Do you have a passion for being outside but lack the motivation to spend hours driving or researching forgotten trails?
It’s no surprise that WA’s an amazing place, but when looking for new areas to explore, the sheer size can sometimes be a bit daunting. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with these five walking trails you can do without even having to leave Perth.
Bells Rapids Trail
If you’ve been wanting to explore some of Perth’s riverways look no further than Bells Rapids. Only 40 minutes’ drive north-east from the Perth CBD, Bells Rapids is considered to be the ideal place to view the Avon Descent. Outside of the race, it’s also a great place to head for a morning or afternoon hike by the river. This trail is a fairly short 5.5km loop but make no mistake, it’s not as easy as it sounds. There’s a lot of loose gravel and rock which make good walking shoes a must-have. And there’s at least one steep incline that’ll leave you huffing and cursing your thighs before you reach the top. But don’t let that put you off – this trail is a great way to view the Swan River and surrounding bushland of the Perth hills while getting in some valuable exercise.
Photo by @neviwarren
Railway Heritage Trail
Are you tired of the visiting the same old walking trails and want something unique? If so, you might consider making a 30-minute drive out to Swan View to try your hand at the Railway Heritage Trail. Located within WA’s oldest national park, the Railway Heritage trail is a relatively unknown trail within the 1600 hectares that make up John Forrest National Park.
There are seven trails for hikers within the national park, with the heritage trail following the path of the old railway line through the hills for 15km. Unfortunately, the train tracks have been pulled up, but what makes this trail really unique is the historical train tunnel open for visitors to explore. It’s only around a 15-minute walk from the Pechey Road carpark to reach the entrance of the Swan View Tunnel – hailed to be Perth’s most Instagrammable and haunted tunnel. The tunnel is definitely photo-worthy, if a bit spooky, and both cyclists and hikers can enjoy the wide gravel path through the hills, with stops at both the tunnel and nearby waterfall.
Photo by @helloperth
Lesmurdie Falls Trail
If waterfalls are your jam, you can’t pass up a visit to Lesmurdie Falls. Located close to Perth, within the Mundy Regional Park, Lesmurdie falls is widely considered one of the most spectacular waterfalls within the Darling Escarpment. The main trail follows a path from the base of the waterfalls to a lookout located above the top of the falls. Visitors have the option of parking at either end of the 2km trail, and while the basic trail doesn’t require you to have a high level of fitness, it is still quite challenging. Think stairs – lots and lots of stairs. It’s a steep ascent from the base of the waterfall to the overlook above. The views are well worth it however, as is the waterfall. Just be mindful of the seasons, as the waterfall does dry up during most of summer and autumn.
Photo by @chloektodd
Ellis Brook Valley Trail
Are you looking for a little bit of colour and pizzazz to spice up your bushwalks? With over 500 wildflower species, the Ellis Brook Valley might just be the place for you. Located only 33 minutes south-east of the Perth CBD, the Ellis Brook Valley offers four walking trails for a range of abilities. Families may enjoy the Easy Walking Trail, a flat 500 metre walking trail though Wandoo Woodland, while experienced hikers may prefer the more difficult 2km long Sixty Foot Falls Trail, which offers a spectacular view of the city and valley from the top of the falls. Spring is the ideal time to visit the valley, with the birds and wildflowers at their peak during mid-September and November.
Photo by @abi_hedges
Whiteman Park Trails
If you’re not looking to go much further than the inner suburbs of Perth, you might consider a trip to Whiteman Park. Only a 20-minute drive north-east of the Perth CBD, Whiteman is a little slice of wilderness within the suburbs. It’s a great place for easy bushwalks and is home to three main bushwalking trails – Goo Loorto, Werillyiup, and Wununga – as well as a number of small walking and cycling paths. The trails are generally quiet, and the area is teeming with wildlife. It is not unusual to stumble upon a kangaroo or two while wandering through the park. This is a considerably safe option for beginner and solo bushwalking as there are a number of facilities located nearby within the heavily populated area.
Photo by @pcityballer
About the author:
Shelby Baile is a Perth local who devotes most of her time to balancing her three great loves; traveling, reading, and writing. She is a freelance writer currently completing a seemingly never-ending degree in Public Relations and Professional Writing, Editing, and Publishing. When she’s not traveling, writing or studying she enjoys hanging with her cat, eating chocolate, and binge-watching Netflix.
Cover photo of Ellis Brook Valley by THE LONG WAY’S BETTER