Lions Forest Walk Trail
Directions - From the centre of Donnybrook, head south on Fleet St from South Western Hwy then left onto Trigwell Street East then right onto Victoria Parade. Park in the cemetery car park and the trail head is on the very left hand side (look for the info board).
The Hike - With battery charging issues hampering my planned week long trip I decided to end it early and save the remaining hikes for 2017 when I will have plenty of time to enjoy them. Stopping off at my parents for a couple of nights before heading back to Perth I decided I would check out what Donnybrook had to offer hikers as it is only a 30 minute drive from the bustling city of Bunbury. A quick Google search found the local shire website detailing three hikes within a short drive of the town centre so the following morning I headed out there to see what they were about.
Having visited Donnybrook a few times before, it is a town I enjoy mainly because I like that the town identity is associated with the apple. Passing a few local bakeries on the drive to the first hike I vowed I would stop for lunch and sample a variety of yummy goodness. My first hike of the day was the Lions Forest Walk Trail, named after the charitable Lions Club, not the man eating African cat. The starting point was ominously located next to the town cemetery but wasn't immediately obvious when I arrived. I must have looked strange as the only person there wandering around the cemetery in my hiking gear looking for an information board of any kind. Having walked a loop around the cemetery I located a trail marker on the western edge and followed it back to the start of the trail. The information board for all those playing at home is located to the left of the cemetery and near the group of houses. The trail is quite new based the condition of the information board and it tells you a little about the walk and what to look out for. Being spring and having already sighted several large pockets of kangaroo paws, I was looking forward to a nice forest walk with plenty of wildflowers.
Walking along the edge of a housing estate, an enthusiastic dog was giving me a loud welcome but quickly gave up once I had passed and reached the wooden arch that leads into the woods. The start of the walk is quite nice with familiar Jarrah forest mixed with a dense thicket of ferns and a large number of kangaroo paws. There is no escaping the fact you can see into people's backyards if you look left but I kept my gaze on the trail or trying to spot wildflowers, of which there were many varieties and colours. The first little bit is a climb up to the lookout but is more of a gentle slope. The information board promised extensive views over the town site but when I reached the top I was couldn't see much as the trees were covering the top of the hill. If there is a proper lookout then it isn't well signed as I doubled back thinking that I must have missed it but couldn't find anything. Moving on I soon came to a fork in the trail with no trail marker telling me which 4x4 track to take. The map indicates that the trail continues on but it would be nice to have a trail marker there just to confirm (a common problem on this trail). Just around the corner and unseen from the fork there is a trail marker on the side of the trail, making me think why they didn't just move it 100m and clear up any confusion. I came across the same problem further on when the landscape turned into orange gravel and there were several paths that could be taken.
Again a trail marker appeared later on with no real reason why it couldn’t have been moved to a more app