Middle Ridge Trail Barrington - closed...why?

Submitted: Monday, Mar 22, 2004 at 13:52
ThreadID: 11457 Views:2884 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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Anyone know why the Middle Ridge Trail in Barrington Tops NP is closed? The Middle Ridge Trail joins the Barrington Trail and it is at this intersection that there is now a permanently locked gate. In the past these gates were only seasonally locked.

The NP office at Scone advised that the trail is closed indefinitely due to liability issues and that's all they would say.

Anyone know any more details? There is no mention of it on the NPWS web site.... is this just another permanent track closure - quietly gated off.

Black Stump.
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Mar 22, 2004 at 14:39

Monday, Mar 22, 2004 at 14:39
What sort of track was it, hard? easy?

does the liability thing seem like it COULD be valid? Dont worry I dont believe it either.
AnswerID: 51410

Follow Up By: Black Stump - Monday, Mar 22, 2004 at 15:12

Monday, Mar 22, 2004 at 15:12
Seems that the liabilty issue is valid. According to the ranger at NP Gloucester the track goes through private property in some parts and that it is a private track on the private property - as opposed to a public track going through private property.

Not sure how you check whether a track is actually private or public right of way.

So now the Barrington trail end's at 2 gates within 200 metres of each other. One is the Barrington 'Wilderness area' and the other the gated middle ridge trail!

Sign of the times or what!!
FollowupID: 313127

Reply By: Member - Wim (Bris) - Monday, Mar 22, 2004 at 15:44

Monday, Mar 22, 2004 at 15:44
Black Stump.
This may help.

Barrington Tops National Park
Middle Ridge trail is closed.

Visitors are asked to avoid walking through the Watergauge Trail due to a phytophthora outbreak. Phytophthora cinnamomi is a water mould that thrives in warm moist soils. It attacks the roots of plants causing them to rot so they are unable to absorb enough water and nutrients. The disease causes the dieback of affected trees and plants. The cooperation and support of park visitors is needed to contain the disease, which can have a devastating affect on susceptible plants. Staff will conduct further sampling to determine the extent of the disease.

Visitors should avoid the Watergauge Trail area on the plateau, and use alternative walking routes to Junction Pools and the Big Hole.

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AnswerID: 51417

Reply By: Jeff (Beddo) - Monday, Mar 22, 2004 at 19:42

Monday, Mar 22, 2004 at 19:42
Public liability is a Big Issue or for private property owners. Don't know the issue in the Barringtons but in Yengo NP(North of Sydney) the Old Settlers Rd is closed at the private property. The National park section in the middle is open, though you cannot get to it. Council will not maintain the trail going thru the private property sections and so the local rural land owners have padlocked the gates to stop the damage to the trails going thru their property. Council refuse to maintain it and it is a public road - talk to Singleton Shire Council if you have an issue with this.
AnswerID: 51453

Reply By: SimonA - Monday, Mar 22, 2004 at 20:26

Monday, Mar 22, 2004 at 20:26
I am planning a trip to Barrington over Easter and spoke both with the Ranger and the 4WDNSW representative last week.

The issue is true - NPWS have two problems - the main one is where the track goes into private land, the owners, not NPWS, have locked the gate and will not allow anyone, not even NPWS up there, as they consider they are not covered for public liability. In addition they are also sick of having to rescue ill-equipped or ill prepared people, who get stuck.

The other issue is an NPWS problem - a large tree requiring a bulldozer to move it has apprently fallen onto the track. When I, as trip leader for a 4WD Club offered to see what we could do with chainsaws and a few trucks, I was told the tree is too large to move, they will get it when the Service dozer is back in the area.

The Ranger did tell me that they are having negotiations with the private landowners, but things are not getting very far. As I understand it, the Association is also having input into the situation.

Sorry folks, but it looks like another track is closed, at least for the moment
AnswerID: 51458

Follow Up By: Black Stump - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 12:36

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 12:36

Just thought you might like to know the log is still across the track. It seems the NPWS dozer is nowhere to be seen. I have photos of the log taken a few days ago if you want I can email to you.

I have spoken with the ranger again and they have no intention of removing the log whilst the track is closed at the private property. I get the feeling this is permanent.

Black Stump

ps Not sure if you'll be notified of this follow up...
FollowupID: 314606

Reply By: Black Stump - Wednesday, Mar 24, 2004 at 13:24

Wednesday, Mar 24, 2004 at 13:24
Thanks to everyone for the good info.

I will try and make the effort to check with Singleton Shire council the status of Middle Ridge trail ie. is it a private or public access route across the private property.

It's interesting about the tree across the trail - I last tried to travel the trail about 1 year ago only to find a very big tree across the track in the NP section. I get the feeling it's the same tree still lying there!

Black Stump.
AnswerID: 51750

Follow Up By: Black Stump - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 12:39

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 12:39
test follow up.
FollowupID: 314608

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