Just off Sir Bertram Stevens drive lies a short and sweet hiking track known as the Forest Path. One of the oldest tracks in the Royal National Park it is a 4.5km circuit that is fairly accessible for all fitness types. Hugging he banks of the Hacking River and Bola Creek, as long as you hear the water on the same side you cannot get lost.
This visit was my first time back to the Royal National Park following a large bushfire that swept through the area only a few weeks ago. I was shocked to see the extent of the damage. A number of tracks still remain closed and it was through good fortune that this track was not severely impacted. Part of the track was used as a containment line and there was a profound juxtaposition between the verdant greens of the living growth and the charred browns and blacks of where the fire had swept through.
A curious feature of Australian flora is that much of it is quite resistant to fire. Many trees bearing only scorch marks and not much else. Some plants even utilise bushfires as the means for their propagation. In many parts of the track I found that the scorched earth was already yielding new shoots.
In the preserved sections of the track, it is buried in foliage so dense, there were brief moments where I had lost the route of the path. Fortunately, the two bodies of water that surround the track provided a reliable reference for my navigation.