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Top 4 Hikes in the Blackwood River Valley Region

During the cooler months, there’s no place prettier to hike than the Blackwood River Valley. The region’s rolling hills turn a vibrant green, wildflowers fill the forests, and mists rise from the tranquil waterways, making every hike feel like a magical experience.

Best of all, the Blackwood River Valley region is only a three-hour drive from Perth, so you can easily squeeze a quick trip into your weekend. If this sounds like your kind of hiking adventure, here are four excellent trails to explore.

 

1. Old Timberline & Sidings Rail Trail

Time: 2 days

Distance 37km loop

Difficulty:  Grade 1: Easy

Trail Start: Nannup Foreshore Park, 282km (3 hours) south of Perth

Starting life as a railway, The Old Timberline and Sidings Rail Trail is now a wonderful way to explore the beautiful surrounds of Nannup. The trail consists of two sections, the 22km Old Timberline Trail and the 26km Sidings Rail Trail. These can be completed separately or connected to make a 37km loop.

The Old Timberline Trail follows St John Brook Creek to lead you to Barrabup and Worker’s Pools; two natural swimming holes that also double as excellent picnic and camping spots. The Sidings Rail Trail runs along an old timber railway from Nannup to Jarrahwood. Many of the original sleepers and rail signs are still intact, giving you a glimpse into Nannup’s timber milling past. Unlike most rail trails, the Old Timberline and Sidings Trail is quite hilly and winding in places, so expect to work up a bit of a sweat!

On the Old Timberline Trail: Photo by Rail Trails Org.

2. Greenbushes Loop

Time: 4 - 6 hours

Distance 16km loop

Difficulty: Grade 3 - Suitable for most ages and fitness levels.

Trail Start: Greenbushes Discovery Centre, Greenbushes, 242km (2 hours 45mins) south of Perth

The Greenbushes Loop mixes jarrah forest, mining history and beautiful farmland to make one challenging yet enjoyable hike. Setting off from the Greenbushes Discovery Centre, the trail passes the historic Schwenke's Dam and Mt Jones Dam, a relic of the Vultan tin mine, before plunging into forest.

This leafy section of the trail follows the Bibbulmun Track, taking you across creeks and up hills for sweeping views of the Blackwood farming valley. From here, you then meander back to the Greenbushes town centre where you can reward yourself with a treat from the bakery or a drink at one of the local pubs. The trail’s markers show a red-tailed black cockatoo, which are native to the area, so keep an eye and an ear out for these noisy characters during your hike.

Greenbushes Loop by Mark Pybus (The Life of Py hiking blog)

3. Bridgetown Jarrah Park

Time: 2 hours

Distance: 6 km loop

Difficulty: Grade 3 Suitable for most ages and fitness levels.

Trail Start: 20 minutes drive from Bridgetown towards Nannup along the Brockman Hwy.

 

If you’re a fan of beautiful forest and tall trees, make a beeline for rhe Bridgetown Jarrah Park. Here you’ll find four winding yet well-marked trails that you can combine to create a hike through some of the region’s most magnificent karri, marri, blackbutt and jarrah trees. Amongst these towering giants, there’s plenty of plant species to spot, especially during winter and spring when colourful orchids line the trails and vibrant green moss coats the fallen logs and tree stumps. Birdwatchers can also look forward to glimpses of the purple crowned lorikeets, blue wrens and golden whistlers that live within the forest.

 Bridgetown Jarrah Park by Pelusey Photography 

 

4. Karri Gully to Gregory Brook Campsite (Bibbulmun Track day walk)

Time: 2-4 hours

Length: 8 km return 

Difficulty:  Grade 3 - Suitable for most ages and fitness levels.

Trail start: Karri Gully picnic site, Brockman Highway, 20km from Nannup which is 270km (3 hours) south of Perth

 

The hike between Karri Gully to Gregory Brook Campsite is a small but scenic taste of the 1000km Bibbulmun Track. Like the name suggests, the hike begins in a gully of lush Karri trees before taking you through the understory of dense forest. Along the way, you’ll be able to spot evidence of the area’s railway and logging history, as well as grass trees that are up to 800 years old. During winter, you’ll know you’re nearing the campsite, as you’ll hear the sounds of its namesake, Gregory Brook babbling away. Surrounded by tall river banksia, jarrah, marri and yarri trees, the campsite makes a wonderful spot to enjoy a picnic before making the return walk home.

 Gregory Brook Campsite.  Photo from Bibbulmun Track Foundation

 

If you walk any of these trails please rate and review them on trailswa.com.au.  You can also download the App  here.  iPhone only at the moment but Android version is in the pipeline.

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