Location: Kalgan River, Kalgan
Distance: 10km one way
Trail Marker: Unmarked trail, easy to follow
Duration: 3 - 4 hours
Cost: $0, free entry
Toilet Facilities: Yes, at start of Luke Penn Walk Trail
Dog Friendly: No
Date Paddled: 19th February 2020
The Kalgan River Kayak Trail is a 10km one way paddle that provides the opportunity to see the abundant wildlife that inhabits the river environment including pelicans, ducks and osprey. It is a sheltered paddling experience suitable for all types of paddle craft and paddling abilities. Despite it being officially 10km one way, this trail can be shortened and started/finished not only from the recommended launching facility on the west side of the river at Lower Kalgan Bridge but there are many suitable launching sites from the 2WD accessible road along the east bank on the southern half of the route.
We paddled south and downstream from the Upper Kalgan bridge in the narrowest part of the river which is a lot less affected by the wind. The river winds it way around to the first highlight, the Aboriginal Rock Fish Traps, a fascinating insight in to culture and history. The Noongar Aboriginal people of the regin gathered by this river to fish, socialise and hold ceremonies. Today, local people and tourists do much the same. Other highlights of the paddle include passing by Montgomery Hill Vineyard. I know the Kalgan Queen River Cruise stops in there so perhaps if you tee'd it up prior you could make a pit stop. From here paddlers pass by a cottage, of which I am yet to find the exact history of but have read that it is the cottage Patrick Taylor built and settled in on what was called Candyup, the name given to the district name, now known as Lower Kalgan.
We continued on to Elbow Island, the Giant Kingfisher Shelter and then to the start of the Luke Penn Walk Trail, (only location for toilets if required). The paddle trail then continues for about 4km passing by the Water Ski Club and facilities which apparently is possible to land there, but not recommended. The river widens at this point as you round the last/first bend in the river(depending on which way you start from) and passes by the Kalgan River Chalets and Caravan Park on the west side of the river, the same side you exit you paddling experience from. All in all a great paddle but handy to know the history of the area before heading out to make it a little more enjoyable.