This short-but-nice bush walk is a great thing to do when you’re visiting the main picnic and tavern area in John Forrest National Park. It only takes about half an hour to forty-five minutes to walk and it gets you away from the car parks and groups of people into the jarrah forest and around the incredibly serene clear waters of Glen Brook Dam.
When we walked the trail back in June the wattle was coming into bloom and the ground dotted with pretty native buttercup flowers and in places the bushland was a sea of bright yellow. I’ve visited John Forrest National Park and other locations in the Perth Hills every week between then and now (late August) and the wild flowers are getting better and more varied as the season progresses.
Glen Brook Walking Trail Track Notes
Distance: 1.8 – 2km loop (depending on where in the picnic area you start the walk)
Time: 30 – 40 minutes
Cost: National Park entrance fee to reach the start point of this trail (standard $12/vehicle) details here
1. Finding the Trail in John Forrest Picnic Area
The Glen Brook Walk Trail begins in the John Forrest Picnic Area, the main picnic area in John Forrest National Park off Park Road, where the national park office and tavern are located. The official start point of the trail is at the John Forrest Rail Bridge (northern end of the picnic area), where the Glen Brook Trail meets up with the John Forrest Heritage Trail.
The Glen Brook flows down through the picnic area, but doesn’t always have water in it.
2. Follow the Trail Past the Picnic Area
You can pick up the trail anywhere along the western edge of the picnic area (left side as you first drive in), just look out for Glen Brook, trail signage and blue triangle trail markers.
The trail follows the course of the brook on its western side.
3. John Forrest Picnic Area to Glen Brook Dam Wall
After leaving the picnic area behind the trail climbs further up the valley, continuing to follow Glen Brook which is down to the left. There are lots of grass trees and wattle bushes growing amongst the jarrah. When we did the walk back in June the bright yellow wattle and native buttercups were in flower and later into winter and spring there’ll be more wild flowers to see.
4. The Glen Brook Dam Wall
After not too long you reach the Glen Brook Dam wall. We took a short sidetrip here, walking out onto the dam wall to get some good photos of the dam.
If you want to do the short version of this walk cross the dam wall to the other side then follow the alternative track described in Step 8 below.
5. Along the western edge of Glen Brook Dam
Continue following the trail south along the western edge of the dam.
The dam is quite picturesque with very clear water and an interesting granite boulder on the far side that reminded us of Greens Pool near Denmark, WA. The trail passes by close to the dam but several metres above, and you view the water in between the trunks of jarrah trees.
6. Track Crossroads
The dam narrows towards the end as it becomes the Glen Brook again, and the trail descends slightly. This area can get swampy in winter when the brook is flowing. The trail crosses the brook and reaches a cross roads with other tracks. Turn left here, and if you’re not sure where to go just keep an eye out for the blue triangle marking the way. The track crosses over some boardwalks and climbs steps up a hill.
7. Along the eastern edge of Glen Brook Dam
The track continues along the eastern edge of the dam high above the water.
We walked down to the dam shoreline and onto the orange coloured beach.
8. Glen Brook Dam Wall Back to John Forrest Picnic Area
The official route back to the picnic area, according to the map on the information boards in the picnic area, is to cross over the dam wall to the other side and return via the same track as at the start of the walk.
Alternative track: Katherine and I found a different way though, following a minor track from the dam wall on its eastern side into dense wattle undergrowth. This trail also leads back to the picnic and carpark area.
Starting Point: John Forrest National Park Main Picnic Area
Glen Brook Dam Walk Trail begins in the main picnic area in John Forrest National Park in the Perth Hills, a big rambling picnic spot near the confluence of Glen Brook, Mahogany Creek and Jane Brook. It’s a great place to visit for the day with beautiful bush scenery, walk trails (both short and long), water running in the creeks during winter, places to swim and paddle in summer, and great picnic facilities including BBQ’s, benches and even little wood cabin shelters. The national park office and John Forrest Tavern are also located there.
Entrance to John Forrest National Park for the day is $12/vehicle (carrying 12 people or less) or $6/vehicle for motorbikes and some concession card holders. There’s a payment station before the entrance to the picnic area.
Alternative start point: Park your car off the side of Park Road as it passes above Glen Brook Dam then walk down the steep hillside to pick up the trail.
John Forrest National Park is located about 30km east-north-east from the centre of Perth, or 10km east from Midland. Heading out of the city on Great Eastern Highway, turn left onto Park Road. Park Road is a scenic drive winding its way through the national park to the main picnic area.
More Bush Walks beginning at the John Forrest National Park main picnic area:
- John Forrest Heritage Trail (part of Railway Reserves Trail)
- Walk west to National Park Falls
- Walk west to Swan View Tunnel
- Walk east to Hovea Falls
- Walk east to Parkerville
- Eagle View Trail – highly recommended; one of my favourite walks in the Perth Hills!
Last Updated: 5th September, 2015.
First posted on 20th August, 2015 by Bonny.
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