Schipp Road Walk
Kalamunda National Park
Directions - Located just outside of the centre of Kalamunda, take Mundaring Weir Rd towards Mundaring and just after Jorgensen Park take the left turn onto Hummerston Rd. Follow this down the hill until you reach the intersection with Schipp Rd. Turn left onto the gravel road and follow this all the way to the end.
The Hike - With the last couple of year's adventures taking me away from exploring and hiking the Perth Hills, I make a point of trying to head out when I can to enjoy a hike in the place I call home. With a free morning on the schedule and some recent rains I decided that it was time to tackle another of the Shire of Kalamunda walks that we recently discussed on Real Trail Talk. Late July/early August usually heralds the start of the wildflower season and with a sunny week just gone, I was excited to see what was flowering along the Piesse Gully Valley and up on the hills. With a bit of overnight weather clearing up by sunrise, it was a warm and humid winters morning that greeted me as I drove into the hills.
The famous Perth Hills fog was rolling through the valley as I arrived at the start point at the end of Schipp Road and my first view of the Wandoo lined trail had me thinking this was going to be a fantastic morning. With the Schipp Road Walk utilising a part of the Bibbulmun Track I had hiked plenty of times before, I was keen to see what the linking trail that took in the Piesse Gully Valley and also the hills above looked like. With the early morning fog I decided that an anti-clockwise direction would be best with a quick side trip to Rocky Pool to finally capture some long exposure shots of the rapids that for some reason I'd never taken the time to come out and shoot. With all my camera equipment in my bag I set off along Schipp Road, now a bike and walk friendly track, through the forest and along Piesse Gully. Immediately you are transported into a world a Wandoo, Jarrah, wildflowers and the sound of rushing water. Early on I spotted some yellow flag, purple peas, foxtail and many more that I don't yet have the knowledge to name.
The fog added a moody element to the hike and the wide 4x4 track allowed me to fully appreciate what was a very mature looking forest. Along the trail you'll come across various information boards pointing out a specific reference like the trees, Piesse Gully or the granite boulders that feature quite heavily in this area. The information boards are part of the Piesse Gully Interpretive Trail that is a more family friendly (i.e flat) option taking you along Schipp Road to Rocky Pool and back. Some day I might come back and do the hike at sunset to mix it up and write up the trail for the website but for now I was enjoying the conditions I had this morning. With the sun slowly rising, the hills to the west were beginning to light up with a golden glow. The contrast of golden hills and a still misty valley was very enjoyable and I was hoping that the sun wouldn't rise too quickly as I wanted the valley to stay this way for a while longer.