Twisting this way and that, up and down the hill, this walk offers good exercise in cool forest. Normally a brisk walk outdoors makes me happy, but today the forlorn teddies tied to trees reflect the sadness I feel in response to the forest degradation. The chainsaw and the damage done.
Wedding Bells State Forest has been subject to logging since the mid 1800s, first selective trees by axe and bullock teams, later clear felling.
There are now large areas of weed where the sun penetrates through lost canopy. Lantana thickets thrive, providing shelter for bell miners, who drive out other birds, allowing psyllids to damage eucalpyts, leading to dieback.
Bizarrely, there is also a dense bamboo forest – what were they thinking?
This walk explores the forest to the north of Vardys Trail, while the nicer Emerald rainforest loop meanders south through sub-tropical rainforest. Join the two walks up for a 10.5km loop if you have time and want to cover more distance. Or continue climbing up Vardys trail to Boyds Hill.
Listen and watch out for mountain bike riders and trail bikes, who also use these forest tracks.