Hughes walk directions
Hughes offers an easy, pleasant walking environment with a variety of suburban and park experiences. The walk offers substantial off leash opportunities for dogs, and humans can enjoy sweeping westerly views over Woden Valley to the Brindabella mountains. A large off leash playing field near the beginning of the walk is perfect for dogs to burn off some steam before the route continues on pretty paths through informal and bush-like parks. The walk starts and ends at the Hughes shops featuring one of our favourite dog friendly cafés. Note there is a gentle, but sustained uphill section.
Start/Finish - Hughes shops, Hughes Place
Time/Distance - Allow 75 minutes/4-5 km
Off lead rating - ♥♥♥
Parking - Hughes Place or Whittle Street behind shops
Dog friendly café - Home Ground Café
Public toilets - Hughes shops
Bins - Hughes shops, Clarrie Hermes Park
Distractions - Kangaroos and rabbits near golf course
Playgrounds - Before Birdwood St underpass and cnr Poynton & McNicoll St
Photo gallery - See photos taken on the Hughes walk.
Note - All our dog walks assume you are a responsible dog owner with an obedient and well-socialised dog. See our Important Stuff page before starting any of our walks.
Use the navigation tools to zoom in or out for different views of the route or click on the 'view larger map' icon on the top right hand corner of the map to view in google maps.
Hughes shops to Groom Street underpass (15 minutes)
Before starting, note the quirky bronze standing in front of the post office.
1. From Hughes Place, walk between the IGA supermarket and post office.
The first few minutes of the walk cross and follow quiet streets.
2. Cross two streets (Whittle Street and Carroll Street) in quick succession, following the paved footpath straight ahead through a narrow park.
This small park passes through a duplex complex built by the Australian National University to lease out to staff and postgraduate students. These were sold in the late 1990s when the ANU divested much of its residential assets. Many have been extended and renovated into attractive homes.
3. When the footpath ends at a street (Coxen Street), turn right and follow the street to a t-junction (Webster Street).
4. Cross Webster Street and walk past the brick amenities block on your right to enter Clarrie Hermes Park.
Off leash opportunity starts here.
Clarrie Hermes Park is large, well maintained sports ground providing an open, safe expanse for ball games and other energetic doggie pursuits. Extend the walk if you like by walking around the perimeter of the oval.
Be respectful of other users. If official sport is being played, usually only on some weekends, dogs aren't allowed on the oval, but there is an alternative off leash area in the semi-bush land on the left (south) side of the oval.
The public toilets in the amenities block are only open on sports days.
Bins are located next to the amenities block.
5. When you're ready to continue the walk, return to the amenities block. While standing on the oval facing the amenities block (with your back to the oval), turn left and walk towards the practice bowling nets.
6. Step over or duck under the perimeter metal railing around the oval.
Off leash opportunity ends here.
Behind the trees is an underpass (beneath Groom Street). Go through the underpass.
Groom Street underpass to Federal Golf Club (20 minutes)
7. Continue walking ahead following the paved footpath, through the next underpass (beneath Kent Street), and on through the last underpass (beneath Birdwood Street).
This section of the walk meanders gently uphill through a wide informal park planted with mature native and exotic trees. You can walk this entire section on the paved footpath, however just before the path ends it runs for a very short distance along a quiet street. If you prefer to avoid the street, when you see the children's playground (after the second underpass) veer off the footpath and join the dirt track passing to the left of the playground and follow the track to the Birdwood Street underpass.
8. On the other side of the Birdwood Street underpass continue straight ahead on the dirt track to the Federal Golf Club's back fence. Off leash opportunity starts on the other side of the underpass. However, groups of kangaroos can sometimes be seen in the Golf Club grounds. If you have a chase-inclined dog, we recommend keeping them on leash until you are sure there are no kangaroos in sight over the fence, which is not dog-proof.
Federal Golf Club to Poynton Street (20 minutes)
9. Follow the wide dirt track to the right keeping the golf club fenceline on your left.
10. When the track forks, take the right fork away from the golf club to continue walking parallel to the houses on your right.
This is a lovely part of the walk with bush views to your left and extensive views of Woden Valley and the Brindabellas to your right.
Don't let your dog wander too far into the bush to the left which extends into the Red Hill nature park, as the off leash area only runs along the back of the houses.
11. Continue following this wide track until you reach a street (Kitchener Street). As you approach Kitchener Street, put your dog on leash for the road crossing only.
12. Cross Kitchener Street and continue following the dirt track keeping the houses on your right (including a hard turn right).
This area beyond Kitchener Street is a wide, off leash semi-bush park worth exploring if you have time. From the highest point in the park there are extensive 360 degree views. Dogs enjoy sniffing around and through the native grass and under the eucalypts. To take this optional loop, instead of turning hard right along the fenceline, continue straight ahead following a narrow dirt track uphill. The track follows the top of the ridge and then drops downhill to houses again. Follow the fenceline back to the original route (see map).
13. Continue until the dirt track becomes a concrete footpath.
Off leash opportunity ends here.
Just before the dirt track becomes a concrete footpath, there are more views west to Oakey Hill, Mt Stromlo and the Brindabellas beyond.
14. Ignore footpaths branching left and right until the footpath becomes bitumen. At this point, watch carefully for a concrete footpath branching to the right. The footpath to the right is only about 40 metres after the bitumen starts (opposite the school). Turn right to follow the footpath between the houses to reach a quiet street (Poynton Street).
Poynton Street to Hughes shops (10 minutes)
15. Turn left on Poynton Street and continue a short distance until you reach a park on the right.
There is another children's playground in this small park.
16. Cut diagonally across the park heading to another long narrow park on the other side of the street (McNicoll Street).
17. Cross McNicoll Street to walk through the park in the middle of McNicoll Place.
18. At the end of the park, follow a paved concrete footpath that connects to another street (Kitchener Street).
19. Turn left to follow the footpath on the left hand side of the street, past the first round-about to the next round-about at a t-junction (Wisdom Street).
20. The Hughes shops are straight ahead but turn left on Wisdom Street to use the nearby pedestrian crossing to return to the shops.
If you'd prefer to join one of our regular guided group walks, find out more at our guided walks page.