Corin Dam car park
While this walk is in Namadgi National Park the starting location is well away from the central park itself and crosses into the Bimberi wilderness. The road to the Corin Dam car park is well signposted but may be closed due to snow so look out for the warning sign when you turn off Tidbinbilla Road onto the Corin Road. While there is good parking and picnic facilities at the area below the car park, there are no water facilities (yes it is a dam) and the toilet facilities are out of action at present. The car park will comfortably take about 12-15 cars but if by some chance the car park is full, there is another car park on the Canberra side of the dam about 150 metres away.
There are good warning signs for road conditions so pay attention to ensure you can access the dam if doing this walk during the winter months
Corin Dam car park
For experienced hikers, year round given the snow conditions during Winter. Summer is the best time for inexperienced hikers or those who lack snow experience
WARNING: If you are doing this hike in Winter then snow shoes are a good idea. You also need to keep an eye on the weather forecast as heavy snow is always a possibility
Stockyard Spur Walking Track is a fantastic hike in a spectacular part of Namadgi National Park. There is no getting away from it though – this track is in the Bimberi Wilderness area with abundant Snow Gum and Mountain Gum forests, and that means you should be prepared.
Stockyard Spur is a 13 km track that takes around four hours return. The walk starts at the Corin Dam car park and heads up on the right-hand side of the management trail. We were warned that the incline in the first two kilometres was very steep but experiencing is believing. It is REALLY steep, about 580 metres in the first two kilometres and has a series of winding walkways interspersed by stone and railway sleeper steps – lots and lots of steps!
About 2o0 metres along the first part of the trail, there is a seating area where you can take in the amazing view down over Corin Dam and catch your breath! The next spot to catch your breath is at the top of the steep rise – congratulations, you’ve completed the first two kilometres.
From here the track undulates upwards and while there are a few inclines, they are short and not nearly as steep. The bush at the top of the rise opens up and this is the start of ‘Stockyard Spur’. Continue along the trail for a few kilometres and you will reach the summit and the turnaround point for this walk. Turn slightly to the right at this point and head about 50 metres and you will reach a rocky outcrop which offers stunning views of Mt Ginini, and another rocky outcrop over to the left offering sweeping views down to Corin Dam and the Bimberi Wilderness. Walk a bit further to the left and you will clearly view Mt Gingera.
We walked the Stockyard Spur track in September and once we cleared the steep climb, we were surrounded by heavy snow. It was glorious and surprisingly much warmer than when we were gearing up in the car park. However, it was hard walking particularly on the returnn leg as the air temperature warmed and the snow became slushy.
The return for this walk is the way you came so its a simple matter of doing a U-turn and heading down. While the upwards incline is a challenge, we passed some hikers on the way down giving their knees a rest from the steep steps.
This is a very popular hike and despite the heavy snow covering, we were surprised by the number of hikers, trail runners and overnight hikers on the trail. On the other hand, the footsteps in the snow from the day before did help us navigate the track given the trail markers are very few and far between. The trail however is obvious in the first section and would be easy to follow in the absence of the snow.
The Stockyard Spur is well worth doing – get an early start to experience the best weather so you can take in the views.
Corin Dam. You cross over the dam to reach the car park
Trail head signage
The trail head to the Stockyard Spur Walking Track is very obvious at the end of the car park and is located almost dead ahead after you drive into the Corin Dam car park. Head towards the right and down the hill to the picnic area. The toilet block from 40-ish years ago is out of order
The majority of the 20 or so walkers we saw on the day didn’t fill out the trail register. Please do so as this helps the emergency services in case of an emergency
You will reach just over 1700 metres in altitude on this walk so expect snow in the colder months of the year
You’ve been warned! This is a very challenging walk for the first two kilometres
Lower lookout about 200 metres into the walk provides good views of Corin Dam
A view of the start of the trail. Its steep!
Trail markers are limited. This is one of the few we saw. There is no interpretive signage on this trail
Start of Stockyard Spur and also a helipad if needed
This tiny fungus caught my eye. Its often the little things that grab your attention
Wattle in flower on the lower part of the trail
Scribbly Gum. I love these
This is a wilderness area and it looks like it
The snow starts gradually then builds up in the cooler months
What else do you do in snow but build a snowman (not us)
Approaching the summit
The further you go on this track, the deeper the snow. On this section of the trail the snow was up to about 30cm deep
View to Mt Gingera if you head another 5o metres to the left as you reach the summit
Mt Ginini panorama from the top of the hill. This is you turnaround point on this walk
If you do this walk in late winter, expect a very slushy return which can be slippery
The trip from the centre of Canberra is approximately 1 hour and 60 km. Turn off Tidbinbilla Road onto Corin Road and travel to the very end of Corin Road where you’ll park your car.
Corin Road is a sealed road but is prone to frost and ice, and can be closed during periods of snow and Total Fire Bans. Make sure you review the whether forecast before you head off.
As you travel down Corin Road, you’ll pass the turn off to Gibraltar Falls on the left, as well as Square Rock and Smokers Flat car park. You’ll know you’re getting close when you see the sign advising you are entering the Namadgi National Park. Corin Road ends at the Stockyard Spur car park and trail head.
This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker