King JArrah Walk Trail
Lane Poole Reserve

Nanga Mill

17.8km (Loop)

439M

4-7 Hours

Directions - Take the road to Dwellingup and turn right onto Nanga Rd. Take this all the way to the Nanga Mill Campsite turn-off (past the Lane Poole Reserve entry). The trail starts at the big info sign on the edge of the forest at Nanga Mill.

The Hike - Almost six years to the day, I have returned to the King Jarrah Walk Trail to redo one of my earliest posts and give it a proper showcase. This has been long overdue as the original page that dates back to the old black background days didn't really show what the trail was like despite a couple of makeovers and re-editing of pictures over the years (you can view the last version of it here).

2021 Update - I have received advice from DBCA that this hike has been reviewed and is no longer safe for dogs due to the risk of 1080 baits in the area.  

The reason this is so late compared with other pages that have had fresh photos is mainly due to the bushfire that ripped through this area in 2015. I wanted to give the area time to recover and so here we are in 2020 with a new post from an area that is getting significant trail development over the next few years. As you can see by the length of this post, I had plenty of fun taking hundreds of photos (took over 950 and edited up 213 into final jpegs) and there was so much detail to explore that I wanted to be able to capture it all. This wasn't the first time in 2020 that I had planned to do this trail with a drive out here in April during the regional travel restrictions proving fruitless. Dwellingup was on the edge of the Perth/Peel region and I had read that Lane Poole Reserve was still open (it was) but unfortunately they had fenced off the Nanga Mill Campsite where this trail begins, so I ended up walking the section of the Bibbulmun Track leading south from Dwellingup. Looking back, I think this was a good thing as the visit you see here is a really good time of year for the Jarrah Forest with a crossover between fungi and wildflower season.

 

Let's get started then. After a sleep-in and cooked breakfast, an unusual thing for me as I love an early start on the trail, I headed out to Dwellingup and was soon at the Nanga Mill Campsite ready to begin. There were plenty of people at the campsite and I was happy to see the additions that were being built on my original visit were now complete and being used. The old wooden King Jarrah sign has been replaced with a modern information board highlighting the other walks in the area that I will have to return and complete on another day. I remember the first part of this walk being pretty brutal in terms of elevation gain straight off the bat and sure enough, the climbing started almost straight away. After initially clearing a small section of pine trees, you head into the natural Jarrah as you ascend up into the hills that this area is famous for. With my new Nikon D7500 ready to capture anything I saw, I was happy with some early finds that included a Western Yellow Robin, plenty of wattle, a Blue Squill and some late season fungi. 

A smile came to my face as I saw one of the old track markers on a tree as for the longest time an image of one of these markers was the one I used to represent every page on Facebook. I think I found the original marker I used although it appears to have been moved to a different angle. For over a kilometre you are climbing and at times the gradient gets to 25% but eventually you reach the highest point of the hike at 328m ASL (you started at 190m). This part seems to have escaped the 2015 fires with a pleasant soft grey appearance to most of the Jarrah, something that fills my heart with joy as I love the texture and colour of unburnt Jarrah. A large number of Balgas line the trail as you ascend but as the hill plateaus out, they start becoming more infrequent. I noticed a lot of gum nuts falling from a nearby Marri tree and was pleasantly surprised to see a Black Cockatoo having a good munch up in the canopy. Normally you hear these cheeky birds long before you see them but this one was quite content to carry on feeding and wasn't bothered by my passing. He was well hidden in the canopy and with grey skies, the photo wasn't worth posting. As the trail flattened out and then started to descend slightly, I was thoroughly enjoying my time in the Jarrah Forest.

I think WA has been pretty lucky to have region travel allowed and with such a diverse state, you could easily spend a few years exploring different parts of the state and not get bored. I'm nowhere near through the places I'd like to visit in WA and have collected many a great adventure over the years as shown by the content on the website. The Jarrah Forest is one of my favourite places to explore as up here it really does feel like you're away from it all. With perfect lighting thanks to the cloudy conditions I slowly made my way along the trail, scanning the forest floor for anything that caught my eye. Luckily there was plenty to see thanks to a variety of fungi, mosses, lichens, wildflowers and different varieties of plants. What is shown in the galleries is about two thirds of the photos I edited up, there was so much more I wanted to include but didn't have the room for. My posts are already long winded enough so adding another few galleries would have meant a very long read (if you are one of the select few that do read everything).