Sunday, 19 August 2018

Jorgensen Park Walk Trail (Jorgensen Park)

A dog friendly walk in the Perth Hills, the Jorgensen Park Walk Trail is a popular short walk in what was once the local golf course. Initially exploring the former fairway, the trail heads into pleasant Jarrah forest as it runs concurrently with the Bibbulmun Track to a viewpoint overlooking Kalamunda National Park. A very short walk, the scrappy Jarrah is balanced out by being a great spot for dog watching

Distance: 2.7 km (loop)
Gradient: Very gentle over the entire length of the loop 
Quality of Path: Open grassy sections through the old fairways and a mix of walk trail and vehicle tracks
Quality of Signage: Clear and easy to follow trailhead with some markers along the loop
Experience Required: No Bushwalking Experience Required
Time: 30 Minutes
Steps: No steps
Best Time to Visit: Autumn-Spring, though Spring would be the most spectacular time to visit
Entry Fee: No
Getting There: The trail starts at the main car park on Crescent Road. From the Bibbulmun Track Northern Terminus, follow Mundaring Weir Road east and take the first left turn north onto Crescent Road. Trailhead is located near the north-eastern corner of the car park

With the Bickley Brook Walk being a fairly untaxing 3.2 kilometres, Alissa and I had always planned to tackle a second walk immediately after finish up at Bickley Brook. With fine weather, it was decided that Jorgensen Park would be a great place for us to check out given that it is one of the most popular places for dog owners in the hills to take their four-legged friends out for a bit of a walk or a run in the Perth Outdoors.

Unlike most of the Shire of Kalamunda walk trails, Jorgensen Park features a well signed trailhead near the main promenade of the park. This area used to be the local golf course but is now more well known for being a popular dog park and part of the first day of the Bibbulmun Track. On the day of our visit, we had arrived at the end of the Long Dog Walk - an apparently annual event for Daschund owners to gather and bring all their adorable sausage dogs together. With Alissa having had a pet Daschund as a child, she was filled with delight at this early point of the walk.

Initially following the broad path through the middle of the grassy field, the Jorgensen Park Walk Trail veers to the right as it follows purpose built walk trail to join a vehicle track.

The vehicle track skirts the edge of the parkland and some private properties but offers some fine forest walking. The Jarrah here is a bit small and scrappy, but it is nevertheless nicely shaded and pleasant walking.

After passing the private properties, the track passes by a large granite outcrop. While blocked by the row of trees, the outcrop offers some glimpses down into the valley below where the Piesse Gully Loop can be found.

Continuing along, the walking is once again pleasant if unremarkable Jarrah forest predominated by thin and scrappy trees. I think it is well known that I don't have a particular love for this kind of forest, but it was acceptable enough for a simple stroll. The somewhat unimpressive nature of the forests were balanced out nicely by a number of excellent dog sightings along the trail; being big lovers of dogs, Alissa and I were delighted by all the smiling, friendly dog faces we encountered along the way.

Continuing along, the trail follows the route of the Bibbulmun Track. Walkers should note that while the Bibbulmun markers can now be followed, the red markers of the Jorgensen Park Walk Trail do take precedence over the Bibbulmun Track as it will eventually branch off and go its own way.

Given the lack of excitingly tall trees along this walk, the rare sighting of mature Jarrah provided something of a visual landmark along a walk that was mostly highlighted by our encountered with four-legged friends.

Leaving the broad old vehicle track, the Jorgensen Park Walk Trail follows the Bibbulmun as it makes it way to the entrance to Kalamunda National Park. Either eaten by termites or rotted by moisture, the Bibbulmun Track sign had completely fallen over at the time of our visit.

The single file walk track along this stretch is quite lovely, and it gives walkers a bit of an indication of what they can expect from this section of the Bibbulmun. It has been three years since Alissa and I walked this stretch to start our sectional End to End of the Bibbulmun, however we did walk this section in 2017 as part of Michelle Ryan's final walk in for her documentary Bibbulmun Journeys.

The walk track leads to what is arguably the Bibbulmun Track's first great view as it provides a lookout point down towards Kalamunda National Park. Of the National Parks found in the Perth Hills, Kalamunda has long been a personal favourite due to the rugged granite-dominated nature of the walking and because it is home to the stunning Rocky Pool.

Continuing along the trail, the Jorgensen Park Walk Trail branches off from the Bibbulmun Track as the Bibb heads down towards Piesse Brook and into Kalamunda National Park. Having walked this section of the Bibb many, many times, it is clear that many dog owners miss or ignore the fact that Kalamunda National Park is the end of the dog friendly-walking and is signed as such. Dogs are not allowed in national parks as a general rule, and Kalamunda National Park is no exception. Beyond the fact that dogs can cause harm to native animals, such areas can also be filled with 1080 fox baits which can lead to a horribly painful death for an unsuspecting dog eating the poison.

The Jorgensen Park Walk Trail continues through the scrappy Jarrah forest. Along this stretch of the track is a fairly interesting section where the walk goes through a tunnel of what looks like some kind of Hakea species.

A bit further along, the Jorgensen Park Walk Trail rejoins the Bibbulmun as it makes its way along a nice, shaded section of track.

Filled with more mature trees, this is a pleasant part of the walk that is all the more stunning in late Winter/early Spring with the forest bathed in a blanket of beautiful yellow flowers.

Leaving the clearly defined footpath, the walk trail runs along another stretch of grass that would have been an old golf fairway. On the day our visit, two very happy Labradors were having a fun time playing on the grass. Having had a Golden Retriever from late primary school right through to early university, I have a soft spot for Retrievers of all kinds, and these two definitely put a smile on my face.

From there the walk trail reappears as it brings walkers back to the car park at Jorgensen Park. Along the way, the trail runs past an area that seems to have been undergoing some kind of maintenance at the time of our visit, but was fairly distinctive due to the grove of smooth-barked gums - a change of pace from the Jarrah forest that predominates the walk.

At a measly 2.7 kilometres and a very easy going gradient, the Jorgensen Park Walk Trail is one of the easiest walks I've ever written up, and Alissa and I were not surprised to find that we completed the whole thing in half an hour! While lacking in challenge and dominated by fairly unremarkable Jarrah forest, the walk does feature the excellent viewpoint down into Kalamunda National Park. Its best feature is however its dog-friendly nature as it makes it a good walk option to do with your four-legged friend, or - if you're a renter who can't have a pet - a chance to let some dog watching put a smile on your face.

1 comment:

  1. love this area and spent all my childhood running around it. love seeing the 4 legged friends enjoying it too.