Blue Rock Walks
Start - Jarrahdale Road
Length - 2km (Loop)
Grade - Green
Vertical Climb - 45m
Time - Less than one hour
Date Hiked - 11th of June 2017
Looking at the calendar made over the summer I found I had a spare weekend for some unknown reason so decided to head out to Jarrahdale to take in a couple of new trails and give the Jarrahdale Railway Heritage Trail a few new snaps. I have had a couple of smaller trails on the to-hike list for a while now that I had been saving for the winter and given it was technically winter I ventured out late on a Sunday morning. The first trail on the agenda was the Blue Rock Walk as it was furthest from the centre of town and a good warm-up trail. Located right on Jarrahdale Rd, the car park is very obvious from the road and the wooden sign also helps things out along with the sight of a medium sized granite dome.
A sunny day greeted me as I exited the car and had a look at the trail head sign. Unfortunately it had seen better days and then been left in the sun for twenty years too long. I tried to decipher what was what but in the end I figured I would wing it and see where I ended up. There is a yellow marker nailed to one of the fallen logs but it pointed straight into a large patch of moss so I headed in the direction of the well worn path leading up to the top of the granite dome. Blue Rock is so named because some kids had engraved the name at the top but as I only found that out after I had finished I didn't look for it. Walking up to the top it felt like a much smaller Sullivan Rock with carpets of moss and sundews appearing in places.
Unfortunately unlike Sullivan Rock it was not in the best condition (more on this later) as it appears the locals treat it like a driveway with plenty of evidence of cars driving up, bikes tracks and old fires around the place. I had a look around and lamented the idiocy of people or perhaps their lack of education over the damage they cause to these fragile ecosystems before moving on to what I thought looked like a trail. Facing back towards Jarrahdale I headed into the forest and soon came across a 4x4 track that looked like it headed in the right direction so I followed that for a bit. It was a pleasantly familiar Jarrah forest and lucky for me it kept turning right to form a loop around Blue Rock.
Thinking I was doing well I referred back to the photo of the trail and it showed what I thought was a narrow forest trail heading north coming up. Soon enough I spotted an obvious trail and followed it but eventually it just came to a dead end and I spent a good while trying to persevere before finally returning to the trail. Continuing on my loop I came across a real life trail marker pointing me back towards Blue Rock so trying to figure out the layout I followed it and approached Blue Rock from the north. Given I wanted to see how the trail looped around I backtracked and made my way to what I thought would be the turn back to the car park.
I was half right as I found a trail marker pointing me away from the car park and I married that up to the longer loop section on the weathered map and decided not to follow it. I instead headed south along the 4x4 track and kept looking back to see any sign of a trail marker as by now I figured I was doing things the wrong way round. When it came time to turn back towards the car park I spotted a blue trail marker. At this stage I wasn't that fussed about what trail I was so enjoyed the finish through thick bush and out into the open air of the car park. At this stage I was taking some photos of the wooden sign when a car passed and tooted at something. That something was a couple of trail bike riders popping out of the bush and unsurprisingly they turned right into the car park and I knew exactly where they were heading. Given the state of Blue Rock it was no surprise when they rode straight onto the granite and up to the top. It was a disappointing moment and I have to wonder why the car park is so open to allow both cars and bikes up to the top.
Final Thoughts - I didn't have high hopes for this trail so that made the disappointment slightly easier to handle. Part of the issue was doing it in the wrong direction but I didn't see any blue markers pointing me the correct way so I call that one a draw. Even if there were markers or a map that was in any way helpful this wasn't the best trail but it did have some redeeming qualities.
The Jarrah forest wasn't too bad considering it was former logging and mining land and Blue Rock would be nice if it hadn't been vandalised as much as it had. The trail bikes were just the icing on the cake. Hopefully the trail gets an upgrade soon but given there is no money for trails anymore and maintenance is usually done by volunteers I wouldn't expect this trail to get any better in the near future.
If you do decide to visit this trail please make sure you and your four legged friend stay off the fragile moss as it does not easily recover, if it does at all. Every little bit helps and the more people that know, the better.
Be sure to tag any Blue Rock Walk photos with #thelifeofpy and if you enjoyed this hike then feel free to share this page on Facebook with your friends.