Karri Lake Trail
Directions - From the centre of Quinninup, head north along Wheatley Coast Rd until you see a small car park on the right hand side just after the turn for Karri Lane.
The Hike - After tackling the 16km Greenbushes hike the next destination was the small hamlet of Quinninup, a quiet country town south of Manjimup and just off the South West Highway. The 16km Greenbushes Loop took it's toll on my girlfriend and we spent the next day lounging around the old timber cottage we were staying in watching old movies on VHS and took an exploratory trip to Pemberton. The following day we were back in action and went exploring the Quinninup area.
Quinninup is a former timber town that is now a quiet holiday town with a recently rebuilt tavern and Eco Tourist Park. The town will be known to mountain bikers as the Munda Biddi Trail runs right through the centre but hikers might not be familiar with the area. The majority of the inhabitants live around Karri Lake, which along with being a postcard perfect location also doubles as the town's water supply. There are four small hikes around Quinninup (I only found out about the fourth on the day I left) and we started with the Karri Lake Trail, a fantastic little hike around the edge of the lake and through some older forest. The start point for the trail is a small gravel car-park just north of the volunteer fire station on Wheatley Coast Rd. Being a loop you can go either way around the lake but we chose the head north into the undergrowth and were instantly greeted with some moist, mossy forest that I love to hike through. The trail is well marked, clean and very flat so can be tackled by everyone from the kids to the grandparents.
The first look of the lake you will get is looking back at the dam wall (above) and you will get to see it a lot as you dip and dive through the greenery of the forest floor. The northern side of the lake is untouched forest and provides some of the best sections of the trail with multiple opportunities to get panoramic shots of the open lake. As you reach the 1km mark the trail makes a turn south and you get to see some of the holiday homes/local homes that surround the lake. Most are on stilts due to the changing size of the lake and have that American Holiday Camp style to them that makes me think they would be a lot of fun in the summer. Unfortunately the lake is off limits to humans as it doubles as the town's water supply but you could still enjoy the views. If you are interested it looked like about half of them were up for sale and my girlfriend and I had a lengthy what-if scenario about one place for sale where we both worked from home and lived peacefully by the lake.