Mount Brown Walk Trail
Directions - York is an hour and twenty minutes from Perth and the long version of this walk starts at the Avon River Suspension Bridge. From the centre of town take Glebe St and then Lowe St with plenty of parking along the river. The bridge is at the northern end of the park.
The Hike - After a fantastic hike at Mokine Nature Reserve in the morning, I drove to the sight of my second adventure for the day in the historic town of York. I had seen a few photos over the years from the Mount Brown Lookout so decided to add a visit here to see what was what. Finding out there was a longer walk trail you could take from town all the way to the summit was intriguing but the only information I could find was the brochure from the Shire of York website. Big on written notes but not containing even a small map, I was hoping the app that is mentioned had more information but sadly it's just a basic map of the town centre with historic sites to click on as you walk around. After a hearty lunch at the Flourmill Cafe (highly recommended), I went to the Visitor Centre to see if I could get more info on the walk but I was just handed the same brochure I downloaded online.
With no option but to decipher the somewhat confusing trail notes, I made my way to the park on the edge of the Avon River to begin the longer version of this walk from the suspension bridge. There is a shorter version where you park at the base of Mount Brown but I know of a certain person who always says that The Long Way's Better. I love a good suspension bridge and this one is a good example so with all my tracking apps on and camera ready I started the walk. A group of three guys were busy taking a million selfies in the middle of the bridge so I squeezed past after taking a few photos myself of the views looking up and down the river. Having the walk start near the middle of town gives you the chance to see a few more elements you wouldn't see by driving straight to Mount Brown and also sets up a connection between the trails and the main part of town. Passing the Holy Trinity Church on your left, this first stretch as you head up to the base of the hill is full of old world charm and exactly what you'd expect from a small country town. With Mount Brown framed in the distance, you continue along Pool St all the way to the end before taking a sharp left onto Herbert Rd and head past the dead centre of town (the cemetery). While this portion of the walk is not the best as you walk along empty blocks and past people's houses, it's nice to see the summit of Mount Brown from this point of view.
Turning right onto Steere Rd, this is the road leading all the way to the summit if you're driving but the walk trail takes you along the gravel 4x4 track to the left of the Mount Brown Reserve sign. Excited to get stuck into the nature part of the walk, I was expecting the trail to run almost parallel to the road and head up the hill that way but after re-reading the notes on the brochure and checking that against Google Maps, it was clear that you headed away from the summit along the base of the hill. The 4x4 track initially takes you through some scrappy looking undergrowth (can't name the tree but maybe in the Casurina family) before the views to the north start to open up. The big feature as I drove into York was seeing Mount Bakewell and after initially thinking this was Mount Brown (I quickly realised it wasn't), I soon wondered if there were any trails leading up there. Sadly there is not but the Shire of York commissioned a Trails Survey recently that suggests that it could be used as a location in the future. From this part of the trail Mount Bakewell is the main feature off in the distance, along with the farmland to the east. The farmland views are pretty idyllic this time of year so I can see why the trail comes this way instead of a more direct route.