Margaret River, Western Australia

Rail Trail bike ride.  Margaret River Western Australia

It was nearly a case of ‘last seen lost in forest’ as He Himself and I set out with some friends for what was to be a leisurely bike ride in Margaret River.

We had set off for a Sunday excursion along The Margaret River Trail, a bike trail that runs for 15kms from the rail head at Carter’s Road just outside Margaret River to Cowaramup.

9.30am Start

First though a slight detour along Carter road, through beautiful forest with He Himself leading with gusto like the Pied Piper in the wrong direction, mostly uphill, for 2kms.

Words (not all of them kind) were spoken and Dave was under some pressure to get us back on track in the quickest possible time.

Safely back on the trail and now with all remaining Saturday Night cobwebs blown away, we cycled on through peppermint, jarrah and young karri forest. There are picturesque bridges which arch over creeks and streams, and lush farmland near Cowaramup, where we stopped in the village for coffee and cool drinks at the bakery.

Cowaramup, Western Australia by Jo Castro
The pretty town of Cowaramup is aptly named!

The trail is rated ‘moderate’ and it’s relatively flat as it was once part of the old railway network built during the timber boom. That’s not to say that I didn’t notice the slight downward decline on the way back to Margaret River, when I could do less peddling and more daydreaming and looking around  instead.

We arrived back at Rotary Park at around noon having cycled 30 kms and set up for a lunchtime Barbie of snags and a feast of salads which we consumed in the forest by the river.

Fact File

Springtime is the best season for the trail because wildflowers are abundant and it’s likely to be perfect cycling weather. However, it’s also a great trail in summertime because the forest canopy protects you from the full glare of the sun.

Bike trail, margaret river, western australia by Dave Castro
Wild flowers and Watsonias are abundant along the trail in springtime

What is it: Bush Walk or Bike Ride (mountain bikes recommended)

Start: Start from trailhead off Carter’s Road.

End: Cowaramup

Park: At Rotary Park (Old Kate steam engine is the focal point) just before you enter Margaret River (before the river) where there are toilets, barbecues and a children’s play park. Or  park at the other end of the trail in Cowaramup.

Difficulty: Moderate, easy to navigate, picnic areas along the way.

Pack: Water, light rain jacket (if required), mobile phone in case of emergency.

Amenities: Coffee shops, bakery and a general store in Cowaramup to refuel at the half way mark.

Length: 15 kms one way (we took about an hour each way)

Birdlife: Expect yellow robins, parrots and blue wrens.

Cycle trail from Margaret River to Prevelly and on to Gnarabup Beach

From Margaret River to Gnarabup Beach is about 10kms along a concrete cycle path that goes all along Walcliffe Road. On the way there it’s mostly downhill, coming back the other way there’s a couple of climbs. You’ll most likely see kangaroos in pastures as you leave Margaret River, and pass through some pretty forested areas before coming in view of Margaret River (the river itself) and the ocean.

Gnarabup Beach, Western Australia by Dave Castro
Top and bottom left: Gnarabup Beach. Top Right, Middle Right and Bottom Right: Scenes along the Margaret River to Prevelly bike path. Middle Bottom: Sea Gardens Restaurant

There’s a camp site and convenience store at Prevelly,  which is about 8 kms along route, as well as a sea view restaurant (that has won many awards).”Sea Gardens” serves breakfast, lunch and dinner – go for Rachel’s dreamy cakes, and for the amazing breakfasts or fabulous pizzas. It’s BYO if you like, and the Prevelly store also sells reasonably priced wines.

Then it’s down hill to Gnarabup, with a bit of a climb at the end. The beach is good for swimming, and The White Elephant Cafe right on the beachfront is open in season.

There are toilets, and showers here if you need a spruce up after a cooling off swim, before downing a well deserved gallon of water and heading back for a nice glass of wine and a pizza at Sea Gardens!

Helpful Links:

Margaret River Visitor Centre
Tel: +61 (0)8 9780 5911


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  1. It is Natasha 🙂 There are so many great biking trails in this part of the country – hope you can visit soon 🙂 Thanks for popping by.

  2. Next WA trip we’ll focus on the south west … kinda ran out of time this year!! But I sure won’t be riding the wrong way uphill …

  3. Ha Ha Red! Surely not all downhill for you? 🙂 Can’t wait to see you in this neck of the woods one day soon 🙂

  4. As you know Jo , I’m always up for a bike ride. And a foodie trail to enjoy a few guilt free treats. Joy.

  5. Justin | Hari ng Lakbay

    I would love to do this somday, then meet some kangaroos along the road. 😀

  6. You’ll definitely see kangaroos in this part of Australia, Justin. Hope you do manage to get here one day 🙂

  7. I would love to bike on those trails someday; thanks for sharing this post.

  8. They are pretty cool, and a great way to get out and about in the awesome SWA countryside 🙂

  9. Tony Clarke

    We’re going camping soon to yallingup could you recommend any bike rides in the area and safe parking etc

  10. Hi Tony, parking down at the beach, or at Caves House (but I wouldn’t leave bikes on the back or valuable in the car just in case). I don’t know any bike trails around there, although walking is lovely on the Cape to Cape track. Probably best to ride (if you’re fit) or drive to Dunsborough along the road, and get on the Dunsborough to Busselton bike path which is lovely.

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