The name Downfall Creek conjures up all types of images and leaves you with more questions than answers. What it has done though, is to intrigue me to the point where I had to seek an answer. For the sake of expediency, I decided to Google the name and low and behold I had two answers, which one would I choose? The first piece of evidence revealed a rather brutal killing of a man which took place in the back yard of the Edinburgh Castle Hotel on the corner of Edinburgh Castle Road and Gympie Road, Kedron, not far from Downfall Creek on or around 29th December, 1889. The second piece of evidence suggests the creek was so named due to the number of accidents and mishaps which occurred where the busy Brisbane to Gympie Road crossed Downfall Creek. A major gold find was made in Gympie in 1867 and as a result a lot of mining equipment had to be transported to Gympie and the only route was the Brisbane to Gympie Road crossing Downfall Creek. You be the judge after reading the evidence in the two links at the end of this post**.
Downfall Creek later changed it's name to Chermside as a result of a local schoolteacher petitioning the Governor of the day, Sir Herbert Charles Chermside.
|Virginia Railway Station|
The Downfall Creek ride was being considered for our broader group of riders "Peddling For Pleasure" but first it was necessary to check the suitability for a larger group ride.
Having made our way to Virginia Railway Station, this being the start point of the ride we located the cycleway on the western side which lead us into the Downfall Creek Parklands.
Keeping on the cycleway, we followed the creek line until Newman Road where we crossed and enter 7th Brigade Park. If interested in the history of this park click on www.chermsidedistrict.org.au and then open World War 11.
|7th Brigade Park|
7th Brigade Park joins Marchant Park with Murphy Road dividing the two. You could take some time out and explore the parks by following each of the two cycleways. However, ensure that you take the pathway which leads to the junction of Murphy Road with Gympie Road. We found that crossing this extremely busy road could be dangerous, particularly for groups of riders, but with a little patience and keeping a wary eye out for the traffic, it can be crossed. Once across Gympie Road, we followed the path crossing Webster Road and continue following the creek through Huxtable Park.
Walking the rainforest boardwalk in Huxtable Park is a welcome relief from riding, especially on a hot day. As we continued on, crossing Maundrell Terrace we entered the Raven Street Reserve where we came across the Downfall Creek Bushland Centre.
|Just one example of the fine artwork on this ride|
Raven Street Reserve has split paths and it doesn't matter which you take as both lead to Hamilton Road. We rode along Hamilton Road for a short distance and turned right into Trouts Road where we entered Chermside Hills Reserve. This is where the interesting part of the ride occurred. There are two trails within this reserve, one for walking and one for cycling. We chose, inadvertently, the wrong trail, which had a track up a relatively steep hill suitable for walkers, goats, spiders and perhaps mountain bikes with knobby tyres. Hence, none of us made it to the top riding our bikes, instead having to hoof it up by foot instead. Incidentally the hill was names Spider Hill. All was not lost however, as the view in my opinion was well worth it and the decent down the other side although challenging for hybrid bikes was good fun. We could have ventured further along Troutts Road where there was an entrance to a cycleway, but heh! we are called The Peddling Pathfinders and we do at times find ourselves in places where normal cyclists are loath to travel.
|Chermside Hills Reserve|
|Chermside Hills Reserve|
The path leads you to Dicapprio Circuit where we re-entered the pathway and followed Cabbage Tree Creek to Bridgeman Downs which lead to a dead end. Having achieved our objective, we retraced our route back to Virginia Station.
On the way back we diverted to McDowell Village where we found a great little coffee shop called Deja Bru where we ensconced ourselves for a short time replenishing our reserves of caffeine.
As an alternative, we could have turned right as we exited Raven Street Reserve and followed Little Cabbage Tree Creek to the Aspley Hypermarket. Maybe we will do that another day.
The ride took us through a number of beautiful parks and reserves creating part of the Mountains to Mangroves corridor through the suburbs of Virginia, Wavell Heights, Chermside, Chermside West, McDowall and Bridgeman Downs where strategically placed signs explained the habitat and wildlife that can be found within this corridor.
|Google Map depicting Downfall Creek ride|
Distance: Approx. 24k Surface: Cement paths, bitumen & dirt.
Type of bike: Hybrid. Difficulty: Easy.
Fitness required: Moderate. Family friendly:No due to crossing major roads.