Along the path there are a number of signs describing the history of the railway trail. One marker that stood out and really did make me pause to remember, was erected by the Kalamunda & District Historical Society Inc. with support from the Shire of Kalamunda & the Darling Range branch of the RSL. It states that 'on the morning of April 19, 1945, a crash occurred in this vicinity of an American Navy R4D-5 Aircraft (DC3) known as the Blue Goose. The aircraft, with a crew of two pilots plus eleven passengers and freight, took off from RAAF Dunreath (Perth) Airport at 5.30am, and shortly after crashed into trees killing all on board. At the time this was the biggest loss of life in an aircraft accident in this state and its cause remains a subject of discussion to this day.'
Pause To Remember Blue Goose!
Gooseberry Hill's Railway Trail is situated at an altitude of 244 metres (799 feet). Gooseberry Hill siding was the first stopping point above the zig zag section on the railway, located just over six track kilometres from what is now called Ridge Hill Road at the base of the escarpment, and is approximately 140 metres higher. 1905 improvements introduced a low level platform and red shelter shed.
An orange grove used to be situated beneath the railway siding. The closest I could find was one fruit tree all netted up.
Primarily intended to transport timber the 31 kilometres from Canning Mills to the junction of the Eastern and Midland Railways (now known as Midland), the Upper Darling Range Railway was built by the Canning Jarrah Timber Company and opened in 1891. The railway line was closed in 1949 due to the Australia wide coal strike and it was never reopened.
Thankfully, we are now left with a beautiful trail that is perfect for meandering along alone or with loved ones. Popular with dog walkers, joggers, hikers, cyclists and walkers, the railway trail is a delight to spend time on.
When the sun comes out and it's eight minute old rays shine through the leaves, it seems like one is getting a beautiful and free light show as the shadows, appear, disappear and dance with the breeze.
You Get A Free Light Show As Shadows Fade In And Out
There are a fair number of benches where you can rest ones weary legs, eat your homemade sandwiches, or simply enjoy being.
Alternatively, there are a few tree stumps, rocks, and awkward looking tree branches that can offer the more adventurous a natural place to sit down. A word of warning though. The shapes of some of the trees can cause surprise and wonder.
The textures of the ground can provide relief to laptop weary eyes, as well as offering dogs a place to scratch their backs and roll around. This usually seems to happen just after they have had a bath!
Benson rolling beneath an awkward looking tree's branch.
The trail is split into two sections; the Northern and Southern Section. This article has focused on the Northern Section. Unfortunately, there are no free water points along this section of the trail, so please be sure to bring your own water. Alternatively, the Gooseberry Hill shops will provide, provided that you bring your wallet.
The Northern Section of the track begins near Kalamunda Town Centre, and runs out towards the zig zag skateway and Quenda Creek Reserve. You can find free parking in Kalamunda and walk from there.
There are various entry and exit points from the roads that run either side of the trail, so feel free to wander and explore. This can also be helpful if you decide to park somewhere on the road side of the Northern Section and walk from there, rather than at the beginning of the track.