Just on the edge of the small town of Narrogin, just over 2 hours south east of Perth lies the Foxes Lair. This 68-hectare reserve does not get its name from the introduced pest, but in fact came about from a celebration held in the reserve during a 1946 APEX Convention. Over the years the reserve has undergone its fair share of highs and lows, until in 1999 the Friends of Foxes Lair group was formed. The group created the first management plan for the reserve and worked at creating picnic areas and walking trails, clearing rubbish and regenerating areas in need. You can find out more about the fascinating history of Foxes Lair here.
Today, there are five fantastic walk trails in the reserve, which boast an incredible amount of native flora and fauna. There are over 240 species of wildflowers in the area too, from delicate Cowslip and Spider orchids, to electric blue clusters of dampiera and red leschenaultia. If you happen to be a bit of a twitcher, then this is a great place to explore and bring your binoculars. You'll find a huge array of exquisite birdlife, from colourful parrots and robins to the very vocal Carnaby's and Red-Tail Black Cockatoo's and the eccentric looking Rainbow Bee-Eater: if you hear something that sounds like a miniature drone - that's them!
Finally, keep an eye out for echidna's, bobtails and racehorse goanna's who are all active in the reserve. Dogs are welcome, but please keep them on leash at all times, stick to the paths to avoid snakes and ticks in the hotter months. These trails are also open to bicycles, but gravel/ mountain bikes are recommended as the trails are not sealed and some have stairs.
Breakaway Trail | .3km | Grade 2
This short trail is a gentle stroll to a large breakaway with a view of the Narrogin valley. This is a good one for bird watching and if you go early you may see some kangaroos.
Banksia Trail | 1.9km | Grade 2
An easy walk amongst native wildflowers. The trail passes by foundations of one-room cottages, which were built in the 1920's for workers constructing the adjoining Bottle Creek Dam.
Granite Trail | 1.6km | Grade 2
This circuit trail takes you alongside the Narrogin Arboretum before looping back via the remnants of the historic rifle range and then rock outcrops of the overlooking hill. This is a great one for the whole family, with a pleasant picnic area near the start marked with two impressively large boulders.
Valley Loop | 1.4km | Grade 2
This trail is an easy gentle descent to a shady sheoak valley. Keep your eyes out for the delicate orchids which are abundant on this trail in the springtime. Much of this trail is shared with cyclists so please be mindful and cyclists - give way to walkers.
Claypit Circuit | 1.9km | Grade 3
This hilly loop trail features a lookout glimpse of Narrogin and some wildflowers not found on the other Foxes Lair trails. The Trail starts and finishes at the popular Claypit Picnic area which has two seasonal tadpole-filled ponds to entertain the kiddies.
The Foxes Lair website has plenty of great information on the reserves facilities, trails and more, including very informative guides on what native flora and fauna you might be lucky enough to see. Discover more at https://www.foxeslair.org. You can also find them here on insta, and here on Facebook.
All images courtesy of Doug Sawkins, Friends of Foxes Lair.