Lake Belton Reroute Proposal

Tuesday 21 Nov 08

During the walk in to and out from the junction with the Belton and Belcher tracks we cut back some overgrowing vegetation. The Belcher hut was checked out and used to shelter from a snow storm. The track from the Humboldt River to the hut was quite boggy with considerable braiding.

From the crossing point on the Humboldt (which now is down to a single log) a route was investigated that went directly uphill through bush. An easy route was found that threaded through with mostly solid ground some of it with a mix of soil, gravel and rock. There were no steep slopes at all and It was easy to sidle the route on gentle inclines. Apart from one short section the vegetation was easy to traverse through and so clearing would not be a major task. This latter area came close to an opening with buttongrass but by going through the scrub it can avoided altogether and the remainder of the route is not close to any buttongrass. Only a few logs were on the route that would need cutting; but a bowsaw would be sufficient. At the high point a rocky and distinct ridge leads to Lake Belton and to join the existing track just prior to the lake.

The route is some 1050 metres as against 1020 for the existing track. It is located between 200 and 230 metres south of the existing one and saves walking through the awful bog between the Humboldt crossing and the Belcher junction.

We (Greg Kidd and I) came back down the existing track and found it running with water for most of the length and with several small bogs. It goes through buttongrass for most the length and is not a very nice track at all. The track marked on the 1:25 Dobson sheet is not accurate.

Martin Hawes in correspondence with myself commented that the ".. the track is very vague and easy to lose in places. If it remained in use it would require rerouting and/or expensive works to stabilise, as it's moderately steep and runs directly up the fall line over most of its length." and also that if "... the track disappears, it will still be reasonably easy to reach Lake Belton because the scrub in the area is fairly open."

Our investigation indicates that the reroute option is very viable and in our view most desirable. In view of the relatively easy task involved the Friend of Mt Field could undertake the work.

A map of the suggested route is posted on the web. Whilst returning some sunlight brought out the colours in the snow gums and you can see these photos by clicking here.

Whilst driving past the entrance to Lake Fenton we observed a feral cat crossing the road.