February 06, 2020

2020 has arrived and, as always, people have New Years resolutions that our team at OHL would love to help you achieve. One of the most common resolutions is to start some exercise and become a fitter, stronger and healthier person.

In the Nillumbik/ Diamond Valley area we are lucky enough to live in a leafy green area with many parks, tracks and activity options, which translates to a community who (generally) lives a very healthy and active life. Where are these places? Which one is best for me to start on my health and fitness journey? Below are a small selection, of our multitude of options, of common tracks you can go for a walk/run in the local area…

  1. The aqueduct trail in Research:
  • The Aqueduct trail runs from the factories in Research (just below Eltham College campus) and connects to the Diamond Creek trail by the infamous steep decent down Allendale road. Generally, this concrete track is quite flat, with one short steep hill in the middle. If you are starting out running/ increasing your walking this can be a great place to start because the track from the factories to halfway (at the hill) is generally flat and about (roughly) 2km in each direction. On the other side of the hill the track flattens out again giving you roughly another 2km if you are a more advanced runner who would like to run around 5-6km.
  1. Diamond Creek trail:
  • The Diamond Creek trail, as the name gives away, starts at the local suburb of Diamond Creek. Once again this is a great start out trail for someone trying to commence their fitness journey (if you started from Diamond Creek netball courts) because the track is generally quite flat and runs all the way through Eltham North. If you cross Allendale road and keep walking/ running you will pass the adventure playground and eventually connecting to the Main Yarra trail at Eltham Lower Park. This is also one of local location for ParkRun.
  1. Pettys Orchard trail (Extension of Main Yarra trail)
  • The Pettys orchard trail is best accessed via the Eltham lower park by walking over the large bridge at the back and turning left (end of the diamond creek trail). Primarily a gravel track with boardwalks and a few foot bridges, this trail is generally flat with some very small inclines. The trail follows along the Yarra River and is the continuation of the Main Yarra trail, and if you keep going it will eventually end up at the Templestowe/ end of Warrandyte. The Track passes through bush land along Petty’s Orchid often with many animals to look at and a very popular location on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings for cyclists, walkers and runners!
  1. Eltham Lower Park
  • Eltham Lower Park is located at the south end of Eltham and is popular location for the Miniature Railway, Dog Park and great playground equipment. It has 2 ovals which are a great starting point for many runners and people wanting a sprinting focus. The park also has a running track around the outside of the park which is roughly 2-3km long and has small slopes for someone wanting to include some ‘palatable’ Eltham hills. Eltham Lower Park also has access to the Hahn loop a mountain bike riding track located along the Pettys orchard trail between Westerfolds and Eltham lower park, as well as accessibility to the Main Yarra Trail and a nice loop back into Eltham passing Eltham High School.
  1. Westerfolds Park
  • Westerfolds Park is located on Fitzsimons lane on the way to Doncaster. This is a large park that has multiple walking tracks that go up/ down, around and across the park. There are many long and steep hills at this park, which can make it quite a challenge. However, there are options for people beginning running as well with short cuts and flatter paths nearer the river. There are options for off-road running as well but watch the cyclists who also like these trails. The park has a connection via the Main Yarra trail from Eltham Lower Park and running all the way through to the city.
  1. Warrandyte River
  • The Warrandyte river is a great path for a leisurely walk on a Sunday it is flat and runs along the Yarra River in Warrandyte for around 2-3km.
  1. Plenty River trail
  • The Plenty river trail starts at the Willinda Park athletics track in Greensborough and runs along the back of Lower Plenty Football Club, Montmorency Football Club and Yallambie eventually connecting to the Main Yarra trail at Heidelberg. The track is generally flat with some gentle slopes and is good for all experience levels. This can be a nice change for those of you a bit tired of other aspects of the Main Yarra Trail.
  1. Main Yarra trail
  • The Main Yarra trail connects Templestowe/ end of Warrandyte to the city. It officially runs through Westerfolds park, winds through the back of Heidelberg, Fairfield and along the eastern freeway, through the back of Richmond and eventually ending at Federation Square. As the name suggests this trail runs along the Yarra river and is quite long. The track has many hills however is all made and quite a good track to ride a bike or run along. This is the location of many people gaining kilometres for running events and/or walking events like the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker. Sneaky tip: it also follows the Hurstbridge trainlines so you can catch the train to most train stations and find the trail to get home (or run/ cycle back home).
  1. Local Ovals and Athletics tracks:
  • In the Nillumbik area we are lucky enough to have a multitude of ovals, a newly covered athletics track, and sporting courts people can use to train, run and get stronger. A few include Eltham Central oval, Research Park, Montmorency Park, Willinda Park athletics track, Diamond Creek netball courts and Eltham Lower Park. Ovals can be a great way to start running as they are small, easy to run on as they are softer and less impactful on your body.

Generally when starting out running it is better to start with shorter interval type running as guided by a physiotherapist. This ensures you are running at the correct level for your abilities and helps to reduce the chance of injuries. If you are someone you know has started a new years resolution to get fitter, stronger and healthier our team at OHL would love to help guide you through the process to prevent injuries, prolong activity and help you to achieve your goal what ever it may be.

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