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  • Writer's pictureOut and About

Bells Rapids

Updated: Mar 7




This is a favourite place for Perth people to go walking and no wonder. There is plenty of parking available although best to get there early (before 11) on a sunny weekend as the bays are not marked and it can be a bit of a free for all. There is a toilet block and a few benches but no picnic or barbecue facilities. Lots of families set up their own chairs and barbecue (fire bans permitting) next to the car park and settle in for the day.

This is a favourite place for people to walk their dogs, both on and off lead and you will never see so many happy dogs enjoying the great outdoors! With dogs come doggie poos though so you do need to watch where you step.

From the lower car park we walked along the rivers edge on a rough path. There is a better path a little higher up which does not entail as much scrambling over rocks. We were lucky though as we came across two kids with a raft - love seeing kids out and about playing. Both paths emerge at the bridge and as you cross over there are views upstream to calm water and downstream to the rapids. If you are lucky you will see some kayakers practicing for the Avon Descent.



The Goat Walk and River Walk Trails both start on the other side of the bridge. Turn right for the Goat Walk or left for the River Walk. The Goat Walk is about 3km long and will take about an hour. Although this is a wide trail it is rocky and includes a few very steep ascents and descents. From the top there are views across the valley to Bells Falls in the distance and also across the Swan Coastal Plain to the city in the far distance, making the hard work climbing the hill worthwhile! There are a number of side trails at the top of the hill and it is easy to "go astray" but hopefully you will come across Buttock Boulder. The Goat Walk eventually loops back down and takes in the River Walk for the last kilometre, traversing alongside the Swan River.


The River Walk is mostly flat but the path can be quite narrow and in many places you will need to negotiate rocks. The lovely view over the rapidly flowing river makes up for the discomfort and of course the kids think this is the best part of the adventure! The River Walk can be unstable immediately alongside the river so do take care. As a return there and back trail the River Walk is 2.5km.


Around the bridge there are many rocks for the kids to clamber over to get close to the water. Water levels vary considerably between winter and summer so you will need to assess the risks on the day of your visit. After rain the carpark can get deliciously muddy too with lots of opportunity to jump in mud puddles so take towels for dogs and humans!



A longer hike in this area is along The Salvado (Pilgrim) Trail to Walyunga National Park - a 6km return hike along the river. Walyunga National Park is another lovely spot for hiking or for a picnic.



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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 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.



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