There are so many walking trails on Memorial Hill you are sure to find a path suitable for your level of fitness. First and foremost, however, its purpose is as a place of memory and reflection.
The vertical ascent up steep slopes will raise your heart rate. Yet, it is possible to follow a combination of trails that are suitable for the less fit.
Near the lower car park, there are barbecue facilities, a picnic area and enclosed children’s playground. At the upper car park, along with the Memorial itself, there is a Remembrance Walk edged by a number of small gardens. These have been planted with species from the various theatres of war in which Australians have served.
In between, you will pass through landscape that varies with each season and the prevailing weather patterns.
Length: That depends on how many of the trails you take on. It’s an ideal location for a quick burst of exercise or a leisurely wander through the bushland.
Time: Straight up and back, that’s less than 15 minutes – maybe even less than 10. However, you could easily stroll for an hour or more.
Type of path: Most are gravel and can be uneven, so take care. Please also note that Walking in Parkes does not recommend using roads as walking paths.
Gradient: If the plan is to ascend to the top, there will be stairs and some steep gradients. If the plan is to walk around Memorial Hill, the gradient is gentle and undulating.
Best time of day: Most of the trails are on the eastern side, which makes mornings the ideal time to enjoy the sunrise or the golden rays glistening on the leaves.
Nearest public toilets: Rotary Arboretum, at the base of Memorial Hill, on Bushman Street.
You can choose from three starting points. There’s off-street parking on Bushman Street. Alternatively, you can park on East Street or William Street.
(Map to come)
Memorial Hill can be a stand-alone walk or part of a longer trek. Either way, there’s a variety of paths going up and around that we can assemble into one walk.
Why not vary the journey with each visit?
From each of the possible entrances, our first steps will be up but only for a short distance. We can then level out and take the horizontal. For example, starting at the Bushman Street car park, take the path behind the playground. You will soon see another path off to the right, heading up the slope. This is the gentlest of the three entrances.
At this point, we step off the manufactured paths and onto a walking trail. Surprisingly quickly, we have entered a bush setting.
The path takes us past the East Street steps and right around to the William Street steps. To get the most out of this walk, head up the steps to the car park.
Across the upper car park, we turn into the Remembrance Walk. This section takes us back round to the top of the East Street steps. At the steps, head down and turn left at the horizontal path. This takes us back to the playground and the lower car park.