Tired of staring into oblivion on your local gym’s treadmill but don’t want to go too far out of the city for a scenic walk?
Here’s a selection of walking trails around the Perth metro area (mostly) that’ll make for a splendid – and fresh air-filled – stroll.
Canning River Regional Park
A short 20 minutes from the CBD you’ll find the rich wetland ecosystem that is Canning River Regional Park, smack bang in the middle of Shelley and Nicholson Road Bridges. Flush with native flora and fauna (there’s almost a hundred different species of birds here), the trail is a wheelchair-friendly 4km loop. Several other walks splinter off this one, and if canoeing is your thing make sure you bring one along.
Herdsman Lake Loop
Perth’s northern suburbs are filled with various wetland areas that make for great walks, and Herdsman Lake is one of the best. With plenty of birdspotting to be done (and keep an eye out for snakes!), the 8km trail has a variety of boardwalk sections, picnic areas and the Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre if you’re really in the mood for some knowledge. If you’re looking something a tad smaller, Lake Monger a little further south is another popular option.
Scarborough-Trigg Heritage Trail
For an epic blend of beach and bush, the Scaborough-Trigg Heritage Trail is a stunner. With three loops combining over the course of 7.5km, you can read up on the human and natural history with signposts as you go along.
West Coast Highway
If it’s all beach you’re after, you can’t go past the West Coast Highway walk that runs basically all the way from Hillarys Boat Harbour, along the northern beaches, Trigg, Scarborough and City Beach (or further south to Swanbourne and Cott if you’re up for it). Riddled with plenty of cafés and other pitstops (plus a fair share of fellow walkers/bike riders/puppies), it’s as good it gets for the metro coast.
Windan Bridge Loop
Once you’ve conquered the Bridges Walk why not make a Figure 8 of things and head north east to tackle the Causeway, Burswood Park and Matagarup Bridge Walk. Run alongside the shadows of Optus Stadium where you’ll find the huge Chevron Parklands filled with playgrounds for the kids, or a little further up you can tackle Burswood Park’s Heritage Sculpture Trail, a collection of over a dozen bronze sculptures designed by artists Joan & Charles Smith.
Melville Water Riverpark Trail
This is a pretty serious 16km stretch from the Freo Traffic Bridge to Canning Bridge, although can be easily divided up into different sections (the Blackwall Reach-Point Walter run, for instance). Along the way take the time to familiarise yourself with the interpretation facilities at Bicton Baths, Point Walter and Heathcote to learn about the Riverpark’s ecological, historical, and Noongar cultural and heritage values.
Garangup Park/Masson Mews/Minim Cove Park
On the opposite side of the river is an epic stretch path running basically from Gilbert Fraser Reserve in North Fremantle all the way along the river to Chidley Reserve in Mosman Park (and onwards from there if you’re feeling frisky). Best bet is to park at Garungup Park in Minim Cove and head north or south along the path from there. Along the way you’ll find little secret coves and beaches to check out and stunning views across the Swan River to bask in.
One of Perth’s most popular walks, the Bridges Walk is a solid 10km loop between the Narrows and Causeway Bridges, offering a pristine look at the Swan River in all of its glory. There’s plenty of places to park (particularly on the South Perth side) before taking in the ever-expanding Elizabeth Quay, Riverside Drive, Barrack Street Jetty and the expansive South Perth Foreshore.
Bold Park is a huge and un-tapped area of inner city bushland that features over 15km worth of walking trails and a variety of different lookouts with views of the city and coast. It can be easy to slip by this treasure as you make your way to the beach from the city, but with an abundance of wildlife and native plants, it’s more than worthy of stopover.
One of Perth’s most celebrated inner-city parks, Hyde Park is as popular for the people watching as it is for the bird spotting. With plenty of barbecues, play and fitness equipment and gentle green slopes to throw down a picnic rug, it’s a fantastic spot to make a morning or afternoon of things. And if you need refreshments the ever-popular Chu Bakery and Pearl Of Highgate are just across on the William Street side.
For our kings and queens in the north, Lake Joondalup is a solid 16km walk/bike path in the Yellagonga Regional Park, littered with all kinds of wildlife including kangaroos, long-neck turtles, and the occasional snake. There’s plenty of picnic spots with fantastic lake views, the perfect place to make a proper afternoon of it.
One of the biggest city parks in the world (larger than New York’s famed Central Park even), there’s a reason Kings Park & Botanic Garden welcomed almost 6 million visitors last year. Coming in at a whopping 400ha, there are any number of areas to explore, including the treetop Law Walk, the Boodja Gargning Walk, the Bushland Nature Trails and of course the WA Botanic Garden. For the kids the Rio Tinto Naturescape playground is a nature-fuelled funhouse filled with climbing ropes, creeks and cubbies to really get amongst it.
Wireless Hill Park
Wireless Hill Park provides an incredibly unique opportunity to experience all the benefits of bushwalking including native animals and wildflowers but in a metro area. With spectacular views of the Swan River and city centre it’s a beautiful walk any time of the year, but gets even better in wildflower season.
Matilda Bay Reserve
A fave during the warmer months for its picnic, swimming, fishing and crabbing potential, it’s also a stunning walk from the Crawley Boatshed all the way down to the Nedlands Yacht Club. Make sure you keep an eye out for the dolphins that frequently inhabit the beaches along this area, or stop off for a coffee at one of several cafés along the way.
North Perth History Walk
For an easy one-hour walk drenched in local history, the North Perth History Walk takes you for a loop around the North Perth Town Centre taking in 16 sites kicking off in the early 1900s to the 1950s. Kick things off at the former North Perth Police Station on Angove Street. Make sure to grab a coffee from the cappuccino strip on Angove to get you started, or wind it up with a quiet beverage at the Rosemount Hotel (part of the walk) to finish up.
Prefer to go bush? Here are the 20 best hiking trails close to Perth