Starts from Pioneers Park.
Walk 50 metres along Stewart Creek Road and take the first track to
the left, on the edge of Pioneers Park. Go past the water treatment
plant and water tanks. As hiking trails go it starts off steep but
gives good views of the Daintree Village and the Daintree River.
"THE FOREST ALONG THE RIDGE OVERLOOKING THE RIVER AND THE DAINTREE
VILLAGE is described as being in a successional stage. It is a
forest undergoing changes in its specie types as one specie prepares the
way for and is replaced by others until a stable state is reached.
It can be guessed that this hillside was exposed to occasional cyclonic
winds and frequent fires over many centuries, until quite recently when
only two small fires have been seen in 20 years, one in 2003.
Under such conditions the vegetation will have been an open woodland
dominated by eucalypt (gum) trees with wattles (acacias) and sheoak
(Allocasuarinas ) as sub canopy trees above an under story of Kangaroo
Grass (Themeda triandra) and Bladey Grass (Imperata cylindrical ).
In places of high rainfall such as the Daintree region a reduction in
the frequency of fires allows several species of rainforest trees to
arrive as "pioneers" which begin to colonise the understory. If
freedom from fire and big blows persist for a few decades the plants of
the understory will produce enough shade and damp to prevent eucalypt
seeds and seeds of most other open forest species from producing healthy
seedlings. In time the eucalypts and most of the wattle species
will die out and be succeeded by a good range of rainforest
species. This is the derivation of the term "successional stage".
At present the tallest trees along the route are eucalypts, most
belonging to a species known as the Large Fruited Stringybark or Red
Stringybark (Eucalyptus pellita).
The Pink Bloodwood (Eucalyptus intermedia ) and Moreton Bay Ash
(Eucalyptus tesseiaris) can also be seen on route.