Having walked a number of sections of the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail we came back to explore this section which runs north/south and joins the southern Jane Brook line (Bellevue to Sawyers Valley) to the northern Mahogany Creek Deviation line (Bellevue to Mt Helena). The Railway Reserve Heritage Trail continues on from Mt Helena to Chidlow and Woorooloo but that is way too far for us today!
This section of trail is about 3km in each direction and will take around 45 minutes to walk each way, an hour and half in total. If you are able to do a car drop at either end you could extend and continue from Mt Helena to Stoneville or on to Parkerville or on the southern line you could extend to Mundaring. There are also public bus services that will allow you to backtrack to your car if you venture further.
Having previously walked from Mt Helena to Stoneville we knew that parking was convenient at Pioneer Park in Mt Helena which has picnic tables and toilets and is across the road from the trail. You can also find a cafe here or you can head to the Mt Helena Tavern for a meal after your walk. An alternative is to park at Sawyers Valley Primary School or in the Sawyers Valley shopping precinct.
Starting from Mt Helena we noticed that the trail was rising and it wasn't long before the gradual but steady increase made itself known in our legs! The incline continues almost all the way to Sawyers Valley so it is a gentle but consistent workout!
Walking in May there were very few flowers out but we did spot a solitary bunny orchid amidst the parrot bush along the way. Like anywhere this walk would come alive in spring during wildflower season. With eagle eyes on the ground looking for orchids we did spot the old rails protruding from the ground in a number of spots!
We explored Sawyers Valley which has a few quaint antique and second hand shops but didn't offer much in the way of coffee or food so we were glad we had started at Mt Helena.
The return trail was downhill so easier on the legs.
We diverted from the path to walk a parallel path within the Alp Street Reserve. No difference really except this trail is not as well used so had more large honky nuts to avoid! At the water pipes we resumed our walk on the Railway Reserves Trail.
This trail is very popular with cyclists and they can come up quite quickly on their downhill run. This trail being narrower than the main trail means it may be necessary to step aside for the riders. We also encountered some horse riders but didn't see any dogs, which are allowed but must be kept on lead. If you are with kids there are a few road crossings - mostly minor roads but you do have to cross busy Sawyers Road at one point.
This is a pleasantly shaded trail and is a reasonably short distance. Not one I would walk in the heat of summer and probably at it's best in spring we still enjoyed our walk and managed to get our feet used to hiking boots again ready for winter hiking season.
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.
For more blogs on the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail:
Darlington to Boya https://www.outandaboutfnc.com/post/2019/10/06/railway-reserves-heritage-trail-darlington-to-boya
Glen Forrest to Mahogany Creek and Mundaring
Parkerville to Hovea Falls with Park Falls
Swan View Tunnel to Hovea Falls in John Forrest National Park
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.