In the hills stretching from East Warburton to beyond Powelltown are the remains of a network of timber tramways existing from the days prior to the 1939 bushfires. A combination of horse drawn and steam powered narrow-gauge tramways were used for transporting logs to the mills. The beds of these tracks now provide a series of delightful walking tracks through the forest. They pass old trestle bridges and the relics of a number of bush timber mills.
We have walked here on a number of occasions, mainly from Starlings Gap into the Ada and New Federal Mill Sites. It was on my third walk that I slipped whilst coming down the High Lead and broke my ankle. This is the only occasion on which I have ever had a serious injury and one that required help and a rescue.
Leaving Starlings Gap, you follow the tramway line around the contours of the hills for about eight kilometres. The bridges that once crossed the creeks have now rotted away, so you have a bit of clambering down to each creek and then up again to get back to the track. You may be lucky enough to see Lyrebirds and Koalas in the forest. After eight kilometres or so of walking through the forest you will reach a cross junction, where you can turn left and head up the track for a bit over over a kilometre to the Ada #2 Mill site and some relics. Returning to the main tack, turn left (or continuing straight on if you didn’t take the option to visit the Ada #2 Mill) and you will soon reach the remains of a large log bridge and five hundred metres beyond it are the remains of the New Federal Mill.
Return to the cross junction and turn left to visit the Ada Mill and the crossing over the Ada River. There is a campsite just beyond the river (don’t camp at the Ada Mill site). On the following day you can return the same way to Starlings Gap, or continue down the High Lead to the Powelltown-Noojee Road.