Jarrahdale Railway Heritage trail

I can not recommend this ride as a typical "Follow My Ride" trail ride.

To get the full ride gpx or the ride route summary, select the "Route Sheets" tab above, and click on the download buttons for each.

I had heard a little about this ride, but was not getting good info on exactly how long the Trail was, what it was like to ride etc. So on a cool Spring day I decided to find out.

Here is a short video of what you can expect on the ride:

In 1871, the Rockingham Jarrah Company was granted a lease of 250,000 acres of jarrah forest in the Darling Range. In 1872, the company built a sawmill in Jarrahdale, a jetty at Rockingham for loading the timber onto ships for export, and a railway line to connect them. The Jarrahdale to Rockingham train line was the second rail line in the colony and initially had wooden rails and a locomotive that averaged 20km/hour. The wooden rails were replaced with iron from 1878 - 1882, and they lasted till 1950. Jarrahdalewas  the state's first major timber milling operation, and it played a key role in the development of W.A. through the exportation of jarrah around the world. In 1872, 8220 people leaved in Perth, and over 300 lived and worked in Jarrahdale. Between 1893 and 1899, four new mills were built in the bush around Jarrahdale and they were serviced by a network of temporary rail lines, some of which are now the Munda Biddi Trail.

The Mundijong to Rockingham line was in use till 1950. From then,  timber was carried on the WA Government Railway line from Mundijong to Perth. The Jarrahdale line finally closed in 1962 when the new heavy haul bauxite railway was built.

I got dropped at the trailhead at the corner of Nettleton and Jarrahdale roads. The notice board had some good info, but even that said the Trail was only 4 km long. The single track trail from the trailhead soon joins the train line. There was initially a good gravel track that followed the train line, and I chose to ride that because all the rail items were still in place- rails, sleepers and lists of ballast (large stones). The track is far more undulating, and at times you are below the train line and other times below it.

After 3.4 km, I crossed Jubb Road (unmarked). The train line looked like the better option, as the track was definitely much more up and down, and it was now fairly rough. But 50 meters of riding down the sleepers had me trying the ballast next to the train lines. That was still too hard, so the rough track was the best option. All the hills were rideable unloaded, but could be tough with luggage.

The Trail often has sweeping views off the Scarp and can be very scenic in parts. I saw a small party of walkers and, unfortunately, a pack of 4-5 unlicensed off road bikes who were doing their best to tear up the Trail.

At the 6.5 km I could see the de constructed bridge across the South West Highway. Cross here with caution- the traffic on the highway is doing 90-110km/hr.

The next section was very sandy, and often unrideable. But it was only about 1 km to Watkins road (an unmarked sealed road). The train line continues along to the South of Mundijong, but I decided to follow Watkins road by the more direct route into Mundijong. There is a footpath along Watkins road, although it does swap sides of the road, and in some parts it was very windy as it weaved through the trees. By the time I got to Mundijong, this ride was just under 10 km. I stopped there at the train station, and used the public toilets, got some food at the shops and  then got picked up for the ride home.

From Mundijong to the Freeway (and a cycleway to Perth) is about 15km ride, most of it along Mundijong rd (continues on from Watkins Rd). But It is a road with mainly 90km/hr speeds and not much room for cyclists, so try to avoid it unless you really need to get to the Freeway.

This page is the property of Follow My Ride, a website detailing off road cycle tracks near Perth and in Western Australia. This page is on the Jarrahdale Railway Heritage trail.