Where once walkers had to take the same return path from the Falls to the Lookout, with the addition of the Mahogany Trail (the old fire road) the Mt Coot-tha Summit Circuit provides an alternative route and scenery to ascend or descend.
This roughly 5km circuit is a great walk for families who have a modicum of fitness, and is also a rare bush walk where trekkers can take their dogs on-leash.
It is recommended to take the Summit Track (which departs from the end of the Second Car Park at JC Slaughter Falls up to the lookout and then return on the Mahogany Trail, a dirt track which follows the winding road back down to the First Car Park at JC Slaughter Falls.
The Summit Track is a mostly easy grade paved walk of around 2km with clusters of stairs along the way and the Mahogany Trail an easy grade dirt track of approximately 3km.
1. Start at either car park and follow the signs through the splendid gorge of JC Slaughter Falls with its lofty trees, flocks of white cockatoos and multitude of picturesque picnic spots towards the start of the Summit Track. There is a mini Aboriginal Art Trail and JC Slaughter Falls Circuit that can be added on here for those who have a bit more time to explore.
2. The Summit Track gradually rises and loops through glades of majestic trees, ancient rocks and scrubby bush until it come out at a clearing on the edge of Mt Coot-tha. Cross the road to take the footpath on the other side then it’s a few minutes up the hill to the historic Summit for Brisbane’s most spectacular panoramic views and a 1930’s café and restaurant.
3. To return, head back to the same clearing and to the right of where the Summit Track exits is the entrance to the old fire road that is now the Mahogany Trail.
4. The easy grade dirt track gradually loops back to the first Carpark at JC Slaughter Falls, following Mt Coot-tha Rd for much of the way. While there are no real views to be had it is a cool, shaded and pleasant walk.
Begin or end the circuit with a picnic in one of JC Slaughter Falls many beauty spots.