Ashfield Flats - Swan River Ramble
Updated: Jan 2
After a wet stormy morning the sun came out to shine and tempted us outside to explore the 2.6km Ashfield Flats Trail. You can start the walk at either end with limited parking bays off Ashfield Parade or a much larger parking area at Sandy Beach Reserve. We parked under the mature trees at Sandy Beach Reserve, which has picnic benches and barbecues, a toilet and a fabulous new mega playground which opened late in 2022. See separate blog: https://www.outandaboutfnc.com/post/sandy-beach-playspace
There is a statue of some description on the eastern river front, also old and time worn. The trees are quite interesting with large bulbous bits and some dodgy looking branches (I probably wouldn't go here on a windy day!) High up in one of the trees we could see bees buzzing around a hole in one of the branches.
With river front access Sandy Beach Reserve is a great place to launch a kayak or just to have a play on the rivers edge.
We walked to the end of the car park and then followed the river across the grass for a short distance before joining a paved pathway. This path follows the river and has great views across the river to Ascot's riverfront homes and Garvey Park. The path was being enjoyed by families with kids of various ages riding their bikes, dads and prams and dog walkers with most dogs on lead.
After a short walk you come to a boardwalk over the samphire flats. After quite heavy rainfall the previous fortnight the flats had plenty of water and the samphire were glowing pink and red in the afternoon sunlight. As you cross the boardwalk you cross the two main channels draining into the river. Interpretive signage along the boardwalk explains the purpose of the different features of the wetlands. Ashfield Flats is the largest remaining river flat on the Swan Coastal Plain and IS subject to flooding after heavy rain. We saw several jellyfish in the shallows.
At the end of the boardwalk you can see across to Ron Courtney Island. Unfortunately as the properties beyond the wetlands have private river frontage it is not possible to walk downstream along the river's edge. We took the path alongside one of the drainage channels emerging at the Ashfield Parade entrance to the flats. Here we came across Eric from the Swan River Ramble. We have explored this kid friendly trail before from Baigup Wetlands to Riverside Gardens in Bayswater . and have now filled in this section from Riverside Gardens through to Sandy Beach Reserve which is the end point of the Ramble. See below for links to all the sections of the Swan River Ramble.
On our return we opted to take the dirt path to the left of the boardwalk, following the edge of the wetlands. Owing to the recent rain this section was delightfully muddy so we had to pick our way through a few sections before coming out back at Sandy Beach Reserve.
To complete our Swan River Ramble we filled in the section from Sandy Beach Reserve, which is the end point of the Ramble, through to Riverside Gardens. The Ramble follows the streets west of Ashfield Flats to Claughton Reserve - a 20 minute walk. At Claughton Reserve there is a small nature playground and a Fairy Trail to explore. From there the trail takes you underneath the Tonkin Highway Bridge before looping around to Riverside Gardens.
The Swan River Ramble from Sandy Beach Reserve to Garvey Park covers both sides of the Swan River and features in the following blogs: (click on text for link)
If you have enjoyed reading this blog have a look at https://www.outandaboutfnc.com/blog-1 to read more.
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.