Six Foot Track History

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The Six Foot Track, as we know, love and walk it today, was re-established in 1984-5 by the Orange Lands Office to celebrate the track’s 100th birthday. The track now follows as closely as possible to the original route, and the department has installed stiles, signage and campsites to make the journey more enjoyable for walkers.

This is now a very popular walk, with many people enjoying this as their first overnight hike, whilst others enjoy sections as day walks. Today the walk is managed by the Six Foot Track Heritage Trust.


“[The track is] steep in places, but the romantic beauty of the surroundings amply compensates for the roughness of the ground.”
Blue Mountains Railway Tourist Guide, 1894

In March 1884 a government funded expedition started to mark a route for horses from Katoomba to Jenolan caves in only 11 days. The government then funded the construction of the track to the tune of £2,500. Once completed, the ride from Katoomba to the caves was less than eight hours.

In 1892 the Glen Shale Mine opened and the Megalong Village beside the Six Foot Track. The village disappeared even more quickly five years later, when the mine closed

At the end of the 1880s and the early 1900s, a few families settled along the Coxs River near the Six Foot Track crossing. The Dyson family built a house and small farm on the east side of the crossing and the O’Reilly family on the western side. The Lynch family also built themselves a house on their land near the current Six Foot Track Lodge. A fire and a rabbit plague in the early 1900s meant that many people left this valley for Katoomba and other places.

In the early 1900s there new roads built in the area provided faster access to the caves. With the introduction the motor car the Six Foot Track was mostly unused by the 1930s. Over the following years some sections of the track became roads and fire trails. Other sections were claimed by farmers or reclaimed by the bushland. In the 1960s it seemed like a good idea by some people to idea to fill Nellies Glen to build a fire trail down through the canyon, thanks the idea soon proved unviable. Much of the vegetation and the Six Foot Track pathway was covered in the canyon. The forest is now reclaiming this canyon again.

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