McPhails Trail

Immerse yourself in oxygen rich tall forest and get amongst the big trees to see why the timber getters came to Kangaroo Valley. Allow a half to full day for this walk or bike ride.

This walk is all about experiencing the oxygen-rich, moist atmosphere of the tall forest. These forests were logged in the 1800’s, first by the cedar-getters, then for hardwood. There are still fine examples of these magnifcent trees that brought the timber-getters to Kangaroo Valley.

Following the initial steep climb, this old logging track takes you into the heart of the cool, moist forests below the escarpment. The second part of the walk passes the eastern side of Mount Carrialoo and descends to an area of old cleared grazing land, perfect for a lunch stop. The final part of the climb follows high above a pristine creek and takes you to a track junction, which is the turnaround point.

Beware - mountain bikers use this trail and they may be travelling downhill at high speeds!

Although there is plenty of shade, this walk is best done in spring, autumn or winter. If walking in summer avoid the hottest part of the day. The turnaround point is at the service road junction at the top of McPhails Trail. If walking in spring or summer keep an eye out for snakes basking in the heat. All snakes should be treated with caution and left alone. Let someone know where you are going and when you are due back. Dogs are not allowed in the park. There is no mobile phone reception once you leave the village or at the car park. There is intermittent reception on the walk.

How to get there

McPhails Trail starts 7.6km from the Kangaroo Valley post office. From the post office cross Hampden Bridge and take the first left into Bendeela Road. At 6.3km you will pass the Kangaroo Valley Pump and Power Station. After this the road name changes to Jacks Corner Road. At 7.6km, on the right, is the start of the trail (next to road number 180). Park your car where you see a ‘Walkers Welcome - Morton National Park’ sign.

If you want to make this a one-way trip by mountain bike or walking you can leave one car at the bottom of the trail and one at the top on Moss Vale Road: Drive up Barrengarry Mountain to the top. Park your car at the first locked gate on the left hand side. Follow the service road for 3.2km keeping right at any track junctions. The top of McPhails Trail is on the right of the service road.

Take with you

Take plenty of water as there is no water on the walk (reusable water bottles and drinking water available in the village), sun protection, comfy walking shoes and a first aid kit. Warm and wet weather gear should be included in your pack as weather can change very suddenly. Take snacks or lunch for this half to full day walk. A map or sat nav is a useful addition. Wildflower and bird field guides for enthusiasts.


Wet sclerophyll forest and rainforest. Blueberry Ash, Burrawang, Brown Barrel, Cabbage Tree Palm, Callicoma, Coachwood, Jackwood, Daisy-bush, Grass-flag, Lillypilly, Pencil Cedar, Pittosporum, Red Cedar, Rough Saw-sedge, Sandpaper Fig, Sassafras, Sydney Peppermint, Tree Fern, Turpentine, Two- veined Hickory, White Paper Daisy, White or Thin-leaved Stringy Bark, Yellow Stringybark, Grey Gum, Grey Ironbark, Sydney Blue Gum, Mountain Grey Gum, White-top Box.


Gliders, Ring-tailed Possum, Swamp Wallaby, Wombat, Long-nosed Bandicoot, Brown Goshawk, Yellow-tailed Black- cockatoo, Crimson Rosella, King Parrot, Wonga Pigeon, Superb Lyre bird, Satin Bowerbird, White-browed Scrub- wren, White-throated Treecreeper, Eastern Yellow Robin, Golden Whistler, Lewins Honeyeater, Pied Currawong.

  • McPhails Trail
    180 Jacks Corner Rd
    Kangaroo Valley NSW 2577
  • Grade

    Medium to hard. Steep climb for the first part of the trail then steady climb to the turnaround point. Good level of physical fitness required.


    11km return. This can also be done as an 8.7km one-way trip with a car shuffle.


    5 hour walk