Time:4 hrs
Distance:6km
Fitness:M
Skill:EM
Ascent:500m
Maps: LPI Mountain Lagoon 9031-3S 1:25000
Notes:Print-friendly notes (opens in new window)
Please note that while the maps on this web site are useful and generally contain more, and more accurate, information on trails, the relevant topographic maps should be carried on most walks. These are available from the Lands Information Centre, map shops, and most outdoor stores.

Introduction

Swimming in the Colo River below the Tootie Creek rapids

Despite being accessible by a track, the Colo River at Tootie Creek feels quite remote and untouched. It is not frequently visited, and involves a steep descent to the river. There are great views over the wilderness from the upper parts of the ridge, and over the Colo River from lookouts near the bottom.

Access

The walk starts and finishes at the end of the Tootie Creek Track, off Sams Way in the small town of Mountain Lagoon.

From Richmond, follow signs to Lithgow along Bells Line of Road. Take the signposted turnoff on the right to Mountain Lagoon at Bilpin after about 28km. Follow Mountain Lagoon Rd for 12.0km to a turnoff to the left to Bean Lane - the last few kilometres are unsealed. Continue along Mountain Lagoon Rd for another 500m and turn left on to Sams Way. Follow Sams Way for 1.2km to where a fire trail branches off north, and there is a sign saying "Walking Tracks - Colo Meroo and Tootie Creek".

Drive down the trail, keeping left at a junction after 400m. It is about 5km to the turning circle at the end, mostly fairly good quality fire trail (2wd accessible in normal weather). Park your car here.

Track notes

From 11 Sep 1999, last checked 22 Aug 2011

Colo River and rapids from one of the lookouts

Head along the foot track that leaves from the end of the fire trail. The track itself needs little direction, as it mostly stays close to the ridge with no side tracks. However, care needs to be taken as it is marked only intermittently - with star pickets with a small green square with a white walker painted inside - and is vague in places. It is also fairly steep and rough, particularly near the bottom.

From the top section of the track there are great views stretching out over the Wollemi Wilderness to the north west.

About two-thirds of the way down, you reach a cliffline, and a spectacular lookout over the Colo River itself. From here the track cuts back west along a narrow ledge, and then back underneath the cliffline, before descending to a saddle and another lookout. Just below here, the track cuts right off the ridge, and down a steep, loose gully to emerge on a sandbank just downstream from the Tootie Creek junction.

This is an excellent spot for a swim and a leisurely break. If you have time, you can go for a wander upstream or downstream (no tracks), or explore the bottom end of Tootie Creek. The sandbank could also be used as a campsite for an easier overnight walk.

Return to your car via the same route.

Views across the Wollemi Wilderness from high up on the ridge

Related walks

Colo Meroo

Time: 2 days Distance: 24km Fitness: EM Skill: EM Ascent: 580m

Good views of the Colo River on the way to this excellent camp ground by the river itself

Mountain Lagoon Loop via Colo Meroo and Tootie Creek

Time: 2 days Distance: 29km Fitness: MH Skill: M Ascent: 520m

A challenging river walk along the lower reaches of the Colo River.

Crawfords Lookout to Dooli Creek

Time: 2 days Distance: 21km Fitness: M Skill: MH Ascent: 460m

A challenging walk through some of the best scenery in the upper Colo River.

Canoe Creek

Time: 4 hrs Distance: 6km Fitness: EM Skill: EM Ascent: 400m

A relatively easy route to the magnificent Colo River, with good swimming and the option of camping.

Bob Turners Track

Time: 2 hrs Distance: 6km Fitness: E Skill: E Ascent: 280m

One of the easiest routes to the Colo River. A lovely pool and beach make it a delightful spot for swimming, although it is a decent climb in and out.

Crawfords Lookout

Time: 2 hrs Distance: 8km Fitness: E Skill: EM Ascent: 240m

A short walk to a spectacular lookout over Wollemi Creek and the upper Colo River.