Running Brook Walk overview

Often overlooked by walkers in the past, this area offers pleasant wandoo woodland walking and more variety in terrain than the better known Christmas Tree Well Walk to the east. The walk route initially heads NW over an unnamed hill to the Running Brook valley. Along the way there are good views to Mount Dale and across the surrounding forest. The route also visits an intriguing standing rock figure sculpted by nature. Despite the variety in terrain, the slopes are relatively gentle.

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  • Main features / Highlights

    This area has often been overlooked by walkers in the past, yet this walk includes similar opportunity for some pleasant wandoo woodland walking and covers more variety in terrain than the better known Christmas Tree Well Walk to the east, which starts from the same point. The route initially heads NW over an unnamed hill to the Running Brook valley. Along the way there are good views to Mount Dale (14km NW) and across the surrounding forest.There is an interesting mix of open forest, mainly jarrah-marri, but also about 25% picturesque wandoo woodlands.The route also crosses two sizeable granite slabs, and visits an intriguing ‘standing granite figure’ sculpted by nature. Despite the variety in terrain, the slopes are relatively gentle. Expect a few short sections of low scratchy heath.

    The walk route also traverses most of the summit ridge of the unnamed main hill in the area. Like Mount Yetar 29km to the north, the ridge of this hill has an unusual horseshoe shape, with a central valley opening toward the Christmas Tree Well area to the southeast. Curiously although the hill is unnamed, it is somewhat higher (elevation ~377m) than several other named hilltops in the wandoo woodlands such as Mount Observation (365m);  Mount Yetar (350m); Ngangaguringguring Hill (316m); and it is only a little lower than Gunapin Ridge (388m).

    Option for slightly shortened walk (15km): For tiring walkers and/or those preferring a slightly shorter walk, a simple short-cut a few kilometres before the end of the walk reduces the total walk distance by about 500m. (See Route notes for details.)

  • Route notes

    Head initially NNW from the start point (at waypoint ‘START’) to meet within 100m an old vehicle track. Veer right to follow the track northward. The road veers left (westward) at ‘2’ and and after ‘2-1’ soon starts climbing gently NW along the edge of the Dale Pine Plantation on the left.  After about 750m from the start point, when the road again veers left (at ‘3’), leave the road to head northward off-track, uphill through a patch of fairly open parrot bush to reach open jarrah forest close to a ridge (at ‘4’).  Veer approx. WNW to walk along the lateritic surface, skirting occasional patches of parrot bush, with the crest of the ridge to your right. After about 400m (at ‘5’) veer NW to head upslope, but still keeping the crest of the ridge to your right. Soon (at ‘6’) veer northward, climbing toward the crest of the ridge and bypassing a valley on your left.  Then veer NNW (at ‘6-1’) and soon pass through another patch of fairly open parrot bush into open jarrah forest on a lateritic plateau. After about 400m, reach the NW-sloping edge of the plateau, gaining a good view across the forest to Mount Dale 14km to the NW. Descend to an outcrop at ‘7’ and turn right to follow the outcrop along slope for 50m to its eastern edge at ‘8’. Turn left (NNW) down the gentle slope through low heath, following animal tracks, to reach a  granite slab (‘9’).  Veer westward (left) down the slab (to ‘9-1’), then re-enter jarrah forest and continue westward, initially along slope and then gently downslope. Veer WNW at  ‘9-2’. The slope initially steepens then flattens off toward the heath-covered Running Brook valley floor. Cross an old vehicle track at ‘9-3’. Reach a cleared area and pass a water storage pond before crossing a small culvert (at ‘9-4′) on Running Brook to join Running Brook Road (vehicle track)  at ’10’.  Turn right to follow the road northward for about 300m to ‘11’. Then leave the road to head NW off-track and gently upslope through the forest. At ’11-1′ veer NNW to climb very gently along the slope to reach a ridge (at about ’12’). Veer westward and descend very gently across a lateritic slope through wandoo woodland via ’12-1’, crossing a forestry vehicle track (at ’12-2′), to reach a stream course (at ’13’). Follow the valley floor westward (upstream; via ’13-1′) through open wandoo woodland, then veer right after 600m (at ’14’) to cross the stream course and head WNW gently uphill through jarrah forest to meet another forestry vehicle track (at ’15’).  Follow the track NE for 400m, onto a broad ridge. Then (at ’16’) leave the track and head approx. NNE gently downhill through heath via ‘16-1’ to reach an eastward-sloping granite slab (at ’17’). Turn left (WNW) to cross patches of heath and very soon reach a larger NE-sloping granite slab (at ’18’).  Follow the outcrop very gently downslope for about 100m to ‘19’.  Then veer left (NNW) to leave the outcrop and cross open heathland for about 400m to reach the head of a side valley and wandoo woodland at ‘20’.  Turn right to follow the valley floor NE to ‘21’.  Then veer left (NNE) and soon cross an old forestry vehicle track (at ’21-1′). Head north-NNE gently upslope onto a broad ridge (at ’22’; this is at the approximate half-way point on the walk).  Veer NE along the ridge to reach a small north-sloping granite outcrop (at’23’). Head SE from the outcrop through a stand of sheoaks along the rocky NE-flank of the low ridge,  passing an intriguing ‘standing rock figure’ (at ’23-1′). Soon (at ’24’) veer ESE to follow the broad ridge downslope through open jarrah forest and then wandoo woodland, and re-cross firstly the old vehicle track previously crossed and then re-cross Running Brook Road (at ’25’). Then pick an easy route across the nearby Running Brook stream course,via animal tracks through the low rushes and narrow belt of swamp paperbarks. Then continue SE, initially across the bare sandy valley floor and then gently uphill through open wandoo woodland, climbing (or skirting) a low laterite breakaway about 600m after crossing Running Brook. Soon after pass two granite boulders surrounded by zamia palms at ’26’, then veer right (southward) to cross an old forestry road and climb gently to a very broad low ridge.  Continue SSE (via ’26-1′) across the broad, low ridge top through jarrah forest. Cross an old forestry road at ’27’ in a flat saddle area and then veer ESE to climb gently up a broad ridge through jarrah forest. At ’28’ veer SSE to continue up the ridge and soon enter wandoo woodland. After ’29’ the route takes a short and rewarding detour from an optional more direct route, to allow you to explore some very picturesque woodland and enjoy views along the NE-sloping hillside. (Or see Option below for a short-cut after ‘29’.) To take the detour, veer right (SW) at ‘29’ and cross the slope to ‘30’. Then turn left to climb briefly uphill through woodland. Turn left again at ‘31’ and head ENE around the hillside (via ’31-1’)  Then head eastward through woodland near the upper edge of the lateritic slope, then descend through heath to ’32’, gaining a good view northward across the forest. Then veer SE, climbing gently across open heathland onto the broad, flattish hill-top via ’32-1’. Continue SE (via ’33’), climbing gently to re-enter wandoo woodland via ‘34’ along the summit area of this unnamed hill. Cross the actual summit point at about ’34-1’ (elevation ~377m). Continue down the steeper SE ridge.  The slope flattens off after about 400m. At ’23’ veer right and head south to SSW (via ’24’) across very gentle terrain before descending more steeply to ’25’. Then veer due south (via ‘1’) to get back to the Start point at the picnic area.

    Option to shorten the walk by 500m:  After reaching ‘29’ you can opt to continue about 100m ESE up the hillside directly to ’31-1′ as a short-cut (bypassing ‘30’ and ‘31’), then continuing as per the described route via ‘32’ etc. This simple short-cut bypasses some  picturesque wandoo woodland on the recommended route above, but reduces the total walk distance by about 500m.

  • Access / Directions

    64km SE of Perth, along Brookton Hwy to Christmas Tree Well picnic area entry road on left (about 700m after Dale Pine Plantation and before Yarra Road). Follow the entry road to the picnic area about 500m off Brookton Highway (signposted on Brookton Highway). Park at the picnic area carpark.

    Google Map

  • Nearest campsite/s

    N/A.

  • Escape route/s

    Via Running Brook Road (dirt road) south to Brookton Highway;

    or in east, south to dirt road skirting Dale Pine Plantation;

    or in west, west to Beraking Brook Road (dirt road) then south to Brookton Highway.

  • Other Info.
    Other map availability

    South West WA 25K Scale Topo Maps”, Greg Harewood & Landgate,  2015.  – Digital raster; ECW format on 16GB USB. See tile #311-2133-I-SE for relevant map coverage.

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