Start Point: End of Cathedral Ave, Brigadoon
Distance: 1.5km Riverwalk Trail & 3km Goat Trail
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
If you’re looking for a short loop trail that gets the blood pumping whilst offering spectacular scenery – Bells Rapids is the one for you!
Bells Rapids is a great beginner trail and is both family friendly and dog friendly! This hike provides spectacular scenery with views over the Darling Scarp, Swan Coastal Plain and into Walyunga National Park. In Winter the lush green grassy riverbanks and rocky rapids are a superb spot to stop for a picnic to take it all in.
This 4.5Km loop trail commences at the end of Cathedral Ave and is made by linking the 1.5Km Riverwalk Trail & 3Km Goat Trail. The official start point is just after you cross the bridge over the Swan River which is the perfect place to stop and admire the fierce waters churning during the Winter months. From here you can turn left for the gentle Riverwalk Trail or head right to tackle the steep but rewarding Goat Trail (which we highly recommend).
The Goat Trail isn’t well marked in places so you’ll have to trust your instincts a little. As you hit the fence line, turn left and go uphill. This is your first climb for the day, and although it is’t a long climb the gradient will sure get the blood pumping! Luckily there are great views over the valley and across to the trail line that are worth stopping for (to catch your breath). At the top of the hill, turn left and follow the fence line as the trail briefly descends before leading you in to another great climb.
There are many fantastic vantage points along this section of the trail to stop and admire the superb valley views. Majestic boulders and granite outcrops are another great feature of this hike including the famous ‘Buttock Boulder’! The descent can be a little tricky and slippery in areas so make use of the ruts on either side of the trail to give you extra grip. At the bottom of the hill the Goat Walk trail links back with the River Walk trail and taking a left will lead you past the rapids and alongside the Swan River back to the bridge.
Bells Rapid, is situated at the edge of the Darling Range near Brigadoon, and is best known as a viewing spot during the Avon Descent. In late winter when the river is roaring the white water is a very popular attraction. In the drier months the rapids almost disappear, leaving behind an intricate path of glimmering rock, drift wood and calm pools.