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Harewood Forest Walk Denmark

Harewood Forest Walk


Directions - From the centre of Denmark find Horsley Road and take this north until the roundabout. Turn right onto Scotsdale Road and follow this all the way to the start of the walk where you'll find a little car park and noticeable signs for Harewood Forest.


The Hike - The Harewood Forest Walk, located just north of Denmark was always a nice meander through the forest, but had potential to be a much better one. Thankfully someone else thought so, and the powers that be invested some money to convert the slightly muddy one way trail along Scotsdale Brook into a longer loop through the Karri Forest. With the website showing the old alignment, it was about time to update it and show why this area is worth visiting if you're in and around Denmark.

This visit was actually the second time walking the full loop, but the first time was in March when it was a bit dry and sunny, so the photos didn't look amazing. Returning in spring of 2023, it was forecast to be a very cold and wet day, so I decided to take in some of the forest walks near town. It's not often in WA that you get the opportunity to hike in a thick jacket and beanie, without having to jettison them after a few hundred metres. Stepping out of my car, the chill to the air brought a smile to my face, knowing I could meander around the stunning Karri Forest, taking my time to photograph all the little details, along with the wide views of the majestic trees reaching towards the sky. Crossing the metal bridge over Scotsdale Brook, I decided to tackle the loop by following the trail parallel to the water, walking the old alignment first. With excellent lighting, the Karri Forest was looking a treat, mixed in with the bright green Sword Grass and gnarly bark of the Karri She-Oak. Improvements have been made along this section, with boardwalk extended over some muddy areas, and the interpretive signage about colonial and logging history of the area remaining (a big no thanks from me). 

Reaching the picnic table that used to signify the turnaround point of the old trail, I noticed that the little trail leading down to Scotsdale Brook had been blocked off. Starting the new loop section, you climb up the hill and into the thicker part of the Karri Forest via a series of switchbacks. The Karri Forest usually isn't known for a profuse display of wildflowers given the dense undergrowth that is constantly peppered with falling bark, along with the expansive canopy reducing the light that gets through. That being said, there were still some cool finds including Holly Flame Pea, Karri Oak and Cutleaf Hibbertia. Reaching the top of the climb, a set of stone stairs winds around one final corner. The reward for the climb is getting to look across at all the trunks of the Karri trees, and listening to the bird song all around. Now you get to relax a bit and descend down towards the start, surrounded by some of the best forest of the entire loop. It was an absolute pleasure to slow down and treasure the sights and sounds of Harewood Forest, spotting plenty of fungi, and a few wildflowers, before arriving back at the start. 

Final Thoughts - While the Harewood Forest Walk was always a nice trail that provided access to the lush Karri Forest north of Denmark, it had the feeling that perhaps a better trail could exist. 

With the recent upgrades, this is a much better trail experience that allows visitors a more fulfilling connection with the Karri Forest, and why areas like this need to be protected.

A worthwhile way to spend an hour if you're holidaying in Denmark, combined with a visit to Harewood Winery or Duckett's Mill, this just adds another bow to the attractions around the relaxed coastal town on the South Coast of Western Australia. 

Be sure to tag any Harewood Forest photos on Instagram with #thelifeofpy and if you enjoyed this hike then feel free to share this page on Facebook with your friends.

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