Shadow Lake Circuit

4 h to 5 h

13.4 km
circuit

↑ 400 m
↓ -400 m

Hard track
Starting behind the Visitor Centre at the end of Lake St Clair Road, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, this walk takes you on a circuit past Shadow Lake via the Watersmeet, Shadow Lake, Shadow Lake Link and Mount Rufus tracks. The Shadow Lake Circuit is a fascinating 12km walk that weaves its way through three strikingly different forest types. Starting in wet forest beside Lake St Clair, the track climbs through eucalypt woodland to subalpine moorland and buttongrass near the lake. Situated below Mount Hugel, Shadow Lake is a delightful alpine lake amidst impressive mountains that provides a picturesque spot to stop and explore. You can take a side trip to Forgotten Lake and Little Hugel, or continue the circuit back to Lake St Clair. At nearly 1000m altitude, the highest parts of this walk are subject to severe weather conditions. Check the forecast at the visitor centre before leaving.​ Picnic spots can be found around the lake edge, but campfires are not permitted.​​​ Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-42.1164503,146.1744949)
Mode Car
DirectionsFrom Lyell Highway, A10, Derwent Bridge.
  • Turn on to Lake St Clair Road, C193 then drive for 5 km
  • Turn left and drive for another 320 m
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the car park at the end of Lake St Claire Road (near the visitor centre), head towards the said visitor centre. Cross the road via the crosswalk and head along the ramp. Then head down the small set of steps and keep right. When you come to the picnic tables outside (to your left), turn left and head along the concrete path. Keep left at the intersection shortly after, following the "All walking tracks" sign. About 130 metres later, keep right at the Y intersection. After another 400 metres, keep right at the 3-way intersection (following the signage for Watersmeet) to continue along Shadow Lake Circuit (counterclockwise).....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Find the Lake St Clair Lodge at the start.
There is a fee to use this campsite. This campsite has showers.
Then pass the "Visitor Centre" (10 m on your left).
This sign is wheelchair accessible.
After another 40 m pass the toilet (10 m on your right).
After another 25 m pass the restaurant (15 m on your right).
Turn left.
After another 15 m continue straight.
After another 40 m pass the picnic table (25 m on your right).
After another 80 m continue straight, to head along Watersmeet Track.
After another 145 m continue straight, to head along Watersmeet Track.
After another 265 m pass the sign.
At the intersection of Watersmeet Track & Mount Rufus Circuit continue straight, to head along Watersmeet Track.
After another 100 m (at the intersection of Watersmeet Track & Fergie's Paddock Track) continue straight, to head along Watersmeet Track.
After another 740 m (at the intersection of Watersmeet Track & Shadow Lake Circuit) turn left, to head along Shadow Lake Circuit (a walking track).
After another 140 m (at the intersection of Shadow Lake Circuit & Larmairremener tableti) turn right, to head along Shadow Lake Circuit.
Then cross the bridge (about 7 m long)
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to the shore of Forgotten Lake. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip continue straight when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 4.1 km (at the intersection of Shadow Lake Circuit & Shadow Lake to Forgotten Lake) continue straight, to head along Shadow Lake Circuit.
After another 125 m cross the bridge (about 10 m long)
After another 370 m (at the intersection of Shadow Lake Circuit & Shadow Lake Link Track) turn left, to head along Shadow Lake Link Track.
After another 335 m cross the bridge (about 25 m long)
After another 2.1 km (at the intersection of Mount Rufus Circuit & Shadow Lake Link Track) turn left, to head along Mount Rufus Circuit.
After another 3.8 km (at the intersection of Mount Rufus Circuit & Larmairremener tableti) continue straight, to head along Mount Rufus Circuit.
After another 235 m (at the intersection of Watersmeet Track & Mount Rufus Circuit) turn right, to head along Watersmeet Track (a vehicle track).
After another 265 m continue straight, to head along Watersmeet Track.
After another 145 m continue straight.
After another 135 m turn right.
After another 40 m pass the "Visitor Centre" (7 m on your right).
This sign is wheelchair accessible.
After another 35 m come to the end.

An optional side trip to the shore of Forgotten Lake.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Shadow Lake Circuit & Shadow Lake to Forgotten Lake Start heading along Shadow Lake to Forgotten Lake (a walking track).
After 510 m come to the camp site (30 m on your right).
After another 60 m cross the bridge (about 70 m long)
After another 800 m come to the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 1.4 km to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Shadow Lake Circuit


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 13.4 km
Time 4 h to 5 h
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Foretasted & unexpected storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety (4/6)

Some facilities on route
Camp site: There are 2 on route, on average they are 4.8 km apart with the largest gap of 8.2 km.

Toilet: There is one 70 m from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
70 m[toilet]
Camp site
175 mLake St Clair Lodge
Camp site
5.7 km[camp site]
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