If you’re looking for a scenic and secluded hiking trail in Victoria, look no further than the Big Hill Hike near Crusoe Reservoir. This 8-kilometre loop circuit takes you through beautiful bushland, past historic gold rush sites, and up to the summit of Big Hill for breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Here’s what you can expect on this hidden gem of a hike. GPS data is linked below if you want to follow along.
Finding Your Way to Big Hill
To start the Big Hill Hike, I parked my car at the Number 7 Reservoir car park and followed the Cherry Lane Track to the main trail that leads to the summit. You may have to do a bit of bushwhacking to find your way onto the trail, but once you do, you’ll be rewarded with a relatively easy hike along flat fire trails for the first few kilometres. Keep an eye out for kangaroos, wallabies, and other wildlife as you make your way towards the water race that provides water to Bendigo.
Water Race: “In the late 1870s, the Coliban Main Channel was built with the purpose of transferring water from Malmsbury to Bendigo. This channel, which is approximately 70 kilometers long, is constructed as an open gravity channel.”Coliban Main Channel
Following the Water Race to the Summit
The Thornbill Track follows the water race and takes you uphill towards the summit of Big Hill. Along the way, you’ll see evidence of the gold rush, including old mine shafts and diggings. The incline increases as you approach the summit. Although for me who hates uphills, this was a walk in the park compared to the Boronia Peak at Halls Gap. The top of the summit is marked with a small cairn of rocks and some nice views for your effort. I grabbed this 360 photo at the top.
Taking in the Views on the Way Back
After enjoying the views from the summit of Big Hill, you can take your pick of trails to make your way back to the car park. The Ridge Trail is slightly longer but offers stunning views looking south and east on your way back. Hiking poles would be ideal for the downhill section of this trail, and you should take care around the old mine shaft near the summit.
As you make your descent back to Number 7 Reservoir, you’ll pass by water storage tanks and enjoy the natural beauty of the bushland. There is even a hidden reservoir that was dry when I passed by, however, in winter, fills up. The return from Big Hill summit is generally all downhill back to the car park. Big Hill Hike is a must-do for anyone looking for a scenic and secluded hike in Victoria. With historic gold rush sites, stunning views from the summit, and plenty of wildlife along the way, this hike has something for everyone.
I needed to get some 360 photos for Google Street View, so this hike was perfect timing for a walk to the summit. I’m always surprised that not many people know about this section of the park since Crusoe Reservoir is the main attraction in this area. So you will most likely get the entire track to yourself.
- GPS Data for the Walk – GPX File
- Let me know if you have any questions
- Check out the Hiking Gear I use for Day Walks