I'm a chef and a writer and love being inspired. What inspires you?
Published September 17th 2012
What are the benefits of walking? Here are but a few - increased heart and lung fitness, reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, improved management of conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes, stronger bones and improved balance, increased muscle strength and endurance and reduced body fat.
If that's not enough to get you out there being fit and healthy, then what about this photo.
I love old stuff. I love history. I love walking. So imagine my happiness when I discovered the amazing Railway Reserves Heritage Trail which runs from Bellevue, at the foot of the Perth Hills right up to Wooroloo, 37km away.
So what is it? It's a walking trail which follows the old Eastern Railway train lines which used to travel from Fremantle to York in the 1880's. The trail begins at Bellevue and continues on both sides of the Great Eastern Highway and rejoins at Mount Helena and then extends out to Wooroloo Reserve.
There are heaps of things to stop and look at along the way, including plenty of rest stops and picnic places, waterfalls, old train stations, even some modern art to stop and ponder over. Our favourite is the old Swan View Tunnel.
This tunnel was completed in 1895 with around 330,000 bricks holding the sides of the tunnel back. The tunnel turned out to be a bit of a bad design due to its small diameter and steep gradient and unfortunately incidents involving near-asphyxiation of train crews started in 1896. But of course these days it's quite safe to walk through the tunnel as there are no trains using the line anymore! If you want to go in, do take a torch as once you get right in, it gets very dark...reminded me of poor old Bilbo Baggins right before he met up with Gollum in Tolkien's 'The Hobbit'.
But I digress...
Which ever part of this fabulous trail you decide to trek along, remember to wear sturdy comfortable shoes. The track underfoot is loose rubble and stones and sturdy footwear is a must. As is plenty of water to drink, hat and sunscreen in the sun and a bit of a sense of adventure.
Just remember, which ever part you walk on used to be a train line. You can almost hear the steam locomotives tooting their way up the hill.
Was fascinated by your article and want to share it with my class on the electronic white board. Will that be okay with you as I don't want to breech copyright etc? As a kid I got to see a bit of this stuff with my family as my Dad was a firemean posted in Midland for many years so he knew of lots of little treasures to explore in the hills. Reading your article bought it all back to me so thank you so much.
Hi Kath! Thanks for asking if you can use my article, I appreciate you honesty. If you think your class would be interested, then by all means, go ahead and show them. My kids loved the place and I think we'll be going back again these school holidays to see what we missed last time! The photos on the article are all mine and I'm happy for you to use them, too.
Enjoy and maybe let me know what the kids thought about it!