Exploring accessible and dog-friendly trails in Western Australia

With the weather starting to improve it’s time to make the most of the great outdoors again. And, to help you do it, Trails WA has launched a new website.

“Western Australians have a host of world-class trails right here in their backyard. This new website will make it easy for people to plan and explore our amazing State,” said Chair of Trails WA, Neil Le Febvre.

The website features detailed maps of an array of trails that can be downloaded to use offline. There’s also lots of photos, elevation maps and user reviews from die-hard trailblazers through to those who just want to experience a great day out in nature.

“Trails WA gives information on bushwalking, mountain biking, trail running and water trails through to food and wine trails or getting about in a wheelchair,” said Mr Le Febvre. “There’s even an interactive community you can join – which lets you track your progress, earn badges or experience some friendly competition.”

Two great additions to the website are accessible trails for less-able bodies and a selection of dog-friendly trails as, let’s face it, not all of us want a hard-core hiking experience and our fur-babies love a walk just as much as we do. 

So if you’re looking for a trail within the local Perth area, head to Bayswater where you’ll find the Baigup Wetland which provides a leisurely 2km trail with no steps and a flat even surface. There’s lots of amenities available at this reserve and dogs are allowed.

Another option close to Perth is Floreat’s Reabold Hill Summit Boardwalk in Bold Park. This 200m long boardwalk is wheelchair accessible and offers multiple viewing areas and loads of interpretive signage highlighting points of interest. Dogs are welcome here too.

Kuljak Island Walk in Ascot is also ideal for an easy, short outing with your pooch. Located on the Swan River, the island is home to many bird species including Black Swans from which the island gets its name. The trail is a 2.6km loop which circumnavigates the island with a large picnic area in the centre. Be aware though that there are no toilet facilities on the island and, like most dog friendly trails, your furred-friend must be on a leash.

North of Perth is the Star Swamp Bushland Reserve, located in North Beach. This picturesque loop takes you and your doggie through bushland and wetland and includes a heritage trail that provides information about the local history and environment.

Further out of Perth is the Jorgensen Park Walk Trail. Located in Kalamunda, this 2.7km loop is an easy walk that offers valley views and pretty vistas. Allow an hour for the walk. August to October are the best times to visit so you can enjoy the wildflower season.

And if you do want to get yourself further afield and traverse a trail by bike or by wheelchair, check out the Arklow Adaptive Trail in Collie. Just two hours south of Perth, and with a national rating of highly accessible, this 9km loop provides a beautiful bush setting in which to get your wheels turning. With a gentle gradient and smooth surface that’s relatively free of obstacles this trail is very popular. It’s a good idea to avoid this option in summer as it gets quite hot and regardless of the weather always take drinking water as there’s no water points on this trail. 

With literally dozens of WA trails to choose from it’s a good idea to do a bit of online exploring first and you can do all that by visiting the TrailsWA.com.au website.