Yesterday, Jesse (my 15 year old son) and I decided that it would be a good to spend some time outdoors instead of being inside and attending church. And so after some discussion we decided to do some hiking in an area with a very inviting name called Nail Can Hill (can you sense the sarcasm). Actually the Nail Can Hill reserve is a very pleasant area to hike in inspite of the name, and is very accessible from numerous roads in the Albury (New Wouth Wales) / Wodonga (Victoria) area. The reserve, and the WJ Steers tracks, basically follows a set of mountain ridges between a War Memorial monument that overlooks the Albury central business district to a location called the Jindera Gap.
The reserve is home to eucalyptus trees and various wildlife, the trees generally being quite short (20 feet or so). The ground is generally rocky. The main tracks themselves are quite well defined and are about wide enough to drive a car along although it is usually used by walkers, mountain bikers, joggers, and the like.
Rebecca dropped of Jesse and me at the Albury Botanic Gardens, and we proceeded to hike up to the monument between the houses and on the well defined asphalt paths leading up to the monument from the urban area. Then we hiked through a ‘wildlife corridor’ into the Nail Can Hill reserve proper. Some of the tracks we walked were quite steep and required considerable effort. But as we are both fairly fit we made it up each ascent without problems.
Along the way we found a side track to a lookout, and decided that as it was only a kilometre to the lookout that we would go and have a look.
After that we continued on our way and eventually reached Centaur Road, one of the only about 3 roads that crosses through the reserves. I think at that point the reserve changed name to WJ Steers or Hamilton Range, according to the map I was using to navigate. North of Centaur Road the trail was quite different – it was not as well defined, and so was harder to follow in places, and more ‘wild’. The sounds of the city of Albury and it’s suburbs could no longer be heard either.
The plan was to try to go from the southern edge of the combination of reserves to it’s northern most extent, but along the way we must have taken a wrong turn because we ended up back at Centaur Rd after looping around somehow, and so we decided to have lunch there instead of Jindera Gap like we had planned. Then we hiked back to the Monument, where we had a well deserved rest while we waited for Rebecca and the girls to pick us up.
The weather was overcast for most of the hike, so the humidity was quote high and so the sweat didn’t dissipate but at least the cloud cover made the breeze on the hills quite pleasant! We really enjoyed the day and the suggestion that we set one Sabbath aside each month we we go for a hike or do something outdoors was well received!
For GPS data for the hike, try the following links: