Rating: This is a grade 4+ out and back "adventure ride" that starts from the Hackett carpark in Aniseed Valley. Getting there: From Richmond head south on Highway 6 and turn left on to Aniseed Valley Road (the first left turn after you enter the 100kph zone). Follow Aniseed Valley Road up over the hill until you reach the Hackett carpark just before the tarseal turns to gravel. Park here and ride across the walking bridge and follow the 4WD track up the valley to a swingbridge.
Know before you go: The ride to Browning Hut and back is quite technical and requires bike carrying and river crossings. Go well prepared and don't attempt the ride if the rivers are up. Not a good ride to do in wet conditions.
The track turns to singletrack after the swingbridge and is mostly rideable, however a severe flash flood in 2013 took out sections of the track and temporary routes over the washouts have been built but aren't all rideable. Hopefully this will be rectified in the future as it is a very popular track up to the Hackett Hut. This ride takes about 3.5 hours.
The section of riverbed and the 2013 slip
There are some small technical challenges on the track up to Hackett Hut. At one place you have to carry up and over a large slip. The Hackett River is bridged just before Hackett Hut. From the hut take the left hand track which has some good technical bits and one or two creek crossings you will probably walk. After crossing a low saddle the track descends to cross Browning Creek and joins the main valley track. Soon after this an old slip forces you down into the riverbed (or you have the option of carrying up and over a high level track) where there are a couple of river crossings and a slip with huge boulders (brought down in the 2013 flood).
You can carry up and over the riverbed section but it's not the best option
Once past the slip the track is more rideable, but most riders will be off and on their bikes to get over small obstacles. The track climbs steadily in a series of steeper steps. If you have to push keep in mind it's all worthwhile for the ride back down. Browning Hut is reached in about 2 hours. Take a break before letting loose on the technical downhill. The slips and river crossings are passed a lot quicker on the way back. Then after crossing Browning Creek instead of going past Hackett Hut, take the track to the right just after the creek crossing and recross Browning Creek and join the main down valley track. You will need to cross Browning Creek again just before fording Hackett Creek about 100 metres before closing the triangle on to the main Hackett Track. If you kept your feet dry all this way you'll probably get them wet in the last crossing of the Hackett Creek.
Fun technical riding on the way down
Browning Hut and crossing Hackett Creek
Enjoy the ride back down the Hackett to the carpark.