If you're looking for a trail within the local Perth area head to Bayswater, just 7kms east of the CBD. The Baigup Wetland provides a leisurely 2km trail with no steps and a flat even surface. There’s lots of amenities available at this Reserve and you can even bring your dog.
Also close to Perth is the Reabold Hill Summit Boardwalk in Bold Park, Floreat. This wheelchair accessible, 200m long boardwalk offers multiple viewing areas and loads of interpretive signage highlighting points of interest. Dogs are welcome here too.
Kuljak Island Walk in Ascot is another option for a short outing. Located on the Swan River the island is home to many bird species including Black Swans from which the island gets its name. The 2.6km loop circumnavigates the island with a large picnic area in the centre. It’s important to note that there are no toilet facilities on the island and, like most dog friendly trails, your furred-friend needs to be on a leash.
Not far away is the John George Trail, one of Perth’s most scenic trails that’s highly suitable for wheelchair users. Weaving along the banks of the Swan River, this 5.5km trail boasts a variety of wildlife and views with multiple rest stops along the way. If you access this trail from the Woodbridge Riverside Park you’ll find The Play Space which has loads of extremely accessible amenities. And, yes, dogs are welcome here too.
Heading south from Perth you’ll find the Penguin Island Boardwalk and you can access the island via a 5-minute ferry ride from Rockingham Wild Encounters. You’ll get a map to help you discover the island’s flora and fauna and if you drop into the Discovery Centre at specific times of the day you can watch the penguins being fed. The island is a bird sanctuary so you’ll need to leave your pooch at home for this outing.
Two hours south of Perth is the Arklow Adaptive Trail in Collie. Rated under the Australian Adaptive MTB guidelines as ‘Highly Accessible’ this 9km loop provides a beautiful bush setting in which to get your wheels turning. With a gentle gradient and smooth surface that’s relatively free of obstacles, this trail is highly popular. Avoid the summer months as it gets quite hot and always take drinking water as none is available along this trial.
Also in Collie is the Karak Trail which is a 3.6km bitumen path that winds through areas of native trees. This is not a loop trail so allow enough time for returning to your starting point. Best time to visit is during the wildflower season (Sept-Nov) when you can enjoy the native flora in full bloom.
If you’re travelling north of Perth, along the coast, you're likely to be stopping off at Kalbarri. The Natural Bridge to Island Rock trail is a 1.8km wheelchair accessible loop that’s easy to traverse. With a flat even surface, no steps and toilet facilities for disabled visitors, this trail offers stunning views out over the ocean and across the red-banded cliffs surrounding Kalbarri. If you’re there between June and November you may even spot migrating whales off the coast so bring your binoculars.
Whichever trail you choose, always bring enough drinking water and for any of the trails allowing dogs, we recommend keeping them on a lead.
For a full list of accessible trails - click here.
Written by: Serena Kirby