Track clearing helps honour legendary horseman

Parks Victoria

Parks Victoria’s bushfire recovery crews are hard at work clearing Harrington’s Bridle Track near Corryong in preparation for this year’s Man from Snowy River Bush Festival.

In a combined effort between Parks Victoria, Forest Fire Management Victoria and the local community, the track will be cleared ready for Riley’s Ride.

Harrington’s Bridle Track runs through the Alpine National Park for 20km from Tom Groggin Station to Bunroy Station. It climbs over the shoulder of Hermit Mountain before following the upper reaches of the Murray River through the renowned ‘Murray Gates’.

A group of eight people in high-vis uniforms, carrying cutting tools, in front of a Harrington's Bridle Track sign.

A mixed crew of Parks Victoria and Forest Fire Management Victoria staff at work on Harrington’s Bridle Track. Credit: Parks Victoria

The track was badly impacted by the 2019-20 fires and later storm events and significant regrowth has made it almost impassable. The Parks Victoria crews and volunteers from the Riley’s Ride organising committee and wider community have carried out days of chainsaw and brush-cutter work to reopen it.

Local horse men and women will also help to clear a steeper section of the track, on Hermit Mountain, from horseback.

Riley’s Ride is one of the Man from Snowy River Bush Festival’s key annual events and commemorates the life of stockman and Tom Groggin Station Manager, Jack Riley. Legend has it, Australian bush poet, Banjo Patterson, penned his poem “The Man from Snowy River” after meeting Jack and listening to his tales of chasing wild brumbies in the mountains.

In 1914, the track was used to transport a gravely ill Jack Riley to Corryong for treatment. He died at Surveyors Creek on the way.

The ride retraces the last journey of the legendary horseman over three days and culminates with a parade down Corryong’s main street.

Quotes, attributed to Parks Victoria District Manager North East Chris Derrick

“Staff have come from Corryong, Tallangatta and Bright to help out on the track, camping at Surveyors Creek and Tom Groggin Station to undertake the work. Everyone understands the importance of the festival and the ride to the community.”

“It’s great for us to be working alongside the local community and Forest Fire Management Victoria – by working together we will reap benefits for all park visitors well into the future.”

Quotes, attributed to Forest Fire Management Victoria District Manager Upper Murray, Dave Jenson

“The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival is such an important event for the community, and we are more than happy to lend a hand to ensure it’s a success,”

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