Munday Brook Walk Trail
Korung National Park
18th March 2017
Autumn to Spring
Directions - Located in the beautiful Canning Mills section of the Perth Hills, get yourself onto Canning Rd and locate the turnoff at Rokewood Rd. The trail starts on the north side of the football oval but parking might be at a premium on Saturdays and Sunday during the footy season.
The Hike - With a very mild start to 2017 and record rains in February, Perth has barely felt the effects of a usually dry summer. This of course means that there is the occasional opportunity to sneak out and get some kilometres under the belt when the right conditions come along. Early March presented such an opportunity with temperatures in the high teens and a rainy forecast (my favourite conditions). I luckily had a few hours free in the morning before a pilates class so opened up my "to-hike" list and scoured potential hikes for a suitable candidate. One resource that I always find handy for a short hike is the Shire of Kalamunda website and I still have a few of their hikes that I haven't done yet.
Feeling like a long, gentle walk in the forest was what I needed in the gloomy conditions that were forecast, I selected the 10km Munday Brook Walk and set my alarm for Saturday morning. Having hiked along Munday Brook before on the Victoria Reservoir Trail and Kattamordo Heritage Trail, I was keen to see what it was like before it empties into Victoria Dam. The start of the trail is very easy to find, park on the north side of the football oval off Saunders Rd and look for the Shire of Kalamunda sign. The dark clouds had arrived in the hills when I started, making it feel like the dead of winter, so I headed into the forest with a smile on my face. As with all of the Shire of Kalamunda walks, there is a map and a set of notes to follow with the occasional trail marker to guide you along the way (dark pink for this walk). These are not specialised trails and thus follow 4x4 tracks for their entire duration, something that is not ideal but at least they have been created. The notes and markers are setup for an anti-clockwise undertaking and who I am to argue so I made a right turn to begin another adventure. The path showed signs of trail bike use so I would be keeping my wits about me on this hike just in case.
Some may find this type of trail uninspiring and sometimes I tend to agree but any walk through Jarrah forest is always better than sitting on the couch doing nothing or walking on urban pavements so I was happy to be here. The pea gravel was softer than if this was actually winter so the first uphill section was an exercise of finding firm footing, made harder by the extensive use this section must receive compared to the rest. Still being March I had not expected any colour to appear in the forest but some late summer wildflowers were dotted here and there along the sides of the trail so that made for a pleasant surprise. This section is also where you need to pay the most attention as there are a number of trails that crisscross the main track. The first couple of kilometres are fairly intuitive and trail markers will appear frequently if you are on the right track. About a kilometre in it started to mist up, not heavy enough to have me reaching for the rain jacket and pack cover but wet enough to add a damp smell to the air. The mist also allowed me to catch sight of something I would have to be weary of for the rest of the hike, a giant spider’s web. The first one I saw was in my peripheral vision and well off the track so wasn't a problem. It was probably a good thing too as the resident spider was massive and easily the size of my palm.
I took some photos of the beast and made a note to be aware of webs on the trail going forward. Continuing on I was trying to keep an eye on my GPS and cross reference it to the map/notes but unfortunately the Shire of Kalamunda logo kind of overshadows the section where you are meant to turn. I must have been too busy looking at the vast quantity of dumped rubbish (asbestos included) to check the map against the notes as I walked straight past the 4x4 track that is meant to be the turn-off. Points 4 & 5 of the map are hidden by the logo so I didn't really think much of those tracks until I came to a paved road (Dale Rd). Not seeing an obvious path on the other side of the road I just bush bashed my way through until I found another 4x4 track that headed the direction I needed to be (north). Figuring that the whole trail was on 4x4 tracks I plotted a way back to Munday Brook so I could rejoin the official trail. My detour wasn't the most scenic one as the 4x4 track I was on that ran parallel with Dale Rd was very straight and very uninteresting. I eventually came to the road that I knew would link back up with the trail and waiting there for me was a couple of Korung National Park signs, probably to remind people that this is meant to be pristine bushland and not the local tip as many treat it like.