Munda Biddi Map 8 Walpole to Denmark
Softtail no luggage, with car assistance!
Jinung Beigabup hut to Booner Mundak to Walpole 31/12/15
Once again, I cheated on this map. I rode into Jinung hut at about 7.30am, and was picked up at Mt Lindesay Rd about 8.30am. We then drove to Valley of the Giants Road, although I rode the sections that diverted off the road e.g. Kent River suspension bridge, or into Booner Mundak hut, so my GPX and RSS notes are accurate. The gravel road is long and a bit boring, and I prefer to drive it if I can instead of riding it.
My wife and I started riding at the back of Valley of the Giants - just in time for all the hills. My wife loved seeing all the Tingle trees, but the hills distracted her from the view. At Outer Break Rd we found a pair of lost Bib track walkers, but they were aiming for Sappers Bridge so we directed them the 2.8km down the Munda Biddi to get to it (they did not have a map). At Sappers Bridge, we reassured the rest of their party they were on their way.
After Sappers Bridge, it was very hilly, but the steep views down to the Frankland River with the karri and tingle trees made it a unique view. By now my wife was sagging, so luckily my Mum picked her up at Gully Rd while I rode into Walpole. We got there at about 4 pm, tired, but happy, as we had tracked about 108 km of the Trail today.
Denmark to Jinung Beigabup Hut
I left Denmark visitors centre about 7.30 on Jan 2nd. It was a fine day, with a forecast about 28 degrees - perfect. The ride along Ocean Beach Rd and towards Lights beach is all on sealed roads or bike paths, so it makes for a pretty quick ride. After a quick stop at Lights Beach, the trail heads away from the Coast under peppermint trees, with only occasional ocean glimpses. I was at Green's Pool at reasonable time, so I was not sharing William Bay road with too many cars. The single track up to Mcleod Rd was a bit steep, but I got my breath back on the flatter section that the Munda Biddi shares with the Denmark Nornalup Heritage Trail. But once you turn left on Point Villier Drive it is a 2000m ride to the top of the hill. It was already warming up, so I was chasing shade on whatever side of the road it was. But it is sealed, and I was unloaded, so it wasn't too bad.
I then rode Fred's Road, with it's big downhill, to Scottsdale Rd and then on to the hut. I was there about 11 am, so bit a head of schedule. I got some video, had a bite to eat, and texted my wife (I had a reasonably good signal). I was on the Trail by 11.30am. By now, it was about 32 degrees.
I had ridden out on this section a couple of days before, so I thought I would try to navigate on the trails directly to Scotsdale Rd. I turned off the Munda Biddi Biddi at about 1.4km from the hut, but at 3.5 km I was on a track back at the hut, although about 200m away from it! I continued my endeavour, but instead of short cutting to Scottsdale near Mt Lindesay Rd, I ended up on Harewood Rd. This "short cut" added about 8 km to my 12 km trip! But once again, it reinforced that the Trail is usually flatter and easier then the alternatives.
Dual suspension, no luggage
We are in Denmark for our annual week's break. I plan on riding the last of the Munda Biddi from Jinung to Albany, and the Denmark Nornalup Heritage trail in stages while I am here.
Sunday 28/12/14 Today I wanted to track a short cut from the Jinung hut to Denmark via the scenic Scotsdale Rd. The Scottsdale Hills were harvested by the Millars in 1895-1904, and Scottsdale Road mainly follows the old rail line. Instead of a looping 42 km ride via Greens Pool and Lights Beach via the Munda Biddi, this is a 15 km way to get to Denmark quickly.
We left the Caravan Park just after 7 am on a warm, humid morning. We drove up Scotsdale Rd to Silver Road, and looked for the site of Scotsdale no 3 mill, which is opposite the Silver Rd junction. It was built in 1896 and closed in 1903. We presumed it is where the house and farm are on the southern side of Scotsdale road, but it is private property, and not much is visible from the road. We turned up Harewood Rd, but stopped to look at the deviation sign. There was a prescribed burn recently near Jinung hut, so the hut had been closed. We turned up Champion Lane, and that enabled us to get a km or 2 from the hut in the car. I rode the last section into the hut. It was uphill on a windy bit of single track, and I was pushing in parts, but it was ok. I was at the hut by about 8.15am, so I took a few photos before heading off. Coming out on the track from the hut at 150 m is the T junction - left for Denmark and right for Perth. I rode on the North heading route to the right. The signs of the fire were pretty clear - see the photos.
The ride out of the hut was pretty easy - it was often on form and it felt like it was down hill to Mt Lindesay Road. This was a newly tarmac'd road (it was still gravel a month ago). Instead of following the trail to turn left, I turned right and rode to Scotsdale road, crossing the Scotsdale brook just before it. Then turn left again, and follow the scenic route into town.
This road is mainly windy with double white lines and a narrow shoulder in places or a gravel shoulder. The maximum speed limit is 80km/hr, and it is busiest at the tourist times of year - Christmas, school holidays, long weekends etc. But at 9am on a Sunday morning in the busiest time of year, only 1 car passed me. The ride was flat (I guess this is the route of the rail way). It is also quite scenic with the Scotsdale Brook on the left, farm land on the right and karri and jarrah trees for shade.
Once you get to the Steiner school, there is a pathway on the left all the way to town. When you get to the park, you can continue along Scotsdale Road to the stop sign, which is Horsley Rd. Turn left and the South Coast Highway is about xx km away. Horsley Rd becomes Hollings Rd just before the highway, and continues across the Highway. The first Munda Biddi marker is just across the highway. I tracked through the park - it is a bit prettier and easy enough to find your way through - as long as you don't cross the Denmark River. It comes out on a road at the back of hospital called Research Station Avenue, and ends on Horsley Rd. Scotsdale Rd is a couple of hundred metres up on your right. Turn left on Horsley Rd to get to the South Coastal Highway.
Mon 29/12/14 Jinung Beigabup Hut to Denmark
Dual suspension, no luggage
We drove to Jinung Beigabup Hut again and rode the last 2 km in. I had a good phone signal there. After a few photos, I was on the trail by 8.15am, heading to Denmark along the Munda Biddi. The first 700m was great windy single track heading downhill, but then the trail flattened out, got wider and straighter until it became Champion Lane, a good gravel road. This ran into Harewood Road (more good gravel), then into Scotsdale, a sealed tourist route. It was all pretty flat with only one short hill on Champion Lane.
I rode passed Ducketts Mill, which is open daily 10-4, and sells wine, cheese and I think ice-cream and drinks - very handy to know. Soon after I turned into Fred's Road, another gravel road through rolling farmland. It was generally very nice to ride on, with nice views and big trees to shade the road. There was one big hill at the end of 400m in length, and no markers along the way except at the start and end. I had a phone signal on this road.
At the end is a diversion map for a diversion that has been in place since June 2013 - I think it will be a permeant change to the route. It takes you down Point Hillier Vista, and it is a tremendous down hill for 2 km. I have ridden up it towing my Bob trailer and it is one of the biggest hills on the whole Munda Biddi, although it is rideable in granny gear. It is sealed, so that helps.
The diversion then takes you on to Limbourne Rd (a good gravel road) then to the South Coast Highway via the Denmark Nornalup Heritage trail. Again, this is all flat and easy riding. Note the big cutting followed by the big embankment for the train line - what a huge amount of work that was 100 years ago. I noted the marker that I corrected in Sept 2013 has been reused on Limbourne Rd.
The ride along side the South Coast highway is on good single track between the highway and the fence and is not along the Highway as you may think. After cutting through a small rural subdivision, I was on William Bay Road, heading into William Bay National park. This road leads to several scenic beaches, and is narrow and windy. It was also very busy, being peak Summer holiday time. However, I got to the end ok. I was going to turn right at the end and stop at Green's Pool, but the car park was chock - a- block, so I had a quick stop at the sign and headed left towards Waterfall Beach with the Munda Biddi. The stairs to Greens Pool is about 100 m on the right from the sign, and the beach about 250m from there, so worth a quick look or a swim. Take a look behind you at the windswept boulders on the nearby hills.
The Munda Biddi follows the gravel road from Greens Pool to Waterfall beach. This is a fairly busy road for tourists, and is a bit hilly and corrugated. As you turn off left on to the Munda Biddi only trail, Waterfall beach is about another 200m straight on. We cross the stream that feeds the waterfall soon after turning off the gravel road.
This section is on a gravel type path, and starts with views of the beach and Wilson Head, which has two wind turbines on it. They are 55m tall and generate approximately 30% of Denmark's power. The path then moves in land, into low coastal scrub, before dropping into some small valleys of shady peppermint trees. There is another scenic lookout with a small water fall - it makes a great place to stop.
Soon I was heading back to the coast again, with some nice views of the coast. I joinied the Bib track and then on to the Lights Beach car park. From here to Denmark, it is all sealed - either roads or once on Ocean Beach Road, a dual use path next to the road (the Ocean Beach Cycleway). No big hills, and before 11.30 am I was in Denmark. The only confusing bit was as Ocean Beach Road joins the South Coast highway, the signs were a bit messy. Basically you turn left if you want to go to the visitors centre (on the left of this intersection) or turn right to head into Denmark. The map of Denmark town site shows it perfectly.
Dual suspension, no luggage
Day 3: The third day of this trip started early at Walpole Lodge, and we drove to the corner of Middle & Trent Rd by 7.30am. I had ridden the interesting bit yesterday ( Walpole to Middle Road) so now time to drive the long middle section (yes, I said drive). I have ridden it before and it is mainly long straight unexciting trail. This is all public roads, and I walked into Booner Mundak Hut and the cut offs at Bow River and Kent River crossing, so my route reflected the MB .
Incidentally, after leaving Walpole, you may feel you are miles from anywhere. However, when at the corner of Trent & Middle Rd, Valley of the Giants Rd is only 1.7 km away, and Bow Bridge only another 2.3 km (you will need more than the MB map to navigate there). It is a service station with food available. If you were desperate for an icecream it is not a huge ride to go and get one, especially as it is generally flat ground.
There is not a lot to report on this section- the road is general flattish, it is quite wide and the trees are not huge, so shade on the trail on a hot day would be minimal. The road is generally rougher than most of the trail so far, but still rideable. It is sandy in parts. The three creek crossings are interesting, Kent River more so as it crosses on a suspension bridge.
Further on you get some nice glimpses of Mt Romance, then later Mt Lindsay. I jumped back on the bike at Mt Lindsay road and headed into the hut. It goes straight from farmland into jarrah forest on old form. It was a pleasant ride in. The Jinung Beigabup Hut is spectacular - it is surrounded by karri. I guess it is planted (all the trees are very similar in size), but only old growth forest could top this location. It is tempting to leave the toilet door open so you can keep enjoying the view.
The ride out is great - about 800m of windy down hill on single track before coming out on Champion Place (check), a gravel track that leads to Harewood Road. I will ride and track Jinung Beigabup Hut to Denmark, and Map 9 at Christmas time.
Day 2: After riding from Swarbrick to Walpole first thing this morning, I had a break and then started Walpole to Middle Rd. While having a break I noticed at the Munda Biddi info shelter a diversion for Spring 2014 saying that Booner hut would be closed due to a burn off and an alternative site was at Kent River - with no accommodation! I had checked the website last week and nothing was posted about this. I asked in the tourist bureau, and they checked the website, but nothing was up on DPaW website. I can only assume they will burn off when conditions are right, and if that means you can't use the hut for a couple of days, it is unlucky. I carry a tarp in case I have to sleep out, but I am sure I would not be happy if I was caught out.
The map I have shows the route goes through the Walpole townsite, which is what I thought I took last year. The markers clearly direct you behind the tourist bureau along old form to turn South to cross the highway at the edge of town. It is no drama - the trail is clearly marked, so I assume the constant stream of cyclists through town at all hours of the day and night was disturbing the locals.
The first section goes through a conservation area, then joins the Coalmine Beach Rd. This road is 50 km/hr and mainly services the caravan park, so all is good on it. There is a shelter with views across the Inlet which is worth a stop.
After crossing the South Coast Highway, the track soon enters karri forest and zig zags its way up towards Hilltop Rd. It doesn't go as high as you can go in a car, and there are no views because of the trees ( fantastic view in their own right of course). The ride up is ok - but coming down would be sensational.
The trail now follows next to, and above, the highway. It is a roller coast ride - get enough speed up going down hill, and you can get up the next one. But that does not encourage you to enjoy the trees - there were some fabulous tingle trees along here. Occasionally the trail leaves the karri/tingle forest and heads out into open jarrah type bush with sandier sections, but most is under good shade.
After Gulley Rd (the map doesn't have an 'e' but all the signs there do), the roller coaster got bigger. This is part of the Walpole- Nornalup National Park. Once the trail starts tracking next to the Frankland River, it no longer was enough to pedal like mad down hill to make it over the next hill. The drop to the water in some parts is so steep it is scary, and all the trees along there are enormous. The hill after Monastery Landing was a killer - but it is worth the stop. It is not sign posted, and there is only a table and chairs there, but it is a great place to refresh.
The next interesting spot was Sappers Bridge, which was flowing nicely. After that there was a hill up Boxhall Rd that was just plain enormous. Because there was so many places to take photos, and the hills were so big, the first 10 km from Gully Rd took me 2 hours!
After crossing the Valley of the Giants Rd we cross into the second part of Howe Rd and Rates road. This is jam packed full of tingle and karri trees. I am thankful I was riding up hill slowly, so I had the chance to really enjoy these trees. There was a few more sections of uphill, then a huge downhill for 2 km - look at the contour lines we cross! But soon we were crossing Ebbett Rd, exiting the Walpole Nornalup National Park - say goodbye to the tingle trees. The road now becomes flatter and more open as it enters farmland. Later the trail changes to sandy and even rocky gravel track, especially on Middle road.
Day 1 - see Map 7
Hardtail with BoB
Day 2 & 3 of 16 day ride.
Awoken about 5.30am in the Denmark Hotel by door slamming workers. Realized the power was off due to the bad weather, so made breakfast in my room rather than the cooked breakfast I was looking forward to in the hotel. Left Denmark at 7.30am and followed the cycleway through the Denmark town along the side of Ocean Beach Road to the Lights Beach turn off. Now riding on a quiet road, which then turned to gravel. At Lights Beach at 8.45am. Very windy and occasional showers, so didn't go to the beach. The track from Lights Beach to almost Greens Pool is sensational - it was a windy track through the coastal heath land on a newly cut trailthat in many places had matting laid down to give the track stability. Around her the Munda Biddi is very close to the Biblimum track. Good coastal views at spots, but the last 1~2 km into Green Pool was on the corrugated dirt road - no fun there. Didn't stop at Greens Pool either- the weather was poor, plus I come here every year for a weeks holidays at Christmas, so I know the area well.
The Munda Biddi follows William Bay road North from the coast, so it is a narrow, windy, sealed road, signposted at 60km/hr - nothing special here. The Biblimum track crosses this road. As you get close to the South Coastal hway, the trail turns right into Byleveld Close, then turns left into Private Road. You then follow a narrow track along the SC Hway that keeps you off the main road. You cross the highway and go up Mount Macleod Road (not named on the MB map) and turn right into the Denmark Nornalup Heritage trail. But there was a diversion for me, so it sent me left up the DN Heritage trail instead to Limbourne Road. After that it was all up hill on a very quiet sealed road (Mt Mcleod road from memory). The hill was huge (250m?), long and in 3 stages, so just when I thought it was over, I came round another corner and went up again. I imagine View/Roberts/Osborne Rd will be the same. I then turned right and rejoined the MB near Osborne Rd.
From Osborne Rd to Scotsdale rd was on Fred's Rd (unnamed on map), which was a dirt road through rolling hills and farm land. It was mainly down hill, so you watch the road more than the view, When I got to Scotsdale Rd there was a sign with another diversion - I later found out the Kent River had flooded the crossing point and was impassable. That meant that I could go into the Jinung Beigabup Hut (about 5km ahead), but couldn't continue on the MB trail. I would have to back track to this point and then follow the diversion to the next hut (Booner Mundak) 60 km away. It was now 11.30am, the weather was clearing, so I decided to head straight to Booner. The route was along Scotsdale Rd, a sealed road that was signposted at 80km/hr, but traffic was very light. About halfway along Scotsdale, I tried to be smart and turned North up Fernley Rd as that hit Break Rd (MB trail). I got about 8 km up it and almost to Break Rd when I met a local coming the other way. He said the Kent River was flooded after where I was heading & I had no way of getting through. My only option was to go back to where I came from, but he chucked my bike & BOB trailer in his ute & gave me a lift back to Scotsdale, so it was not too bad. (Lesson learnt - do not try to outsmart the Department of Parks & Wildlife, who put in the diversion). It was now gravel and swung around into Parker Rd and headed South to SC Hway. I was now low on water (I had drank 3 water bottles so far, as I was only planning on doing 42km from Denmark to the hut) but found an old school building with rain water tanks and managed to find some water there. I just hope there was not too many dead rats in the tank! I Steripen'd the water just to be on the safe side. Still windy, but only occassional shower.
Turn right into South Coastal Hway, cross the Kent River on the highway bridge (the river was looking pretty full compared to Summer when I visit) and after 4 or 5 km (light traffic only) turn right up Nornalup Rd. This road goes over a bit of a hill, but the karri lined gravel road with great views to the side and behind you makes it worth it. Fortunately I have driven this road a couple of times and was comfortable being out here with no maps apart from the photo I took of the route diversion on my phone - see below.
Further up Nornalup Road, the karri disappear and gives way to jarrah, and track was a lot more sandy, but compacted by recent rains.. Rounded a corner on the trail and there was a lake across the trail! It extended well into the bush, so there was no way round it. Slipped my thongs on and walked it - It was about 50m long and 70cm at its deepest. So I just wheeled the bike through - the BOB has a dry bag in it and I hoped that worked (it did) and I just had to hope it didn't damage any bearings on the bike (I didn't - I checked them all after the trip and they were fine). Had about 3 of these crossings plus half a dozen that were shorter and not as deep ie rideable! Turned off into Boronia Rd, which now had smaller trees, more open countryside and the track was sandier. Middle Rd was very sandy - it was compact now, but it would be awful in drier months. Got into the hut about 5.30pm exhausted - i over did it today. About 6.30pm 2 guys turned up. They had ridden & used wives for lifts to get them from Albany to here today in about 70 km - I had done nearly 200km. They were tired too. They were from Eastern States and were going to use their car back up to help them do Albany to Perth in 10 days. However I didn't see there names in any more hut log books along the way, so I don't know how far they got.
No rain now but It was very windy - it was so strong it blew a bowl off the bed decking inside the hut! I managed to text home by walking around the site looking for a signal. Everyone was asleep by 8pm.
Very wet and windy overnight. The 2 guys were gone before 7am to meet their families at Valley of the Giants. Started today very flat - still tired from yesterday I presume. Middle Road was same as Boronia yesterday - a few flooded sections 70cm deep and up to 50 m long, but at least the sandy patches were rideable. Crossed Valley of the Giants Road, and waited in a hay shed on Vermeulen Rd while it rained again. Soon got lost justr after the right hand turn at Vermeullen. I retraced my steps but couldnt find a marker. Pushed on anyway, even though it was down a steep muddy road - feet and shoes now soaked. I just kept following trails West until I hit the sealed Valley of the Giants road again,, which I did about 1~2 km from where the track did (my watch strap compass velcroed to my handle bar saved the day again). Riding along the Valley of the Giants Road from the first crossing may have been easier and more scenic anyway.
Stayed on the MB and had to cross a fallen tree, but fortunately it had already be chainsawed so it was at leat easier to climb over. When I got to Boxhall Rd i was feeling pretty tired, so I headed South & hit the highway to go to Nornalup. That was a waste of time! There is nothing in Nornalup - no shop, just some toilets with a sign saying the tap water is undrinkable! Worse still, on the ride along the highway, I was riding into a very stiff breeze - so hard that coming over the crest of one hill it stopped me dead & I almost fell off! I crossed the Frankland River (that looked full) then rejoined the MB by turning North up one of the roads (Gully Road). This trail under the karri was very wet & muddy, and lots of hills to push up. My energy & motivation levels were now low, so I plodded on to Walpole. At Hilltop Road there was a nice down hill section, but it was spoilt by a few branches and saplings across the track, so I couldn't speed down it as much as I would like to.
The scenic last section seemed to take forever and i was too tired to really enjoy it. In Walpole about 1.30pm. I went straight to a cafe on the Main Street in Walpole and had a big burger and large coffee. Then went to the tourist bureau to find accommodation - it sounded like the Walpole Lodge was the best bet. It was just off the main strip, a youth hostel type set up with dorm rooms from $27, as well as more expensive private rooms. I grabbed a 4 bed dorm and ended up the only person in it overrnight. I really recommend this place - the owners are young & keen, it has a great central kitchen, all the Bib track walkers seem to stay here, it has free Wi Fi and it was a great price. Had some dinner in town then chatted with a Bib track walker - he said some of the stream crossings were over his head and he had to swim them! Did some washing and sat with it as it dries - the wind was strong but occassional showers had me grabbing it off the line before it got wet. Bed about 9.30pm. Only 51km, but it was a tough day.
Softtail no luggage
Denmark Nornalup Heritage Trail:
Left Denmark at 7.30 am on a cool overcast day, just right for cycling. Road the Heritage trail to Limburne Rd, which was as usual, pretty good. Some sandy patches around, especially in the open farm land, and the North side of the SC Hway was all good gravel road. After Limburne Rd the trail had been improved with some extra gravel and leveling out. However there were some sandy sections that I had to walk, but not for too long. After that it was old train line and pretty good riding. Got to the end at Parker Rd and rode the 10 km on SC Hway to Bow Bridge. Stopped for a snack at 11am. Rode down the Peaceful Bay Rd and rejoined the trail. It was abit overgrown as it was for bikes only not cars. It also had a lot of sticks, branches and leaf litter and was abit damp but good riding. Saw 2 tiger snakes in this section, and they were hard to spot with all the sticks. I got to Station Rd which was freshly graded. Headed to the Highway and Valley Of the Giants Rd. After the Treetop walk the road leaves the trees and heads to open farm land - not the most exciting riding. Stopped at Bow Bridge for lunch. When I got to the sandy section I was pretty hot and weary, and the last 20 km were a struggle. Got in about 4.30 pm, 128 km over 9hrs 15 mins, 7 hrs 4 mins ride time. This will be my biggest ever day ride, a personal record that still stands as of Jan 2015.