Estimated Time: 1.5 hrs +
Route Type: One-way return
Free-range: Not recommended (there are multiple road crossings)
Cardio rating: Negligible
Quality of Path: Wide and well-maintained
Navigation: Very straightforward
Starting Point: We started from Zig Zag Cultural Centre (50 Railway Rd Kalamunda) given its proximity to parking
The Kalamunda Heritage Trail’s key selling point is that it is one of the longer walks close to Perth that is dog-friendly. We started in the middle of the walk so that it was easy to locate our group and could ‘opt in’ for the northern section. The walk can also be started from Quenda Creek Reserve in Gooseberry Hill. This trail follows the path of the old railway which was closed in 1949. The trail as marked in the Railway Heritage Trail Brochure is approximately 6km one-way making it a 12km return trip, however, I’m led to believe the trail does extend to the Zig Zag Rd if you were looking for a longer option and could follow the road itself. As the rain picked up on the day that we did the hike, we omitted the southern section the trail. Apparently the southern section is much closer to houses and roads, losing that feeling of being in nature.
We did this walk with the Young Perth Hikers Meetup group (shout out to everyone who came out in the rain!) and almost had the track to ourselves. Being on a rail trail in the outer suburbs of Perth means that you aren’t walking through pristine wilderness but it does mean that you are in close proximity to hotels and cafes in Kalamunda for a post-hike celebration. Many of the flora and fauna that is distinctively West Australian, including white tailed black cockatoos and wattle were out in force. As always, we needed to watch out for the gumnuts that the cockies leave behind as it can be a trip hazard (or I’m just really clumsy?!?).
There are seats dotted at strategic points throughout the walk. There’s also a sheltered picnic table at the Northern Terminus of the Bibbulmun Track if you were looking to escape the rain or enjoy a packed lunch. The interpretative signs at each of the former rail stations adds interest to the hike. However, it wasn’t the dog’s favourite trail – not sure whether Zena was miserable because of the rain or disliked having to be on lead for the entire walk. Given how well maintained the track is, I can imagine that it would be great for trail runners and their puppas.