Castle Rock is definitely one intriguing trail and a real treasure Off The Beaten Track!
This 4.4km/2hr relatively steep return trail in the Porongurup National Park will take you through dense karri, yate, jarrah and marri forest. The first half of the ascent is particularly dense, so you don’t realise how high you are climbing (your legs may have some indication though). But then the trail starts to open up a bit with moss covered granite outcrops and boulders aplenty. The trail itself also starts to feature more rock steps and the gradient becomes a little steeper. It isn’t long until you will find yourself staring at Balancing Rock – a mysterious wonder and incredible sight!
The highlight of this trail is the tricky scramble up to the Granite Skywalk. You will need to be quite agile to make the climb over rocks, through a crevice and up the 7 metre ladder (especially with the force of the strong winds). But if you can manage the scramble, the views of the undulating farmland towards Albany and Mt Gardner and Mt Manypeaks to the south-east are truly remarkable.
The Granite Skywalk itself is a suspended walkway that spirals around giant granite boulders and is a real engineering marvel as it clings to a vertical rock face at the summit of Castle Rock. There is a secondary lookout on this trail – Karri Lookout, however the views from the Granite Skywalk are far better.
The combination of the steep hike through gorgeous dense karri forest, the exhilaration of the climb up to the Granite Skywalk and the unparalleled views from the summit make the Castle Rock Granite Skywalk a very unique and intriguing experience Off The Beaten Track!