Start Point: Walyunga National Park
Distance: 10 kms
Duration: 3 hours
The Echidna trail in Walyunga National Park is a gorgeous 10km/3hr loop that definitely gets the blood pumping!
Following the black footprint trail markers, the Echidna trail starts off by following the scenic Avon River to Syd’s Rapids. The sound of the water crashing past the rocks is something I could sit and listen to for hours, but this was hiking day, so off I went to challenge the first of the many rocky ascents of Echidna! It doesn’t take long before your legs start to feel the effects of the Walyunga hills. The steep gravel track leads you to a great vantage point where the views of the Avon Valley can be admired. Across the valley and at the base of the rolling hills is the Eastern Railway, if you’re lucky, you will see (and hear) the train go by, and maybe even spot a wild goat or two grazing amongst the hills.
As the ascent continues the trail begins to open up, the colourful flowering shrubs increase as do the rocky outcrops and friendly kangaroos. At around the half way point there is a perfectly situated granite outcrop that overlooks the valley – an ideal spot to take a break and enjoy the surrounding beauty of Walyunga!
Not too far up the trail from here is Woodsome Hill, the highest point of this trail at 250m elevation. Woodsome Hill is landmarked by a tower that is off bounds to the public, yet if accessible would provide glorious 360 degree views. However, this trail certainly does reward hikers with some awesome views of the Swan Valley and Swan Coastal Plain towards the West. The last section of this hike takes you downhill on a windy path through shrublands and a sea of colour in late Winter/Early Spring, with wildflowers certainly being a huge drawcard of this hike.
The Echidna trail is awfully deceiving! When you start your trek there is very little evidence of the hills that provide such a great scenic challenge. Spending a few hrs in nature is always a rewarding experiencing but when you get to witness the special bond between a joey and its mother, as I did on this trail, you really do appreciate how amazing hiking is. Thank you Walyunga for another awesome experience Off The Beaten Track!