top of page
  • Writer's pictureOut and About

John Forrest National Park

Updated: Mar 29

John Forrest National Park was established in 1900 and has been a popular picnic and walking spot ever since. There are large picnic areas with lots of tables scattered around the main area near the car parks. There are plenty of barbecues available and there are bigger gazebos for large groups. There is a centrally located toilet block opposite the Ranger's office. There is also a tavern there. The picnic benches are in heavy demand from about 11am onwards - before that the park is mostly full of walkers.

There are numerous walking trails in the park ranging from 300m to 16km in length. There is also a bridle trail for horses. The Railway Reserves Heritage Trail runs through the park and can be used for walking or riding bikes. Please note that as this is a National Park no dogs are permitted and there is a $15 entrance fee per car payable on entry. The automated machine at the entry station will only take credit cards. National Park Passes are also available at very reasonable rates (discounts provided through RAC membership) and these will allow you access to either all National Parks in WA or local metropolitan parks for a reduced fee.

The picnic area is located around Jane Brook and there is plenty for the kids to explore including a small nature playground which is home to some very tame birds. Below the small weir the rocks provide an opportunity for paddling or rock hopping depending on the water levels. As the seasons change and the water levels vary or the wildflowers bloom you will get a completely different perspective. The area directly below the Ranger Station also has signs informing you about the people who were important to the preservation of this very special area of pristine bush. You can see the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail running across the old railway bridge and off into the distance.


The Railway Reserve Heritage Trail from the car park area to the Swan View Tunnel is a very flat walk approximately 2 km each way and is dual use with bikes. Soon after leaving the picnic area you will pass the site of the old Jane Brook Bridge and National Park Falls railway station. The Swan View Tunnel, an old railway tunnel, is accessible but be aware that a lot of water collects inside. It is great fun jumping the puddles and finding your way but it gets very dark in the middle so have your flashlights handy! This trail will take about an hour return on foot. The Railway Reserve Heritage Trail itself runs for 41km and only a small part of it passes through the National Park.

You will pass the National Park Falls on the way to Swan View Tunnel from the picnic area. You can detour across the bridge for a better view of the falls from the northern side.

Alternatively take the National Park Falls Trail which starts under the old railway bridge at the picnic area and follows Jane Brook for 1 km before reaching the falls. This is a very pretty little bushwalk especially in Spring when the wildflowers provide a delightful scent along the way. This is a narrow but easy 2.2km trail which can be walked as a there and back or as a loop returning via the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail. It will take about 30 minutes return.

Hovea Falls is in the opposite direction to the National Park Falls and Swan View Tunnel. Head east along the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail for about 1km, passing the site of the old Deep Creek Bridge before arriving at Hovea Falls. You can no longer cross the brook here so if you wish to view the falls from the northern side you will have to walk a short section along the Wildflower Walk Trail which splits from the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail. Hovea Falls are much bigger than National Park Falls and are worth the walk. This walk will take about 30 minutes return plus any additional time spent overlooking the falls.

You could walk 4km along the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail and take in both falls, crossing the old bridge along the way.

Other trails to explore are the Glen Brook Dam Trail (4.5km) which is relatively flat and easy or the 4.6km Wildflower Walk Trail. There is also a brand new Little Eagle Trail but sadly the 11km Christmas Tree Creek Walk has been closed.

To read more blogs go to:

In the spirit of reconciliation Out and About- Family Nature Connection acknowledges the traditional owners of the Wadjak boodjar (Perth land) and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and emerging and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

As always when hiking in the bush please help to reduce the spread of Phytophthora Dieback by sticking to the tracks and paths, staying out of quarantined areas and, if possible, clean your shoes before and after hiking. A spray of 70% methylated spirit and 30% water can be effective.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page