This trail is ideal for walking (in sections) as there is lots to see including stunning river scenery. It is also ideal for a bike ride as the trail covers almost 25km in total and cycling will allow you to cover more distance while still allowing you to stop at the sights and enjoy the river views. It is also possible to follow the trail by car, turning off to see the major sights. In my opinion walking the trail is the best way as the slower pace allows you to really experience the sights and sounds of the river and surrounding nature.
Garvey Park in Ascot is a large recreational green space with a playground, barbecues and picnic tables, a cafe, toilets, river access with small river beaches, various walking trails and ample parking. Previously the area was home to brickworks which harvested the rich red river clay.
There is a map near the cafe which promotes five walking trails within the park. The fact that you have to step into the garden bed to see the map possibly should have been a warning that these trails may not be well marked or worth doing. Perhaps if you are a local walking here regularly the different trails give you some options but having followed these trails I suggest you just stick to the river path!
The Swan River Ramble extends from Garvey Park down river past wide open green spaces before coming to the Coolgardie Drain Living Stream. Here more informal paths wind through the trees just begging to be explored by the kids! If you follow these you will be continuing on the green Garvey Park Nature Trail and have an option to include the Floodplain Loop (water levels permitting).
We continued downriver enjoying views across the river to Claughton Reserve which we have previously explored. The path continues through Ayres Bushland providing glimpses of Redcliffe Bridge through the trees. This is the prettiest part of the walk as you cross the boardwalk over the wetlands and emerge under Redcliffe Bridge. If you feel the need to run some stairs the opportunity is right here!
The Swan River Ramble officially crosses the bridge to Riverside Gardens on the opposite bank however there is a cycle only section which continues from Redcliffe Bridge skirting Ascot Racecourse to Garrett Road Bridge. As you continue under Redcliffe Bridge you walk past the Esplanade jetty before side tracking through some streets and cutting through the car park at the back of the old Ascot Inn (now the Swan River Hotel) to Gould Reserve.
Straight after Gould Reserve you skirt the edge of Ascot Racecourse on a long concrete path that is dead straight as it hugs the edge of the river. You can see across to Riverside Gardens on the other side and then down river to Garrett Road Bridge. The path is quite well shaded for most of the way and was a great straight run for the senior citizens on their scooters! At Garrett Road Bridge the Swan River Ramble crosses back from the Bayswater side and continues on to Freshwater Lake and beyond. It is not possible to walk under the bridge. We turned around and headed back along the long stretch of racecourse. This section between the bridges is fine for a bike ride but is not the best walk.
On the return leg we explored the Garvey Park River Loop B Trail turning away from the river at Kanowna Avenue West and following the road looking across the top of the wetlands. This was a long boring walk and not one I would recommend as there is nothing to see and you miss walking along the beautiful scenic river front.
One Garvey Park Trail that is quite pretty is part of the River Loop A Trail which you could do in reverse from the cafe, looping around to Fauntleroy Avenue and then returning the same way or walking along the road back to the cafe.
Previous blogs that cover sections of the Swan River Ramble are (click to open links):
Time and Distance:
Garvey Park to Redcliffe Bridge along Riverfront - 3km, 45 minute walk return.
Redcliffe Bridge to Garrett Rd Bridge along Riverfront - 2km, 40 minute walk return.
Total Walk 5km, 85 minutes.
Eric is hiding at different locations along the Swan River Ramble and once you find him the kids can use a QR scanner to unlock information about the location. We did find some of the signage is starting to fade, especially along the cycle only section.
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