Driving through the countryside north of Kyneton, you can’t miss Black Hill.

Apart from being the most distinctive feature of the landscape, it actually does appear somewhat black due to being strewn with massive granite boulders. This image is probably helped along by the blackened tree trunks, a remnant of the 2015 bushfires that burnt most of the reserve.

This circuit hike mixes the two walks in the reserve that are well known to locals – the Base Circuit and Ridge Track – to give a good overall idea of the park’s features.

Starting clockwise on the Base Circuit Track, you’ll take in a picturesque lagoon and many of the Black Hill’s granite features before climbing the ridge from Black Hill’s north side to return. The ridge is without a doubt the most stunning part of the park with spectacular views to Mount Alexander and beyond, not to mention the spectacularly huge granite boulders that the track weaves its way over, under and between.

Wildlife spotting is a guaranteed attraction if you can be quiet enough to not scare it away. We were lucky enough to spot lizards, a variety of birdlife, and the biggest echidna I’ve ever seen.

The most common feedback I get from readers of The Bushwalking Blog is that they “just want more hikes to do”. I get it – hiking is my passion too. I do more hikes than I’d ever have the time to write about, so that’s why I’ve decided Bare Bones Bushwalking is now a thing. Not every hike has a story I can attach to it and some I just don’t get around to writing up, so in an effort to share ALL of (or at least more of) the hikes with you I’m doing this. A more simplified blog post that gives you everything you need to go and do the hike yourself. Make your own stories.

Black Hill Ridge Circuit - Black Hill Reserve - Kyneton
Black Hill Ridge Circuit - Black Hill Reserve - Kyneton
Black Hill Ridge Circuit - Black Hill Reserve - Kyneton
Black Hill Ridge Circuit - Black Hill Reserve - Kyneton
Black Hill Ridge Circuit - Black Hill Reserve - Kyneton
Black Hill Ridge Circuit - Black Hill Reserve - Kyneton

Need to Know

Last Visited: 2018
Length: 5 km
Time: 2 – 3 hrs
Grade: Moderate / Grade 4 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Style Partial Circuit.
Region: Western Victoria
Park: Black Hill Reserve
Closest Town: Kyneton (7 km)
Path Taken: Main gate – Base Circuit Track (clockwise) – Ridge Track – Base Circuit Track – Main Gate.
Car Access: From Melbourne, take the Calder Highway, exiting at Kyneton. Turn right to head north on Edgecombe Rd for approximately 6 km, then turn right onto Ennis Rd. Follow Ennis Rd for a short distance to the carpark at the main gate of Black Hill Reserve.
Map: I haven’t found a topographic map that covers Black Hill Reserve. The only map I have found is this one from Friends of Black Hill. Unfortunately, I think it’s a bit outdated but you could use it as a rough guide. Just note that the Circuit Track around the base of Black Hill includes the part of Ridge Track marked on this map as I (between D and G). The section marked as E and F doesn’t seem to exist or has been fenced off.
Further Info: There are no bins in the park so please take your rubbish home. There are no toilets or drinking water available, either. Dogs are welcome in Black Hill Reserve but must be kept on a lead at all times, in order to protect the wildlife and for the comfort of other visitors.

Have you visited Black Hill? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.

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