Location: Fred Jacoby Park
Distance: 3.5km loop
Trail Marker: Blue Triangle with boot markers
Duration: 1 - 2 hours
Cost: $0, free entry
Toilet Facilities: Yes, at start/finish
Dog Friendly: At the time of blogging DPAW advised this was a dog friendly trail, hence we were able to run a Paw Friendly Hike here. Since then, apparently it is not dog friendly, we were advised in 2020.
Date Hiked: 30th June 2018
The Portagabra Track is a nice little 3.5km loop that starts from Fred Jacoby Park and winds through beautiful jarrah forest, past granite outcrops and majestic trees. The first time we walked it, it was very dry so the photos didn't really do the trail any justice so have used the pics from our paw friendly hike we ran on it in June last year. The trail begins at the red/white trailhead sign and then heads into the bushland underneath the historic Mundaring to Kalgoorlie pipeline. The boardwalk leading underneath the pipeline doesn't last long before we found ourselves at a wide vehicle track where the trail makes a right turn and then left into the forest along a single narrow track.
The trail ascends for a 100m climb to the top passing by a few granite outcrops and plenty of lush green foilage. It's not too challenging but for those who may need to pause and catch their breath, make sure to turn around and take in the views of the Helena River Valley and Mundaring Weir in the distance. The trail re-enters the forest passing through tall Jarrah trees and more granite boulders. The final climb to the summit is through a really beautiful section of stairs that go between large granite boulders, giant jarrah trees and majestic grasstrees. Departing the summit, the trail opens up along wide vehicle tracks. You need to pay attention here as the trail makes a left hand turn back into the forest not too far down from the summit. This can be easily missed if your not paying attention.
Coming off the wide vehicle tracks and turning left, walkers are taken back through the forest and start descending back down to the pipeline. Walkers descend down another set of steps walking through through a section of grasstrees. The trail takes walkers away from the native forest and down in to a pine plantation but be warned, loads of cockatoos were feasting amongst the trees which meant that lots of large pinecones were being dropped from up ahead. As you arrive at the bottom of the pine plantation you will find the pipeline once again. Look out for the bridge that takes the trail over and then basically you walk alongside the pipeline for 100m or so and you will find yourself back at the start again.