Rocky Pool Walk Trail
Kalamunda National Park
30th April 2016
Autumn to Spring
Directions - The Rocky Pool Walk Trail can be located by heading to the car park at the end of Spring St, just out of Kalamunda. There is no information board but the trail runs along vehicle tracks for the most part and has a few trail markers so you don't get lost.
The Hike - With a couple of friends wanting me to take them on a short hike, I decided that it would be a good idea to kill two birds with one stone and explore a new trail while I was at it. Now the only question was what trail to do that would be a combination of the right length, interesting enough to new hikers and relatively close to home. After being inspired by Nature Mondays recent trip out to Rocky Pool, I decided to see what was what and ventured out there. A much later start than usual beckoned and we were at the starting point by 8am ready for a casual stroll through the Kalamunda bushland. The start area is very familiar as the finish to a there and back trek on the Bibbulmun Track requires one last slog up Spring Rd and I knew the start area was close to a section of the track.
To start with though we headed in a clockwise direction, following light blue markers, along a narrow 4x4 track. The first short hill gets the lungs expanded and the blood pumping before settling down into some gentler downhill sections complete with early morning views towards the Helena River Valley. A family of black cockatoos interrupted the morning silence with their deafening commotion but all was soon forgotten as the climbing began again. Among the tall timber of a forest dampening up after a long, dry summer, the air was fresh as the gentle climb progressed. Before long we were at the top of the 4x4 track and making a couple of turns to head east (motoring fans will notice the trail looks very similar to a mirrored image of Monza). Having read the Nature Monday blog post before heading out I knew it contained some tricky downhill slopes but expected something similar to the short sections on the Lion's Lookout hike.
What we found were two fairly steep inclines on 4x4 tracks littered with loose rocks and muddy patches. The first descent averages about an 18% gradient down over 400m before levelling out for a while. There is a section of exposed granite here where you can rock hop and admire the stunning views east towards the power lines (and hills). When you are ready the final 300m descent is just as steep as the first one but you are well practised by now and it should be a breeze. At the bottom of the hill the markers direct you into the bush where the path just disappears .I don't think this is the official track but with a bit of bush bashing you soon arrive at a 4x4 track and can head off in the right direction (south-east and then south). A short walk down the Lower Helena Bridal Trail (didn't see any brides unfortunately) and you reach the namesake of the trail, Rocky Pool.