Crooked Brook Forest
Directions - To reach Crooked Brook Forest from the centre of Boyanup, head east along Boyanup-Picton Road until you reach Dillon Road. Turn right and at Twomey Road, turn left then an immediate right at Crooked Brook Road. Follow this all the way to Boyanup-Ferguson Road where you'll see signs for Crooked Brook Forest. I started at the main car park, that is a short drive down Boyanup-Ferguson Road.
The Hike - Crooked Brook Forest is a place that I had first visited in June 2016, and while I enjoyed the hike, I don't think I fully appreciated how special this location is, especially in the spring time. Having made my return in 2021 as I rode through on the Munda Biddi Trail, the volume and variety of wildflowers in late August prompted me to consider a return during the wildflower spectacle months of September or October, and really capture the magic of this bit of Western Australia.
Fast forward to a whirlwind road trip in the South West to cover trails for my new guidebook (click here to order your copy), and the 9.5km Marri Trail in Crooked Brook Forest was my last stop before heading home. Having covered a lot of trails in four days, I was looking forward to meandering around the forest here and just seeing how many different types of wildflowers and orchids I could see. With plenty of great finds already in the books (or camera memory card), this was going to be the cherry on top if I found something super cool, like a different kind of Spider Orchid or other unique orchid. Driving from my last stop in Balingup to shoot the Golden Valley Tree Park with new spring foliage, I grabbed some lunch in Boyanup before driving out to start this hike. Last time I started closer to Crooked Brook Road, at the first car park you come across but this time I decided the main car park would be more fitting.
Given there is a proper trail head here, more parking and a series of information boards, it only seemed logical to correct previous Mark and the decision he made in 2016. Being mid afternoon on a Monday, I wasn't expecting to see too many people but it was still school holidays, so you never know. The car park was almost full, which is a good sign as it meant plenty of people were enjoying a glorious day out in nature. Gathering my gear, reapplying sunscreen and making sure I had a spare camera battery, I eventually meandered past the playground and towards the first information gazebo. There are several walk trails in Crooked Brook Forest, with the shorter Wildflower Walk, Jarrah Walk and Forest Walk all located around this main car park. The longer Marri Trail is what I was here to do and would incorporate some of these trails but also provide a fuller experience through the surrounding forests.