Location: Apex Drive, Albany Heritage Park
Distance: 3.2km loop
Trail Marker: Orange topped posts
Duration: 1 - 2 hours
Cost: $0, free entry
Toilet Facilities:Yes, at start/finish
Dog Friendly: Yes
Date Hiked: 18th December 2018
The Mount Clarence Heritage and Granite Trail provides breathtaking views of the King George Sound, Princess Royal Harbour and out to the Stirling Range. Located within the 260 hectare Albany Heritage Park, Mount Clarence sits in the heart of Albany and is home to the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial. I started via the gate across the vehicle track. I found the signage to be easy to follow, with orange topped posts pointing the way. Just be cautious if mixing it up a bit, as to which trail you do take as there are dedicated MTB Trails that are out of bounds to walkers, the trail does pass a few of these trails so you need to be alert, especially if walking on the weekend when I imagine the trails to be busier.
The initial section follows wide limestone vehicle tracks from the top of Mount Clarence, changes about half way down to a more forest setting, ascending down. The forest was cool and damp, now and then providing glimpses of the Albany town as we passed by large granite boulders covered in green moss. We found the walk quite an enjoyable one with lots to explore from the beautiful big boulders, to the magic of textures and wildflowers, there was lots of exploring to do. The walk continues past a water pipeline until you reach a bridge that crosses directly over and ascends through a beautiful section of forest back up to the Apex carpark where you begin the second loop.
The second half of the loop takes walker up the steps to the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial and on to the Padre White Lookout, a steel walkway structure that curves around the surrounding rocks, marking the spot where the Rector of St John’s Church, Padre White, stood in 1930 in what is claimed to have been the first ever observance of a Dawn Service on ANZAC Day in Australia. Once again walkers are greeted with beautiful views as you walk along the shoulder and the islands once again come in to view. A park bench has been provided for those wanting to take in the views over Lake Seppings and out to Emu Point. You can even see the Golf Course quite clearly from this point. Leaving the exposed granite area, the trail narrows once again and brought us back to the first 4 wheel drive track we initially walked down on, so we made a simple right turn and ascending back up to the Apex Carpark where the walk finished.