Somerset Trail in D’Aguilar National Park, Mount Mee is undoubtedly one of the best Brisbane bushwalks near the city.
The trail offers hikers a clearly signposted, pleasant, class 4 walk through open-forest, pine-forest and pockets of rainforest which should take no more than 3 to 4 hours to complete at a leisurely pace (or 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours trail running). It is suitable for children who've been on bushwalks before and who have a reasonable level of fitness.
The trail is fairly level and easy to traverse, with numerous slight inclines and dips throughout.
As you step out of your car you will hear the unmistakable magical chimes of the Bell Birds as you take in the smells and sights of the rainforest encircling you. You’re now in the middle of a national park home to numerous native animals, brimming with bubbling creeks, hidden waterholes and mind-blowing views.
The surrounds are truly marvelous. As you walk along, stop now and then to tilt your head towards the sky and take it all in, peering up through the towering gum tree and pine tree canopies which seem to stretch into the clouds. As you journey deeper into the heart of the park, enjoy the fresh smells and sights of the scribbly-gum forest.
When you've completed about 2/3 of the trail you will come across the spectacular lookout offering sweeping views across to Somerset Dam and Wivenhoe Dam in the far-off distance.
Please be aware that some parts of Somerset Trail cross dirt roads used by 4WD enthusiasts, dirt bikers and horse riders.
Yes, however 13 kilometres is quite a distance for little legs so be prepared to piggy-back small children throughout the walk to give them some recovery
time. Packing snacks to enjoy along the way will assist in keeping their energy levels up. Consider a 30 minute stop at the Somerset Lookout to enjoy
a picturesque lunch or morning tea to recharge everyone's batteries for the walk back to the car park.
Please Note: Darkness falls quickly in the forest thanks to dense tree canopies obscuring the fading light of day. Be sure to give yourself enough time to complete the walk well before dusk to avoid rushing the last few kilometres back to the car park. You don't want to end up with frightened and tearful children on your hands so start your family adventure before lunchtime to give your family ample time to complete the circuit.
If you find yourself here later than planned, or would prefer a shorter stroll, the 1km Piccabeen Walk beneath piccabeen palms is accessible near the Somerset Trail entrance.
Somerset Trail is about a one-hour 30-minute drive from Brisbane CBD.
Alternatively you can drive north through Strathpine along Gympie Road and continue on through Petrie as it turns into Dayboro Road. Upon entering Dayboro turn right onto Mount Mee Road. Follow Mount Mee Road all the way to the Somerset Trail entrance road – Sellin Road.
When you enter D'Aguilar National Park along Sellin Road, park in the carpark by the The Gantry. You can continue past The Gantry carpark turnoff to your right and instead take the next left turn down a short, dusty road to the carpark of Somerset Trail and its neighbouring bushwalk, the Piccabeen Walk, but vehicle contents thefts have occurred in this remote carpark area so parking here is at your own risk.
A 4WD is an absolute necessity if considering accessing Somerset Trail from the north. Turn off the D'Aguilar Highway at D'Aguilar, south of Woodford, and follow Neurum Road as far as Stanton Road, before turning right and right again onto Rasmussen Road.
Rassmussen Road will lead you to the northern entrance of the reserve where you will pass by Neurum Creek Camping Area before embarking on a lengthy 4WD adventure up and down steep inclines towards the heart of the park (passing the Rocky Hole access road along the way).
Please Note: Instead of hiking the North Brisbane bushwalks in D'Aguilar, you can 4WD straight to the Somerset Dam lookout point if you'd prefer to just enjoy the view and rest your legs.
Come Prepared: Coming from Brisbane? Make a pit-stop at the Dayboro IGA to grab necessities. Coming from the Sunshine Coast? Stop at the Woodford Woolworths Shopping Centre, or at the Corner Store in D’Aguilar Woodford on your way.