Location: Atkins Rd, Jarrahdale
Distance: 1.9km loop
Trail Marker: Blue Triangle with boot markers
Duration: 1 - 2 hours
Cost: $0, free entry
Toilet Facilities: No
Dog Friendly: No
Date Hiked: 7th September 2018
Stacey's Track is definitely one of the lesser known trails in the Perth Hills but one that many probably walk part of without knowing, as it forms part of the Kitty's Gorge Trail up at the Jarrahdale section within Serpentine National Park. There are a few parking bays at the start but you can also park directly opposite at the Jarrahdale Cemetary. I began the loop in an anti-clockwise direction, as suggested by the markings on the trail, 10 posts with points of interest or simply just directional markers advising where to go. Very quickly I could see lots of beautiful colour with wildflowers and lush green foliage lining the trail. It was a cold wet day however a hint of blue sky appeared as I walked off and I wasn't too worried anyway as the thick canopy of trees actually provide a good amount of shelter from the rain. I knew it meant that the Gooralong Brook would be flowing so something to look forward to.
Literally less than a hundred metres in is where you will find the number 1 marker highlighting the 'Magnificent Jarrah Tree', although you will not know that just by going there as there is no info provided. The info is in the Jarrahdale pdf. Post marker number 2 highlights the 'Huge Marri Tree' which is burnt but still living, and the post 3 marker is just highlighting that you need to turn left, then right to cross over the forest track. The trail has been descending down from the start, nothing too steep however some slight erosion and can get a bit slippery so take care. The trail descends down towards Gooralong Brook with marker 4 on your left highlighting some log seats. I continued on crossing over the bridge and onto the boardwalk that passes the marshy area. Please try and stay on the boardwalk, it's been put there to protect the vegetation underneath. Take a long camera lens and you can still get nice shots of the brook without having to trample all over the riverbed below. Leaving the brook is where the trail starts to ascend back up slightly and from here you can see there has been quite a bit of growth over the winter as the trail gets quite narrow. This is the first sighting of a yellow 'Stacey's Track' marker, not the official trail marker though.
Marker 5 sits as the trail starts to level out again highlighting the 'Ancient Grass Tree' on the right, and a beautiful Zamia on the left. Marker 6 is not far along the trail where it opens up to a large granite outcrop overlooking the brook below. This is a very spiritual area so please treat it with respect. Noongar people have been walking through this area for over 40,000 years in search of of campsites, implements, food and water. In Makuru (June/July) of the Noongar six season calendar, they would leave the coastal plain and head for the forests, sheltering from the wind and the rain. The flowering sheoks, an indication that last years yonga (kangaroos) are abundant and ready to be eaten. Wetch (emu), ducks, nyingarn (Echidna) and karda (goanna) were also hunted. The Gooralong Brook also provided a permanent water source with djildit (fish), marron, gilgies, water birds, freshwater turtles and frogs. Bulbs of rushes and sedges were good sources of starch, and soft-leaf freshwater plants were eaten as leaf salads. By moving through areas and eating abundant, seasonal foods, Noongars knew food would be available in subsequent years.
Marker 7 represents the second bridge you walk to cross Gooralong Brook but be sure to check out the remnants of the old flour mill weir upstream before you do. Also once you have crossed, the loop trail takes you left however you can briefly turn right and walk a few metres to a small swimming hold, obviously only full when the brook is but a nice little spot to sit and ponder your thoughts. From the bridge you begins to ascend up the trail where you come to an intersection interlocking with the start of the Kitty's Gorge Trail, the Trail Head Sign close by. This little loop would be a great additional extra for those keen to give the 14km Kitty's Gorge Trail a go. Marker 8 highlights the direction you need to continue to complete the loop.
From here it's a gradual ascent up to marker 9, definitely a stand out of the walk, 'a fallen giant'. Walk around or under and admire the grandness of this beauty. It's not far to the end of the walk from here, post marker 10 symbolizing the grove of Bull Banksia, the last of the forest you walk through before you reach the finish. A lovely walk as always with plenty to see, feel and hear.