Root Hog Fire Trail re-opened

Root Hog Fire Trail re-opened
The Root Hog Fire Trail re-opened at Hill End, giving more access to the Bridle Track.

The Root Hog Fire Trail, which became a popular alternative route to the historic Hill End Bridle Track, has has now re-opened.

Story by Todd Hore

Back in April last year we reported that Root Hog Fire Trail (also known as Root Hog Road) had been closed due to a dispute between the landowner, Mr Serge Panayi and Bathurst Council, regarding the alignment of the road. For whatever reason, the road had run through Mr Panayi’s property rather that the dedicated road corridor. Following issues with illegal shooting and irresponsible four-wheel-drivers tearing up the track, Mr Panayi understandable gated the track at either end of his property. This meant the popular camping sites along the Macquarie and Turon rivers were only accessible via Hill End, instead of through to Bathurst at the south.

The newly formed Root Hog Fire Trail now follows the right lines, giving a new route for 4WDers.
The newly formed Root Hog Fire Trail now follows the right lines, giving a new route for 4WDers.

Bathurst Council acknowledged the fault with the road alignment and plans were put in place to construct a new road along the correct alignment, which has just finished. This is once again the preferred route for those coming from the south who want to access the northern sections of the Bridle Track and Hill End.

A new sign has been erected at the top of the new section, clearly showing the direction of the new road. The former track is gated at this point and is strictly private property. As the new alignment is slightly more direct than previously, it is steeper in sections and is four-wheel-drive only.

The local residents still view Root Hog Road as a temporary solution and want council to repair and reopen the Bridle Track. For now, dirt lovers can once again enjoy access to Hill End without having to take the long way around via tar roads. Enjoy this and be responsible. Part of this road is still someone’s driveway, so look after it as if it were your own.


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  • Took the Bridle Trail from Hill End this week. Camped by the Turon. Beautiful walks up river and old mines. Shame some people/grots don’t carry out their rubbish. Crossed the Macquarie easily in a stock Triton (AT’s at 24psi) then used 4L for the climb up on Hog Root. Then took back road through to Ophir for a bit more fossicking history. The region is very dry at the moment and the road very safe as long as you take it easy. Rain would make the steeper sections tricky. Suitable when dry for someone new to 4wd as long as they drop tyre pressure and take it slow.

  • I did the Bridle track in 2006. terrified me. Thankfully we didn’t meet any traffic and my friends were safe and competent drivers.

    • Gday Pep, from 1974 onwards, I had a V8 HK Monaro, we travelled the old Bridle Track many times in both directions for years. It was no better then and was pretty narrow when two cars had to pass. Very few cut aways to pass an oncoming car. We survived and now in my 60s, its still my favorite camping spot of all. MIchael

  • We came along here on Sunday 21 May and it is very steep. I had to climb it in 4High as I was unable to engage 4Lo on my Prado. It was heart in mouth stuff. It is also relatively narrow so wouldn’t want to meet another car coming the other way once you get to the climb.

  • Travelled along the route Wednesday 10 /5/2017 am. Crossed the Macquarie river from the bridle track and went up , up, and even more up. The BT 50 with the Wedgetail slide on camper on the back . Definitely steep, but what a great vista at the top of the. The local police use the track and crossing several times a week and there is just a stony bump across the river but ok if you take your time .
    I would be not so excited about the down hill in the wet and people should be sensible

    Cant get over the vistas once you climb out of the fog .

  • Went there and can advise,
    Definitely open.
    Definitely realigned with all new fencing and gates defining the private property.
    Definitively steeper, awesome!!!!!!
    Now to get the Bridle Track realigned & opened as a two way route just as achieved here.

  • Brilliant, will get in the trusty old 4bie and check it out right now 10.00am 9/3/17
    If only the effort poured in here can now be redirected to realigning a route around Monaghans Bluff on the Bridle Track so it can be reopened as a two way route, not the silly one way route as proposed by the Association.

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