• Distance 4.3km
  • Altitude max 677m
  • Altitude min 531m
  • Duration 1.5 hours
  • Trail type Loop
Three Stars

Three Stars

Worth Doing

The Australian Hiker Experience Rating is a measure of the overall quality of a walk. It is intended to help you decide whether to walk a trail, not to measure anything objective. Consider this our personal take on the walk.

Grade Three

Grade Three

Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections a rough surface and many steps. Walks up to 20km.

The Australian Grading system is based on the australian standard for measuring trail hikes.

Rubbish Bins
Camping Grounds

Frost Hollow to Forest Walk ACT (4.3km)

Canberra Nature Reserve

Nearest Town

The closest suburb to the trailhead is Aranda, ACT

Starting Location

Trailhead along Caswell Drive, ACT. This car park will cope with 20+ cars

Finish Location

Trailhead car park along Caswell Drive, ACT. This car park will cope with 20+ cars

Best Time of the Year to Walk

Year round. Avoid peak hour to allow for easy car park access

Frost Hollow to Forest Walk Review

This is another walk located within less than 10 minutes drive of the city centre and is easily doable by hikers of all levels. While this walk is enjoyable and worth doing just to get out and about, its main claim to fame is that this is the closest walk to the city centre where you can be pretty much guaranteed of seeing kangaroos.

The walk starts just adjacent to the base of Black Mountain on the left side of Caswell Drive, just past Glenloch interchange. You need to approach this walk from the correct side of the road otherwise you will have to park on the side and walk under an underpass which adds a little extra distance. Caswell Drive is busy during peak hour so it’s best to avoid doing this walk at that time. You can also park near the entry style to the walk but that is not on a designated parking area and there is limited space.

The Frost Hollow to Forest walk takes in old rural farmland and natural forest which is where the walk gets its name so it provides a variety of landscapes that will keep everyone happy. The adjacent Black Mountain Tower and the mountain itself is visible from a number of different vantage points. There is a good sized mob of kangaroos located in the main grassy paddock and they are obviously used to walkers because they will generally stay still even if you get close.

Follow the marker signs from the car park and you will come to the management road which you cross over into the forested hill. The vegetation changes almost instantly to continuous woodland at this point. While other nearby walks have similar woodland this walk feels a bit more remote once you get into treed ares. Continue on up the hill and you come to an incline and it’s at this stage that you need to loop to the left and start heading through the forest down the hill for your return journey. Please note that at the time we did this walk the marker post with the directional arrow had fallen over and it wasn’t obvious that you needed to turn here.

As you head down through the forest you will come across a management road which is where you can turn left or cross over and take a short walk through forest on the other side of the road. Both options end up back at the same point so the choice is yours. From here its back through the fence to either head back to the start the way you came or follow the alternate route signage that takes you back to the start on the other side of the dam before taking you back to the trail head car park.

This is a great little walk and as mentioned a great opportunity to take visitors to see kangaroos.

Trailhead start at the end of the car park

Make your away along the path to the walk proper

Follow the signage towards the Aranda Snow Gums for the trailhead proper

And through the underpass

And off we go, over the style

Trail start signage

Follow the well marked trail

Brochure box

A kangaroo free zone. This fenced off area shows what can happen without the local wildlife grazing all day

Ducks on the trail, not your usual birdlife in the Canberra region

Part of this walk is on the Canberra Centenary Trail

Follow the signs

Dam on the Frost Hollow to Forest Walk

Bark creases

Nesting hollow

If you want to see kangaroos close to the city centre then this is the walk for you

Across the gully. As you can see to the right, the kangaroos aren’t bothered by walkers

Hello Cocky

Cocky in flight

Black Mountain Tower

Seating on the trail

Up the hill

Into the forest

That’s interesting

Break time, loop around and head downhill at this stage. When we did this walk the sign had fallen over so we had to check which direction

And heading downhill

Along the management road

Through the fence

Alternate finish

A popular walk

Heading back to the start

Over the style

Look for the small stuff

Heading home

Back to the car park

Trail video

This short video contains a series of images that takes you through the length of this walk providing you with a pictorial overview of what to expect

Getting There

The main trailhead car park is along the base of Black Mountain on Caswell Drive. To use this car park you will need to travel from the city to the lake, loop around and head up Caswell Drive. This trailhead is around 7 km from the Canberra GPO and around a 10 minute drive. Be careful otherwise you will drive past the entry

Things to know

  • Phone: There is good phone signal on this trail (Telstra)
  • Water: You need to bring your own water
  • Toilets: There are no toilets on this trail
  • Trail:This trail is on management road, open grassland and formed trail
  • Dogs: Dogs are NOT allowed on leash
  • Camping: No camping is allowed on this trail
  • Other: 
    • Pay attention to the signage at the turnaround point

Turn off into the car park. You will need to turn off Caswell Drive heading along the base of Black Mountain.  Avoid accessing this car park during peak hour during the week

This car park will comfortably fit around 20+ cars

Elevation profile for the Frost Hollow to Forest Walk


This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker

Australian Hiker Newsletter

* All fields are required

Please Wait.

Thank you for sign up!