Mount Pilot hardly qualifies as a “hike”, being about 300m in distance… but having stopped in Beechworth on the way to Melbourne (and then across Bass Strait to Tasmania), this short bushwalk in the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park was a nice way stretch the legs on a long roadtrip.
It’s an easy stroll up the well-made path, with a rocky platform providing views on the way up to the summit.
The summit is reached in less than 15min: it’s not a bad spot to watch the sun rising over the low ranges of the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park.
To the north and north-west is a view over agricultural land toward Chiltern and Rutherglen.
After watching the sun rise, it’s a quick walk back down to the car, with the morning light making for nice photos of the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park.
The Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park was only created in October 2002 to “conserve and enhance what remains of Victoria’s Box-Ironbark forests and woodlands”. There are a number of longer walks including the Whitebox Walking Track (8.5km) and you can also reach the Mt Pilot summit via a more challenging and partly off-track circuit (track notes on Trail Hiking Australia). The centre of one of the richest goldfield’s in Australia in the 1850s, there’s also remnants of the alluvial gold workings and some historic buildings like the Powder Magazine (built in 1860 to store the gunpowder used in gold mining).
On the way back from Mt Pilot to our motel at Beechworth (about a 20min drive) we make a brief stop at Woolshed Falls. The top of the falls is only a few minutes walk from the carpark. Ironically, while some of the roads are closed due to flooding a few months ago, today there’s not much water flowing down Reedy Creek.
A few hundred metres further is another viewing platform, which provides a better view of the falls and the pool beneath them.
After a quick look and a few photos – we’re the only people here at around 7:30am – we’re back at our motel in about 10min.
More information on Mount Pilot
- Parks Vic – Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park Visitor Guide [PDF]