During the 1920s, 12 timber mills operated on the slopes of Mount Worth to strip it of its rich timber. In 1975 the State Government began purchasing land for the creation of Mount Worth State Park. Today, its 1,040 hectares comprises natural forest, regenerating bush and cleared pastures of the Western Strzeleckis.
The tall, wet mountain ash forest which covered the area before logging in the 1920s-40s still flourishes along the creeks of the park. The regeneration of the mountain ash, silver wattle and blackwood is assisted by average annual rainfall of 2,000 mm. Bird life is increasing as the regeneration program claims back the former farmland. Ninety one species of birds have been recorded in Mount Worth State Park.
Amongst the many ferns is its under-storey is the rare and regal Slender Tree Fern, which can grow to 15 metres on a narrow trunk, but are found only in the deepest shade of certain gullies, especially along Moonlight Creek and Cameron Valley.
A pleasant picnic area has been installed at Moonlight Creek, from where walking tracks radiate, wich link with jeep trails to create easy circuits through regrowth forest. A few magnificant remnants of the old growth mountain ash trees can be seen.
Please leave your pets at home.
Giants Circuit Track – a 1.8 km walk which follows a logging tramway route to a mountain ash measuring 7 metres in circumference, then returns to the carpark through giant tree ferns. 45 minutes.
Moonlight Creek Track – a more difficult track that takes in the typical vegetation of the park, including areas of re-growth forest and fern gullies. The return trip takes 3 hours and covers a distance of 8.5 kms.
Gardiner’s Mill Track – a short walk of 3 kms, one hour, passing through mountain ash re-growth forest provides access to an old saw mill site. The return trip follows the fern lined gully of Clark Creek.
Maslin’s Mill Track – the first section of this walk is designed for people with limited mobility and winds through mountain ash and blackwood forest. The return trip is via the same track. 800 metres, 40 minutes.
Information courtesy of Tourism Victoria’s ‘Phillip Island & Gipsland Discovery: Grand Ridge Road’ brochure.