At the southern end of Crows Nest, a rest stop called Bullocky’s Rest Park serves as the starting point for the Crows Nest Heritage Trail.
It then follows Applegum Walk along Crows Nest Creek and Bald Hills Creek, then up into the town centre of Crows Nest before returning to Bullocky’s Rest Park.
The rest area has a good picnic table area with free BBQs, a toilet block, and water available on tap.
In the centre of the rest stop is a display of bullocks hauling logs to commemorate those who pioneered the timber industry in the area in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Near the toilet block is a large timber log, such displays are common in the timber industry towns, with similar examples found at the day use area at Benarkin State Forest , and at the Timber Museum at Wondai .
To walk the heritage trailhead beyond the toilet block to the start of the Applegum Walk. A blue sign points in the right direction, don’t head up to the street above.
The trail is a fairly well maintained grassy walk at the beginning. It roughly follows along the Crows Nest Creek, but the creek is mostly hidden by the tall grass.
An old and dilapidated sign marks the location of the Bullockies Well, where the bullocks were watered and rested for hauling the timber.
Occasional posts with a red arrow lead the way along the walk, and there are numerous plaques giving the names of different types of flora along the way.
A causeway is crossed after about 350m and the trail becomes a little rougher and narrower but is still quite an easy walk. It has gentle slopes and a few steps made where it is steeper.
It is at the causeway the creek can be properly seen. There was some water in some parts of the creeks, but for the most part, the creeks were dry. This is upstream from Crows Nest National Park that I was at earlier the same day, and it was easy to see there was no water to feed the creek further down.
I met another couple who use the walk regularly and said the water was flowing over the causeway a couple of months earlier, but with the dry weather, the flow of water has stopped quickly.
Further on you come to a short track off to the right, about 650m along the walk, that leads to a viewing area above a waterfall, assuming the water is flowing of course.
A little further along the mail trail and another side track leads to the bottom of the falls. It is a beautiful little spot, with a lovely grassy area, and exposed rock walls opposite the water holes at the bottom of the falls.
On the opposite side of the waterhole is the remnants of a water pump, the waterhole known as the pump hole.
The walk continues downstream of Crows Nest Creek, then heads left along the banks of Bald Hills Creek. Bald Hills Creek was completely dry, offering the boulders of the creek bed to look at instead.
The trail leads to Hartmann Park, where there is a picnic table, toilets, and a fresh water tap. From here you can either walk back the same way or walk up a steep path to the streets to continue the heritage trail or take a shortcut back to Bullocky’s Rest.
The walk is about 2.8km doing the loop through the town centre, and further if you return along the creeks from Hartmann Park.
The heritage trail continues straight ahead along William St. The posts with red arrows are seen part way along, and sends you onto the right side of the road.
On William St, the trail leads up to the Grand Old Crow pub on the corner, and another arrow sends you back across William St and into the Centenary Park.
I couldn’t locate more arrows in the park after this, but if you continue passed the park along New England Hwy, it leads back to Bullocky’s Rest.
Centenary Park has water bubblers, toilets, and a playground, and plenty of shops around for have a break from the walk. An information board offers things to see and do around Crows Nest and surrounding areas.
For a shortcut back to Bullocky’s Rest without walking up to the main street from Hartmann Park, head left down Esk St off William St and follow to the end, where there is a path leading down to the start of Applegum Walk. At the bottom turn right to head back to the rest area.
The trail does not appear to be maintained as Crows Nest Heritage Trail anymore. The brown sign looks old and a little discoloured, and there is no other mention of it until after Applegum Walk when a few trail markers are displayed leading you through the town.
Applegum Walk seems to be well used and looked after. And if you have to follow the trail passed the pub on the way back, then for heritage trail purposes, it can’t hurt to pop in and have a look.
Across the highway from the pub is The Nolan Building, now operating as Salts Antiques. The building dates back to 1916 and designed by renowned architect James Marks, who designed many of Toowoomba’s beautiful buildings.
To get there:
Coming from the north along New England Hwy, continue through the township of Crows Nest, about 1.2km. Bullock’s Rest is on the left before crossing Crows Nest Creek, with the brown sign for Crows Nest Heritage Trail opposite it.
Coming from the south along New England Hwy, Bullocky’s Rest is on the right about 600m after entering the township of Crows Nest, immediately after crossing Crows Nest Creek, with the brown sign for Crows Nest Heritage Trail opposite it.
Wheelchair accessible: No, though Bullocky’s Rest is flat and suitable for wheelchairs