Starting from the Silky Oak Picnic Area Carpark, Mount Coot-tha, this return walk takes you through the woodlands of the Mount Coot-tha Reserve via the Powerful Owl Trail. The said trail takes its name from the wise-looking Powerful Owl(Ninox strenua), the largest owl on the continent. You can come across these guys throughout the walk, but it’s hard to spot them as they easily blend in the scenery. You can watch for other birds such as the Brown Cuckoo-Dove and Sulphur-crested Cockatoo(great hairdo btw) as well. The trail is wide and goes all the way to the western border of the drive, which means you can make this a one-way walk if you arrange someone to pick you up. The area tends to be busy, so come early to avoid the crowd and protect yourself from the midday sun. Keep in mind that the first kilometre of the hike can be demanding for beginners, as it is steep. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
Turn slight right onto Chiswick Road and drive for another 2 km
Turn sharp left onto Sir Samuel Griffith Drive, T7 and drive for another 315 m
Turn sharp right and drive for another 70 m
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started From the Silky Oak Picnic Area Carpark, head towards the green directional signpost marking the start of the Powerful Owl Trail near the informative signpost with a roof. Follow the signage and join the wide trail, moving parallel to the highway(to your right). Stay on the track as it meanders into the woodland, and keep left at the intersections(45m and 135m into the walk) to continue along the Powerful Owl Trail.....
Directions & comments
After another 45 m veer left, to head along Powerful Owl Trail.
After another 95 m continue straight, to head along Powerful Owl Trail.
After another 1.1 km (at the intersection of Powerful Owl Trail & Pinnacle Track) veer right, to head along Powerful Owl Trail.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip taking you to Sampson Falls. Keep in mind that this side trip will add at least 30 minutes(walking) to the journey. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip turn right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 730 m continue straight, to head along Powerful Owl Trail.
After another 295 m (at the intersection of Powerful Owl Trail & Ghost Hole Track) continue straight, to head along Powerful Owl Trail.
After another 155 m (at the intersection of Eugenia Circuit & Powerful Owl Trail) continue straight, to head along Powerful Owl Trail.
After another 250 m continue straight, to head along Powerful Owl Trail.
After another 65 m pass the car park (20 m on your right).
After another 100 m continue straight, to head along Powerful Owl Trail.
Continue another 25 m to find the end. Then turn around here and retrace the main route for 2.8 km to get back to the start.
An optional side trip taking you to Sampson Falls. Keep in mind that this side trip will add at least 30 minutes(walking) to the journey.
Directions & comments
After another 190 m turn right, to head along Eugenia Circuit.
After another 660 m continue straight, to head along Eugenia Circuit.
After another 35 m cross the bridge (about 20 m long)
After another 25 m (at the intersection of Simpson Falls Track & Eugenia Circuit) turn sharp right.
A seat., has a backrest.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 930 m to the main route.
Know the Hills, grading & facilities
Powerful Owl Trail
1 h 45 min to 2 h 45 min
Quality of track
Clear and well formed track or trail (2/6)
Short steep hills (3/6)
Clearly signposted (2/6)
Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (2/6)
No experience required (2/6)
Weather generally has little impact on safety (2/6)
Some facilities on route
Seat: There is one 1.9 km (plus an extra 940 m along side route) from the start.