With a decent off-road network of trails in the Perth Hills and a shared pedestrian path from Woodbridge to Perth city, I began to hatch a micro mountain biking adventure riding from Mundaring to Perth with detours to single track areas like the Goat Farm Mountain Bike Park and Lake Leschenaultia.
Mundaring to Lake Leschenaultia (13km)
Waving goodbye to my lift from Perth, I set off on the mountain bike from Mundaring Sculpture Park following the gravel Railway Reserves Trail to Mt Helena where I turn right crossing the road and a bit of zig zag to the Kep Track which conveniently passes the beautiful Lake Leschenaultia reserve area. So far the ride is a fairly gentle gradient passing under trees, through bush corridors and a cool rock passage way. I detour off the Kep Track when the sign for Lake Leschenaultia appears.
In the conservation reserve I spot a small population of wildflowers shooting from the ground, a beautiful once a year phenomenon during spring in Western Australia. The Fringed Lily are super tiny and difficult to spot on the bike, but the purple colour can be a noticeable feature in the bush landscape.
A large body of water appears and I’ve sprung out alongside the camp ground area. I cycle past the foreshore where a curious large swamp hen is poking around in the reeds, then I pass the kiosk, pump track and over the small bridge crossing a car park to the start of the mountain bike trails. Since my last post on cycling to the former railway dam there have been roughly 13 kms of mtb trails constructed with the help and support of the local council and community. The area is teeming with riders.
I cruise a few laps under the forest and my favourite becomes the longer climb, Man vs Machine which has a few rock gardens. Navigating the trails is straight forward and not as technical as some others in the hills area, making it an ideal setting for learning to cycle single track. There are two climbing trails to the top and several descents of differing degrees of challenge. While there isn’t a huge amount of elevation, the trails have been fantastically utilised with preserving the natural terrain while also creating some nice flow. The north shore style features are fun and so are the cross country style trails.
The surrounding forest is beautiful to cycle through, this picture below of ‘Eastern Line’ is one of the two uphill trails.
Lake Leschenaultia to Goat Farm (26 km)
I retrace the route back to the Mundaring Sculpture Park where I was dropped off, deciding not to take the route towards John Forrest National Park where the spring season waterfalls and former railway tunnel are located. I am wanting to cycle the longer descent on the south side.
A section of trail is elevated through the forest area, you really get to see how tall some of the trees are and the valley down below. The views are gorgeous in this area and in winter the small creek flows.
Crossing Coulston Road, the entry into Greenmount National Park appears adjacent to the car park. I’m lost in the joy of descending the hill that I overshoot the track into the Goat Farm. I realise this when I end up in Bellevue, so I turn around and head a little while up the hill finding the narrow trail alongside a small creek. There is also another trail entrance with a white bollard gate, this leads past the quarry.
Goat Farm Mountain Bike Park
Time to velcro up the knee pads and hit the punchy trails in the Goat Farm Mountain Bike Park!
If visiting the Goat Farm for the first time, check out these posts here and here. The Goat Farm is in need of some funding and maintenance, however personally I think it is a fantastic spot for natural technical challenges of the short and steep kind. It may take a while to understand the layout particularly when you’ve been spoilt with riding well signed trails, but the best way to experience the Goat Farm, is to explore it lost. Visiting the park following one of the local races during the year is handy as the trails receive a little bit of a clean up. Or even sign up for a race and enjoy a more predictable signed route on race day!
I make up my own flow on single track on the north side, in between the skills circuit and the highest point where several of the black trails begin. I go up and down that side to warm up, crossing from trail to trail, tyres sliding with the rocks and butt back. The high views after the steep climb are great from the top. I proceed around to the south side of the trails (closer to the Railway Reserves Trail side) which are rocky, wet (in winter) and fast. I stop at a few features and practice going over them. I leave the Goat Farm on a good note, having tackled some of the rock features.
Bellevue RSL Community and Sporting Club to Perth (20 km)
I exit the Goat Farm Mountain Bike Park and continue along the Railway Reserves Trail to Bellevue. Leaving the gravel trail behind, I cycle a combination of paths and an on road cycle path through the Midland area, past the cool looking workshops designed by C.Y. O’Connor on Yelverton Drive.
I pass some of the cool artwork of Midland’s Public Art Work.
Then I pass the picturesque Coal Dam Park with a bit of the old railway bridge left standing.
Rolling onto the PSP shared path in Woodbridge, this will take me all the way into Perth city over 16 km, passing a few cafe hot spot areas like Guildford, Maylands and Mount Lawley.
With almost 60 kms of cycling this morning, the legs are a little tired now and this is probably the unexciting part of the ride, but with the long smooth stretches, it is almost effortless compared to the terrain cycled so far. After a great morning in the forest, the change in landscape has me feeling exposed on the cycle path where the sun is bearing down and the breezy head wind is picking up. I chip away, moving closer to the city, passing road cyclists on the way.
In the city I meet up with a friend and we find a place to eat and drink. It’s been a great day on the bike and I can strike off one of the items on my ride list, ride from the Perth hills to the city.
FYI – bike theft from basement parking areas and public bike racks in Perth city is quite problematic so if you’re doing this trip and want to stop in the city please be aware of this. That said, you should be able to find a place where you can have the bike with you or at least can keep a direct eye on it.