Most people stick to the main loop track circling the lake, but there are lots of other fantastic smaller tracks that can offer a quieter and more interesting walk.
From the starting point, walk across the dam wall, up the (pretty steep) hill and turn right at the top onto Casuarina Track. A couple of hundred metres along, take the Tramline Walk off to the left. This track is narrower in parts, but has an incredible mix of vegetation, from open grassland dotted with dead and fallen trees which is often full of kangaroos, to plantation forest all in rows with the most amazing bark, and an original example of the tram car used to carry rock for the construction of the dam wall.
When you exit the forest onto the wide open gravel path of the South Break, turn left and walk downhill back to Casuarina Track. Crossover the main track and follow the short path down to the lake to enjoy a wonderful vista of the lake and the hills over to the left. Head back the way you came and look for sign for the narrow Acacia Nature Trail on your left, before you reach the main track. There are small signs with information about the flora and fauna along the trail, and after a short walk it opens out to a large grassy area with tee pees made of fallen branches. Its not obvious where the track goes from here but if you walk across the open area, you'll find it again on the other side, or you can re-join the main track up to the the right. This section of the walk is popluar with swamp wallabies which are smaller and more shy than the grey kangaroos that are abundant along the rest of the walk. Once the Acacia Nature Trail rejoins with the main track, go left and then left back down the hill and back across the dam wall.
The main tracks are mostly good gravel, but there are a lot of smaller, narrow dirt tracks along the way. While there are a a couple of steep sections, the majority of the walk is either fairly flat or long, gentle slopes.
History: Lysterifeld Reservoir was constructed between 1927 and 1935. To create the dam wall, horses hauled heavy loads of stone along a narrow gauge tramway linking the quarries at the top of the hill and the dam site. Relics of that tramway are still visible if you know where to look, as well as evidence of the colonial houses that were once in the park and the Boys Farm where boys were sent in times gone by to learn farming skills.
Between 1936 and 1975 Lysterfield Lake supplied fresh water to the Mornington Peninsula. A large area surrounding the lake was purchased from farmers in the early part of the century and fenced off to protect the quality of the water. The State Rivers and Water Supply Commission established eucalypt plantations around the lake and also protected the remaining remnant native forest. After 1975 Cardinia Reservoir became operational and Lysterfield Lake was no longer required.
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Starting Point: The lower car park near the beach area and dam wall. The main entrance to the park is at the end of Horswood Rd, through the roundabout and park gate. Then take the first left at the sign for the beach area and follow the road to the car park near the dam wall.
There is also a gate at the end of Reservoir Rd, Narre Warren North which should be open for access to the starting point car park as well.
Dogs: NOT Allowed
Download: Walking trails information & map
For your GPS: 23 Horswood Rd, Lysterfield