Walking in Lerderderg State Park


East Walk and Cowan Track Loop

Lerderderg State Park

Follow the Lerderderg River downstream before climbing to the top of the Lerderderg Gorge for fantastic views over the river and rugged bushland. The East Walk and Cowan Track Loop is a challenging but rewarding day trip for experienced hikers wanting to capture that feeling of remoteness while remaining close to Melbourne.

Starting and finishing in beautiful O'Briens Crossing Picnic Area, walk the meandering river trail past lush rainforest and tranquil waterholes.

The East Walk follows the Lerderderg River downstream from O’Briens Crossing through to Mine Camp. The trail, which initially hugs the Lerderderg River, is rough and narrow in places and subject to flood damage, which can sometimes make the path difficult to follow. If in doubt, stay on the east bank of the river, close to the water, and you will eventually come to Cowan Track on the left. 

The return part of the circuit via Cowan Track is steep and climbs more than 200 metres from the river to O’Briens Road. Here, turn left and walk along O'Briens Road. Look out for the next trail on the left, the Short Cut Track, which will take you back to O’Briens Crossing.

Along the way keep an eye out for koalas in the Manna Gum trees and colourful Spotted Pardalote high in the canopy. Silvereye are another common site and you might see them perched on the stems of inflorescences of the Slender Saw-sedge.  

The East Walk and Cowan Track Loop Walk is for experienced and well prepared hikers. 

How to get there

East Walk and Cowan Track Loop

The walk starts and finishes at O'Briens Crossing Picnic Area. Take O'Briens Road from the C318 Greendale-Trentham Road. It's one hour and 15 minutes' drive from Melbourne. 


Need to know

East Walk and Cowan Track Loop

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Parks

    Seasonal road closures 2021

    Some roads in this park are subject to seasonal road closures. Seasonal road closures generally operate after the long weekend in June through to the end of October, but may be extended due to seasonal conditions. Visit the seasonal road closures page for maps and more information.

  • Lerderderg State Park

    Lerderderg State Park Partial Closure

    Due to Storm Damage on 10th Jun 2021 the Lerderderg State park is partially closed. 
    O'Briens Road and Bluegum Track are now open.  Lerderderg Campground, O'Briens Crossing Picnic Area and Shaws lake Picnic Area are also now open. East Walk Cowan Loop Track, Byers Back Track and Moonlight Gully hiking trails are now open. 
     Closures remain in place for the below sites:
    - Amblers Lane Campground

    Attachments: Lerderderg Partial Closure Map 07_10_2021 (402KB)

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