Skip to Content Skip to Navigation Show Trail Map Show About the Trail Show Important Trail Details Read Trail Reviews
Support Our Trails

York Cycle Rides - The Heron’s Highway

  • 1-3 hours
  • 7 km
    • Mountain Bike Easiest

Follow the flight path of the herons that live beside the Avon River. We can’t make you airborne but there are fabulous views of the two mountains for those who venture furthest!

Built in 1854 and consecrated in 1858, convicts would have worshipped here. The tower and other additions were added between 1891 and 1905. It contains a magnificent Alfred Pease pipe organ and stained glass windows designed by Robert Juniper.
Earn 1 Point

Trail Start

Get directions

Suspension bridge, Avon Park, York. Approximately 100 kilometres and 1 hour plus from Perth.

The York Agricultural Society, who petitioned the British Government to send convicts to WA, held their Annual Show and fair here until the 1890s, when Municipal Gardens were developed. It's now a great spot for a family outing and picnic, with natureplay area, skatepark and BBQs. Photo: / Shire of York

Warning - unstable surface - it swings!
Cyclists dismount. Have fun and a fantastic view of the river as you sashay and sway across! This is a replica of the first suspension bridge erected in 1888 nearer to the current South Street roadbridge. Photo: Karina Leonhardt

Made famous by Janet Millett, wife of the rev. Edward Millett, chaplain at York 1863-1869. Her book 'An Australian Parsonage' gives a lively personal view of life in York during the convict era. Only the Rectory kitchen remains from her day. Photo: Shire of York

Consecrated in 1858, when convicts would have worshipped here. The tower and other additions were added between 1891 and 1905. It contains a magnificent Alfred Pease pipe organ and stained glass windows designed by Robert Juniper. Photo: Debbie Matthews

Turn left into Newcastle Street or you may choose to do the Cemetery loop by going straight ahead into Pool street.

A lovely example of Flemish bond brickwork; alternating headers(ends) and stretchers(long sides) of bricks in patterned rows. Photo:

A mudbrick walled and shingle-roofed cottage built on the land originally allocated to Pensioner Guard John Kairey. Pensioner Guards were granted land for services guarding convicts on the voyage to Australia. Photo:

Turn towards the river and you can meander along the east bank, retracing your steps to either cross at the ford in summertime or continue the Heron's Highway via Newcastle street.

The ancient ford crossing is usually passable in summer from October through to April. Unlevel, unstable path surface (rocky). Cyclists dismount. Take great care if there is water flowing and do not use in winter months or at any time if water is more than ankle deep. Photo: Shire of York

Site of Noongar significance, Bilya means bellybutton - the umbilical cord, source of life. For thousands of years the river was a rich source of food and water for the Ballardong people.
Photo: Karina Leonhardt

A rare example of C19th vernacular commercial architecture, built as a depot for early settler William Marwick's farming and horse drawn haulage business. Photo:

The builder was Pensioner Guard Stephen Hogan, an Irishman from the 17th Regiment, who arrived in 1856. He prospered enough to buy several parcels of land from 1860 onwards and built this fine stone house on one. Photo:

Site of Noongar significance. Named in memory of Candice Bateman, a young Ballardong Noongar teenager who died in a tragic accident in 2001.

To get to the next riverside section of the trail, turn left at Cowan Street. You may also choose to return via Cardwell and Lincoln streets, visiting the cemetery en route.

Site of Noongar significance. One hundred acres of land on the east river bank was the site of the 'Gerald Mission' a short-lived, failed project, led by Wesleyan missionary Rev. Smithies. Photo: National Library of Australia, Trove Newspapers, Perth Gazette, 12/11/1852

Your route takes you along the riverbank and emerges at the corner of Newcastle and Lewis streets, you can turn left for a scenic circular route of the hills or return down Newcastle st.

Walwalying means 'the hill that cries' and is of immense cultural significance to the Ballardong Noongar people. Photo: Gerry Gerard

Site of Noongar significance. A site Regarded by the Ballardong Noongar people as highly culturally significant. 'Wongborel' means 'Sleeping Woman'. Photo: Shire of York

Take a rest at Candice Bateman Memorial Park, then return via Newcastle st. or take the cemetery loop.

High Victorian Gothic at its best! Discover tragic tales amongst the tombstones and some of the most impressive sculptural monuments in W.A. A cemetery walk trail booklet is available from the Visitor Centre at the Town Hall. Photo: Debbie Matthews
Return to the suspension bridge via Mount and Pool sts.
Logo for Leave no Trace Initiative

Trails WA supports the seven principles recommended by Leave No Trace Australia for minimising your impacts when using the trails.

Learn more

A quiet, easy ride suitable for families, both leisure cyclists and mountain bikers on dual use (walkers and cyclists) dirt and gravel riverside tracks and the quiet back roads of York.

Loops of varying distance from 2.6 kilometres to 7 kilometres can be ridden singly or combined. Starting from the suspension bridge in Avon Park, past a cluster of heritage buildings the trail meanders beside the Avon River.  It emerges onto bitumen roads that provide gentle slopes and scenic views of Walwaling (Mt. Bakewell) and Wongborel (Mt. Brown).

Candice Bateman Memorial Park is a great place for a rest stop or picnic with facilities and play equipment. You can take a loop past the York Cemetery with its imposing C19th High Victorian Gothic sculptural monuments or return along Newcastle street to the suspension bridge and Avon Park. 

York is just over an hour’s drive from Perth through beautiful bush and rolling farmland and has several linking walk and cycle trails that you can mix and match to suit yourself.

York Visitor Centre

(08) 9641 1301

Other Links

Be trail ready for York Cycle Rides - The Heron’s Highway

Here is everything you need to know before visiting this trail.

Time / Duration

1-3 hours


Loops of varying distance from 2.6km to 7km

What To Pack

Group A (Urban trails or short trails near facilities) required.

Trail Start

Suspension bridge, Avon Park, York. Approximately 100 kilometres and 1 hour plus from Perth.

Get directions

Trail End

Mountain Bike


Likely to be a fire road or wide single track with a gentle gradient, smooth surface and free of obstacles. Frequent encounters are likely with other cyclists, walkers, runners and horse riders. For beginner/novice cyclists in good health with basic bike skills. Suitable for most bikes.

Difficulty Notes

Cyclists should dismount when crossing the suspension bridge, unstable surface - it swings! There is an optional ford crossing in summer months only (usually passable from October through to April ) where cyclists should dismount as the surface is rocky and unstable.

Hazards & Warnings

Cyclists dismount when crossing the suspension bridge, - it swings! Optional ford crossing in summer months only (usually passable from October to April ) cyclists dismount as surface is rocky and unstable. Beware snakes in summer months.


There are public toilets, picnic facilities, water and play equipment for children in Avon Park (the other side of the suspension bridge) and Candice Bateman Memorial Park.
Parking is in Janet Millett Lane or near Avon Park. There is a fenced, dog off-lead exercise area adjacent to Candice Bateman Memorial Park.
  • Car Park
  • Dog Friendly
  • Picnic Area
  • Public Toilet
  • Water Access Points

Best time of year

All year round. Temperatures can be hot during January and February.


Trail Access


Edge shaped like mountain horizon
topography pattern

Complete York Cycle Rides - The Heron’s Highway to earn badges and points!

Earn points and badges and become a "TrailsWA Expert" by completing trails and leaving reviews.

Earn 1 Point

Earn 1 point towards
your TrailsWA level

Edge shaped like mountain horizon
Alt text

Be the first to review York Cycle Rides - The Heron’s Highway

We love to hear from people who've been on our Western Australian trails, so it would be most appreciated it if you wanted to leave a review.

Like this trail? Explore others nearby

More around Perth & Surrounds

Supported by great organisations

Trails are free and bring so many benefits to our community by providing opportunities to have fun, get fit, socialise, explore and challenge yourself. But they also have to be managed and maintained which only is made possible through terrific sponsors, donations and/or volunteering.

topography pattern