Cave Rocks formation on the Ridge Track

It is believed that the first European to sight Black Hill was Major Thomas L Mitchell who passed through the area on his great exploration of the southern district of Port Phillip in 1836.

Squatters soon followed Mitchell and before long they had discovered the value of this piece of high ground, as a lookout, as they were wary of the Traditional Owners / Custodians the Taungurung people of the Kulin nation who were of course hostile to the European invasion.

A detachment of the 28th Regiment established a camp on the Campaspe River nearby in 1838.

There were several clashes between the Traditional Owners and the squatters between 1838 and 1841, and it was recorded that at least 24 indigenous men were shot during this period.

Black Hill was to become an important landmark for many years as squatters marked their boundaries by it. A school was built on the southern slopes in 1872, timber and gravel were taken from 1855 onwards and it was declared 'common ground' in 1861.

Koalas from Phillip Island were released in 1944 and there are remnants of this in the surrounding countryside, though few are sighted within the reserve nowadays.

In the 1960's the Kyneton Car Club constructed a road from the south side of the saddle for use as a hill climb track, this track is almost completely overgrown though traces can be found.

So much timber was taken over the years that the northern slopes were completely bare. In the 1960's The Macedon Ranges Shire Council began replanting the many thousands of trees and native shrubs that cover the hillside today.

In 1979 a group called 'The Friends Of Black Hill' was formed and the conservation of the reserve began in earnest, and continues to this day.

At the Northern Lookout a plaque and compass rose commemorate Major Thomas Mitchell's association with this area, the inscription includes his reference to the surrounding countryside as 'Australia Felix', the lucky country, a sentiment shared by all who visit Black Hill.