Old Telegraph Hill
Start - Tarkine Hotel, Corinna
Length - 1.8km (Return)
Grade - Green
Terrain - Single Track
Vertical Climb - 82m
Time - 1 Hour
Signed - Yes
Date Hiked - 17th April 2021
Best Time - All Year Round
Traditional Custodians - Peerapper People
Directions - Starting in the small hamlet of Corinna, located three and a half hours west of Launceston, there is only one unsealed road in and out. Once you're in Corinna then head away from the river from the Tarkine Hotel and towards the boardwalk located between two of the cabins on the left of the road. The Old Telegraph Hill trail is the boardwalk section leading to the left.
The Hike - After a sensational morning and early afternoon doing the Whyte River Track and a cruise along the Pieman River, we had a few hours of sunlight left on our final day in Corinna. With Candy and Hal planning another kayak around the rivers, we thought we would join them on the kayaks you can hire from the hotel reception. Unfortunately they have a cut-off for hiring them out due to the person that runs through the safety protocols having already left for the day. The back-up plan was a walk up to the top of Old Telegraph Hill that starts in the centre of Corinna and heads into the lovely forest that engulfs this area.
As one of the shorter walks in the area, it was on the bottom of my list if time became short just because I wanted to prioritise the walks that looked much better on paper. I quickly found out that there are no bad walks around Corinna as it only take about 10m of walking into the nearby forests before it feels like you've escaped into another world. With the disappointment of not being able to see more of the Pieman and Savage Rivers behind us, we dropped our things at the cabin and kept moving towards the Old Telegraph Hill trail. We had attempted this on our first afternoon here but quickly realised that it was a bit longer than we thought and would soon run out of light. With plenty of time this afternoon, Caris and I were soon at the boardwalk and ready to head up the hill. This walk is advertised as having a little phone reception, I was used to not looking at the socials during our time in Corinna so if it happened then it would be a bonus. This little section of Corinna is also home to the Burrowing Crayfish with a small wooden platform leading off the same boardwalk as this trail giving you an opportunity to see them in the wild.
We would save that for after the hike as we'd already visited a few times during our stay with no luck. Entering the forest, it was a repeat of the Whyte River Track with an immediate immersion in thick trees, green mosses, fungi and ferns. As Caris hadn't joined me on that walk or the Savage River one, this would be her introduction to the forests of Corinna (Huon Pine Walk doesn't really count). Forming the super fungi searching team that had done so well at Philosopher Falls, it didn't take long before there were weird and wonderful shapes being pointed at all over the place. From slimy cream coloured gilled varieties to thick bracket fungi hanging onto fallen logs, there was no shortage of interesting life in this forest. The walk is a fairly basic design with the route taking you straight up the hill towards a flat area that is home to the old telegraph tower (hence the name). The climb isn't too strenuous but there are sections where you have to negotiate slippery tree roots and muddy steps. Again, we weren't moving at a great pace because I was fascinated with everything around ranging from mossy tree trunks that looked like fairy hidey-holes to moist green plants that had a lovely texture to them.
The further we climbed up, the more enjoyable the walking became thanks to the forest becoming more overgrown and natural. With the muted light of a cloudy afternoon, the whole place looked a treat. Winding tree branches provided a nice foreground object to photograph against the greenery of the backlit lower canopy and a variety of ferns pointing in every direction made it look wilder. The drapery of some green vines that I loved so much on the Whyte River Track made an appearance and added to the fantastic feel of this enclosed hike. Arriving at the first sight of a pole running up the hill, this is the telegraph cable casing that will be with you until you reach the top. It doesn't detract too much from the natural setting and is a bit of history from the area. I'm sure many people use it nowadays as something to help them up the hill and in places it is perfectly placed. Constantly in awe of the quality of the scenery through here, I fell behind unsurprisingly but Caris soon found something of interest and waited for me. One of our favourite fungi, the Pixie Parasol (Mycena interrupta) was lurking next to the telegraph cabling and the blue capped mushroom was a delight to see once again.
Reaching the top of the hill, we stumbled across the metal pole and ladder that looked liked a tradie had just left some gear lying around. The cables indicated this was the tower that marked the end of the way and with no clear path leading anywhere, we made an educated guess that this was the turnaround point. Even though I'm with Telstra, the promise of patchy internet didn't eventuate but that was fine because no one loves me anyway. We had a bit of a poke around and admired what is left of the telegraph tower before heading back down the hill. As usual, this wasn't a case of rushing down but a slow amble to enjoy what we had perhaps missed on the way up. Not helping a speedy descent was the slippery tree roots so going slow was definitely a good choice. We reached the boardwalk section after spotting several new fungi and capturing different viewpoints of the ancient trees. Deciding to chance our luck with the Burrowing Crayfish, we walked the 20m or so down to the viewing platform to see if we could find any. Luck was not on our side but perhaps yours will be. Caris retreated back to the cabin as it had started to sprinkle but I spotted some yellow parrots that I wanted to photograph so sat on the edge of the boardwalk, patiently waiting for them to land on the giant fern that they seemed to enjoy.
Final Thoughts - One of the smaller walks around Corinna, the Old Telegraph Hill trail is by no means a lesser trail.
Providing wonderful ancient forest, fungi everywhere and a good excuse to explore something new, you'd be silly not to try it out if you have the time.
Let's be honest, there isn't much else to do in Corinna and being amongst nature is 99% of the reason you're there so why not get out and see everything you can.
Get out there and experience it!
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