*For long distance cyclists, careful planning is required as Jarrahdale, the next town from Mundaring, is a 103km down the Trail.
The first part of this delightful ride is great for beginners as it takes cyclists on a forest adventure past Mundaring Weir Hotel into scenic Lower Helena River Valley. The keen eye can see evidence of extensive past woodcutting. Look for huge old stumps, sometimes with coppice growth (muliti-trunks arising from the stump) and the gnarled and bent old trees (useless to the miller) which are left amongst more recent growth.
The climb out of the Helena Valley can be tough going so take a break at the Dell Picnic area, before you continue upwards. Or you could choose the alternative touring route for a gentler ride (see the green Trail on your map). Again there are a few steep sections around Mt Gunjin. Don’t hesitate to get off your bike on the hills and take in the scenery at a relaxed pace. You don’t want to develop muscle soreness and tendonitis by underestimating the ride at this stage of your trip.
From here you will pass the road to the Perth Observatory and skirt around some old orchards at Pickering Brook. Between July and October the hills of the National Park burst into colour as wildflowers bloom in their thousands and wildlife abounds. The bird life is stunning – red tailed black cockatoos, parrots galore, blue wrens and the laughter of the kookaburra.
The last section of the ride along the Munday Brooke and into Carinyah campsite becomes easier, allowing you to recoup your energy and enjoy the surroundings. Carinyah Mountain Bike Trail shares part of the Trail, so follow the markers carefully and check your map. Carinyah campsite is nestled in a grove of Sheoak (or Allocasuarina) trees. Growing eight to ten metres tall, these trees are recognised by their slender needle-like branchlets that take on the role of leaves, which form a thick carpet beneath the trees. Their flowers are insignificant but you will be able to see the woody fruit along the branches.
Joining in to the Munda Biddi Trail in this area is Carinyah Mountain Bike Trail (see map 1a). Be sure to follow the correct Trail as you set off. This ride begins with mainly gentle grades but becomes more undulating as you pass through Poison Gully and Canning River East. It is a huge downhill ride into the Canning River and coming out the other side is hard work because of the pea gravel and gradient. The pine plantation and Gleneagle picnic area before you cross Albany Highway are signs that you are soon to arrive at Wungong campsite. The hut is in a lovely sheltered location and with lots of bird life.
As you ride between Albany Highway and Wungong Campsite you may observe evidence of newly planted forest post bauxite mining operations. Jarrah forest restoration is an extremely complex task, given the very large number of plant species present. Jarrah forests are one of the most plant species rich forests in the world, outside of tropical rain forests. Wungong is surrounded by a grove of majestic jarrah trees (Eucalyptus marginata). These well known trees can be distinguished by their grey, stringy bark. If you look on the ground around the base of the trunk, its fallen woody fruit (or gum nuts) will have a spherical shape about the size of a five cent coin. The leaves are green and shiny on one side and paler on the other, with a margin running around the border – hence its name marginata. If you are very quiet in the early morning or at dusk there is a chance that you might see kangaroos.
From here, the Trail follows the remains of an old logging railway network for the majority of the time. It is relatively flat as you head south to Jarrah Road with undulating terrain heading in to Balmoral Prisoner of War Picnic ground. At Balmoral you will see some concrete foundations remaining from the POW camp; stop and read the signage which describes the rich history of this site and explains the ruins. Further on is evidence of the activity of foresters in the 1920s. Several trees with “shields” cut into them were used as a grid reference system – the numbers can still be seen. Further on, the Trail passes a log loading ramp.
As you ride alongside Honor Brook you may notice a cream, smooth barked gum tree called a Bullich. The Bullich (Eucalyptus megacarpa), is found mostly in the wetter areas of the forest alongside streams and rivers. You will know that Jarrahdale is not far away when the Trail meanders around farmland.
Follow My Ride offers a detailed description of this section of the Trail as well as video material that will give you a good idea of what parts of the Trail are like.
Alternative Access to Trail
There are a number of vehicle access points along the way for shorter ride options. Refer to the Munda Biddi Trail map.
For more information on cycling from Mundaring to Jarrahdale, go to the Section by Section Guide.