Last Sunday marked our family’s return to bushwalking since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. We headed to the small village of Faulconbridge to follow a trail leading to Linden Creek, a popular walk among the locals. Linden Creek criss-crosses many suburbs in the Blue Mountains and is a major tributary of the Grose River which then feeds into the Hawkesbury River.
“The bad news is, there are leeches on this track. The good news is, there are leeches on this track and the sooner you learn about them, the more places you can explore when you grow up.” The pre-bushwalk spiel to the family was really to prepare me – I have an aversion to slugs, snails and leeches which Miss 7 and Master 5 have, thankfully, not picked up. The spiel was accompanied by a generous drenching of insect repellent and clothes shuffling as pants got stuffed in socks.
It rained the day prior to our walk which made the path muddy and slippery. The sounds of boots squelching, bell miners calling in their punctuated tinkling bell calls, and the wind rushing through the trees accompanied our slow walk to the end of the fire trail. Here we were greeted by the steep descent to Linden Creek and one of Miss 7’s favourite things: rock boulders.
There were plenty of giggles from Master 5 who found it amusing to slide down the rocks on his bottom. The walk down to the trail near the creek bed took us a bit over an hour as we slowly and carefully made our way down the boulders littered with loose rocks. The sunlight became more and more muted by the towering eucalyptus canopy and the air was noticeably cooler as we reached the fern-lined path next to the creek.
“Walk faster please”, “Don’t touch the ferns”, and “They can also drop from above” I nervously called out as I ran and peered to the left to find suitable stepping stones that led to the creek. Andrew walked at the same leisurely pace, the appointed leech remover. I couldn’t bring myself to walk further into the trail where more densely clumped ferns and the glistening wet track apparently housed (I was told by a local after the walk) the said leeches and a wagon wheel of potential historical value or was originally one of the wheel displays from the front yard of 49 Highlands Street above. The wagon wheel had to wait another day, when I am finally ready to deal with leeches.
Miss 7 led our run up, away from the ferns and the creek towards the steep boulder ascent to return the way we came. When we reached the fire trail, we walked together in silence for a few minutes then she held my had before saying, “Mummy, you should stop being scared of leeches so you can explore more places.” Touché.
Want to try another rock scrambling track (without leeches)? Check out our post, Berowra Waters Scramble, for a day hike or an overnight camping trip on the banks of the Hawkesbury River.