From Bushwalk Australia
25000:1 MAP: 4041 Loongana
Start (Lat/Long): -41.415197, 145.975037 (Brookes Track)
Distance: 12 km
Time required: 7 hrs return
Degree of difficulty: hard
Elevation Gained: 980 metres
Track Type: maintained
Vehicle Required: 2WD
Brookes Track is the popular route to Black Bluff, and it takes you via Paddy's Lake. The track starts at Taylors Flat, about 2km past the Loongana Bridge. The road becomes unsealed soon after the Leven Canyon turnoff. Watch for the turnoff to Taylors Flat on your left. On arrival there is a fairly large picnic area/carpark.
The walk (orange track), is part of the Penguin-Cradle Trail. The track is well-defined to Paddy's Lake. It is relentlessly steep for most of the way and is best suited to fit, experienced walkers. The walk initially goes past private property, so please stay on the track. It passes close to the River Leven, arriving at a shallow creek crossing.
From here it's all UP with only one good rest area about halfway up for a break. You might find interesting fungi along the way to take your mind off the hard work. As you progress, views over the surrounding area start to appear.
The track eventually becomes quite narrow and rocky, and often has water flowing over it. It can be a mini-scramble in places for those of us who are somewhat vertically challenged. So take care with your footing, particularly on the return descent.
The micro-climate on arrival at Paddy's Lake can be dramatically different to that while climbing up the track. Take appropriate gear for an alpine summit. The panorama of the lake below the bluff is worthy of both a rest stop and a photo.
To climb Black Bluff from Paddy's Lake, follow the track around the left (east) side of the lake and up to an obvious saddle, then...<needs input from someone who has done this section>
Black Bluff is also accessible from Winterbrook Falls Tramway Track (pink) via the "Eye of the Needle" as a 7 hr circuit, also visiting Paddy's Lake, and returning along the Maxwell Track and South Plains Road.