Coochin Creek has always been a forest. The plains that stretch eastwards from the Glasshouse Mountains to the Bribie Passage were once covered with vast tracts of She-Oaks, Paperbarks and Gum Trees. Today it’s still a forest, but most of the trees have been replaced with plantation pines.
We started todays ride at Beerburrum, but instead of heading up into the Glasshouse Mountains, we rode towards the flatter forests to the east.
After about five minutes we left the paved road, and rolled down some bumpy fire roads between the pines.
I love these forests. Amid endless rows of trees and long straight tracks, you could ride all day and still feel like you were in the same place. It’s the perfect spot for a low-stress hassle-free ride. My surgeon had told me to stick to flat smooth terrain till my shoulder fully healed. This was perfect.
The buzzing freeway broke the peace briefly as we passed under it to the other side.
The route on the GPS said to go straight ahead, but the tighter track to the side looked more interesting so we followed it instead.
We followed Red Road eastwards for a while before disappearing again into more pine forest.
The dirt road cut a large arc through the forest, bringing us eventually to Wildhorse Mountain…
It’s a short steep climb to the top, but the views are impressive. Becca is now seven months pregnant, and was still able to beat Russel and me to the top of the hill.
Wildhorse Mountain is a great place to soak in the splendour of the Glasshouse Mountains.
By now it was mid-morning so we stopped for a light snack at a nearby cafe.
Leaving the cafe, I was surprised how quickly we disappeared back into the forest. After following a track behind the service station for less than a minute we left the bustle behind and were back among the trees.
We stopped briefly to admire some Xanthorrhoea (Grass Tree) flowers which had sprouted between the pines.
The long thin stems were covered with small white flowers and a fine dew of nectar.
Jason (who I think would like to change jobs and open a plant nursery) suggested if we ran our fingers gently over the flowers we’d get a nice taste of the nectar.
I made sure I didn’t disturb the bees. One stem had both a native bee and a european bee working side by side to harvest the sweet crop.
Eventually we reached Coochin Creek.
“Coochin” means “Red Earth” in the Kabi Aboriginal language.
The creek was deep, wide and much healthier looking than we had expected. We all thought this would be a great spot to return for a swim.
We followed another track near the creek and found this abandoned car amidst a swarm of mosquitoes.
This third spot by the creek was the most impressive.
There’s an abandoned town on the other side of the creek. A hundred years ago Campbellville boasted a population of about 100 people a sawmill and a school.
In the 1880’s James Campbell built a sawmill here. Loggers would fell wood in the Blackall Range up near Maleny, slide the logs down the mountain via slippery muddy chutes, then raft the logs down Mellum Creek to Campbells mill.
Ships would come upstream to the mill to collect the sawn timber and take it to Brisbane via the Bribie Passage and Deception Bay…
There’s no mill here any more – just lots of trees.
As we started our return westward journey past rows of Macadamia trees, the rain started falling gently.
Back through more Pine plantations we headed to the small town of Glasshouse for lunch.
Good beer and a steak sandwich – that seems to be the staple fare for most of our rides these days.
Who needs anything else?
After a large lazy lunch we slowly rolled back along the bike path to our starting point at Beerburrum.
Max elevation: 124 m
Min elevation: 3 m
Total climbing: 774 m
Total descent: -758 m
Average speed: 16.27 km/h
Total time: 06:26:50
All up we rode a leisurely 61km in about six and a half hours with 420 metres of vertical ascent. I burned about 2,500 kcal.
This is an easy flat ride. You could pretty much go all day and not feel like you were working hard.
It’s one of those low-impact rides that are good for the soul.
I’ll rate it 4.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. Maybe add one extra point on a hot day.
Thanks Becca, Russel and Jason for a pleasant day out.