Dog Hike Review: Ellis Brook Valley

Hike Overview

Length: 4.8 kms (Blue Wren & Sixty Foot Falls trails)
Estimated Time: 1.5 hrs including sniffing all of the things
Route Type: mix of loop & single direction trails
Free-range: Dogs must be on lead particularly given number of walkers and joggers on this busy trail
Cardio rating: High – Sixty Foot Falls involves a steep ascent with widely spaced steps
Quality of Path: Well-maintained and easy to follow. There were a few small sections in the Sixty Foot Falls section that required a scramble over rocks.
Navigation: Relatively well-maintained & signposted (had some minor difficulty finding the Blue Wren trail as we started from the Valley Head car park rather than the Honeyeater Hollow car park where the trail head is located)
Swimming: there are no swimming opportunities on this walk
Start Point: Recommend Honeyeater Hollow Car Park, Ellis Brook Valley Reserve 
Dog rating: 

The Walk We Did

We did the Blue Wren and then the Sixty Foot Falls walk trails with the Young Perth Hikers Meetup group with a great mix of dogs and humans. We had five dogs and five humans and all of the dogs got on well. The dogs really enjoyed all of the smells on the hike and the physical challenge. A special shout out to the Friends of Ellis Brook Valley who were out maintaining the trails when we visited. I was particularly excited that there were drop toilets in the Honeyeater Hollow carpark, which is an extremely rare find at a nature reserve.

Chiweenie going hiking in Perth
Groodle going hiking in Perth
Chihuahua going hiking in Perth
Groodle and Beaglier go hiking in Perth
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The Blue Wren trail was an enchanting short trail. The trail was narrow and felt like you were deeply immersed in the bush despite weaving quite close to the road and crossing it at one point. The trail had several board walks, which Zena loved as she has a weird fascination with heights for being such a small dog. There was a great mix of different trees that WA is renowned for, including Wandoo. We were too early for wildflower season, but could imagine that it would be spectacular in several month’s time. The trail had great birdlife including red-tailed black cockatoos that preened for us as we walked past.

Blue Wren trail hike Ellis Brook Reserve Trail Head
Blue Wren trail hiking with dogs
Blue Wren Trail hiking with dogs in Perth - Black Cockatoo in a tree
Blue Wren trail walkway
Blue Wren trail hiking with chihuahuas in Perth
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We walked the Sixty Foot Falls in a counter-clockwise direction, wanting to do the steeper section as an ascent. The steep climb provided views of the Falls, which sadly weren’t flowing in June despite some recent rain. Once we made it to the top, we were rewarded with excellent views across the Reserve and out over the City. From there, it was a relatively steep descent with a short diversion past the old Barrington Quarry. The steep ascent for the Sixty Foot Falls was a good challenge, particularly for working dog breeds that are keen to be active. Poor Brutus, our four month old chihuahua puppy, needed to be carried over some of the steeper sections of the hike. Zena, our three year old chiweenie, was an absolute star and scrambled up steps that were taller than she was. We saw a few smaller dogs while doing the hike so it’s definitely within their capability. There were look-outs throughout the Sixty Foot Falls section, which were a great point to stop, catch our breath and give the dogs water. Sadly there wasn’t any water in the falls doing the hike in June.

Sixty Foot Walk Trail - Trail Head
Sixty Foot Walk Trail - walking with small dogs over a rock
Sixty Foot Walk Trail - view of valley
Sixty Foot Walk Trail - view of city
Sixty Foot Walk Trail - view of old Barrington Quarry
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Recommended For

Ellis Brook Valley is a surprising find and I was excited to see so many people out enjoying this slice of heaven in the suburbs of Perth. This was our first time visiting despite having lived in Perth over five years. The Sixty Foot Falls trail would be great for anyone practicing for more challenging hikes as decent hills can be hard to find close to Perth. TrailsWA has included it in their top five waterfall walks of WA. We really enjoyed the walk (and the great company!). Brutus was so tired that he slept in the car on the way home, which is rare for him given his fear of going in the car. Definitely a good option for those looking for a short, sharp walk close to Perth.

Other Walk Options

We worked out the better route would be to:

  1. Park in the Honey Eater Hollow car park
  2. follow the Blue Wren trail to the Sixty Foot Falls trail head just past the Valley Head car park
  3. Do the Sixty Foot Falls trail loop
  4. Return to cars via the Blue Wren trail

 

Within the Ellis Brook Valley Reserve, there is also:

  • the Easy Walk, which is a 750m loop and starts from the Honeyeater Hollow carpark
  • the Eagle View Trail (not to be confused with the Eagle View Trail in John Forrest National Park)

Maps

Note: we found the Valley pocket map sufficient for these walks

Photos

More photos of the hike can be found on Smugmug

You can also follow #therufflyfewa and #youngperthhikers on Instagram

1 thought on “Dog Hike Review: Ellis Brook Valley

  1. Thanks for reminding me of 60 Foot Falls 🙂 It’s definitely worth going back in August or September. It’s one of the best short wildflower hikes in Perth, and a very scenic waterfall too!

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