBD, is named after him). Apparently, Lady Martin never used her bath. If it had been a hotter day, I think we all would have jumped in!
We are all a bit bruised and scratched – one of us has even gracefully somersaulted off the track (at a point where we were on a real track) but the only damage seems to be a broken fingernail. I have no real idea where we have been but it was certainly adventurous! We were supposed to join The Oaks Trail near Woodford. Always fun to discover something new.
Post Trail Thoughts
This stage is for experienced hikers only who are used to off-track hiking. Lots of fun but, until the 4km along the creek is cleared, I wouldnt recommend this to your average hiker. Definitley the most adventurous stage of this series of hikes.