Our fourth walk starts and finishes at Burwood Railway Station (eastern side) or tram stop 53 (Lithgow Street) on Toorak Road (Melway 60 D6). From the tram, walk south along Lithgow Street. If you come from the train, you will join the walk one block along Lithgow Street. Now, continuing south, take the informal footpath on the railway side of Welfare Parade and discover the indigenous flora reserve right in the heart of Burwood/Ashburton.
You will reach a bridge over the line. Cross it, continue south for 200 metres, and enter Summerhill Park. At the playground you may also enjoy the Aussie animals puzzle! Go south (downhill) to join the main Ferndale Trail, which winds down through Hill’n’Dale Park, past trees with varying barks (look for a spotted gum, an ironbark, and paperbarks) and a BMX park. In about 30 minutes, you enter the large Ferndale Park, a good place for a break, with playground, large trees, BBQ, toilet and coffee shop.
Cross Glen Iris Road into Back Creek Reserve, continuing gently downhill. Have you wondered why the Burwood area has so many great linear parks? Many of them were actual creeks, which have been covered over; this is clear when you see the bridge over the path along this section. After about 10 minutes, you will hear the freeway as you enter Nettleton Park. Look for a little notice from the local Friends group. Turn left at the Gardiners Creek Trail (don’t cross this bridge, but take a look). Signage tells you how busy this trail can be!
After another 10 minutes you will reach a second bridge. Cross the creek here, turn hard left, then walk along an informal track behind the guardrail and you will see a small weir (which oxygenates the creek) and revegetation works. After 200 metres, you rejoin the trail. Go under High Street into a big picnic area with toilets and great historical information. Again, you can walk on footpaths parallel with the bike trail, exploring wetlands until, in about 15 minutes, you come to a large duck pond with some friendly locals.
Cross Dunlop Street (pedestrian lights), and continue on the trail for about 200 metres to a small pedestrian bridge across the creek. Cross the creek and walk upstream one block to Donald Street. Follow Donald Street away from the creek, crossing Albion Road and continuing along Chamberlain Street. Soon you will reach Watson Park, which has a playground and a slightly hidden public toilet.
Walk diagonally across this park. You now have two choices: you can head north (gently uphill along Munro Avenue) to Ashburton shops for tasty goodies (and then to Ashburton Station), or take the shorter route east along Baird Street, turning Right/Left/Left/Right to Alamein Station, for the train trip back to Burwood. You have walked 6 or 7 kilometres, depending upon how much exploring you have done!