Access to the JFNP is off the Great Eastern Hwy. There is ample parking for a fee within the picnic area with gates closing at 4pm. Alternately Pechy Rd, Swan View access has unsupervised and free car parking with a 4 km walk leading to the picnic area.
Many picnic shelters and seating are scattered around the picnic area. Toilet facilities and a tavern are also within the grounds. A Ranger is generally on duty over the weekend and can be found at the rangers office. Many kangaroos, varied bird life and snakes make the JFNP their home.
From the picnic area if you prefer a shorter days walk then Hovea Falls, National Falls, the rail bridge and train tunnel make for a very enjoyable stroll. Also the 5 km Wild flower circuit walk leaves from the picnic area. As you meander around there is much history that can be read about.
The waterfalls only flow in the winter months but make for fun rock scrambling during the warmer months.
The 40km Heritage Trail circuit also runs through the JFNP for enthusiastic recreational cyclist making for a great cycle through the bush.
Eagle Track::: Located within the John Forest National Park is the 15km Eagle Track. The track starts and ends at the picnic area with the hike intentions log book and maps available from the rangers office before heading off along the well sign posted track.
The track meanders through bush following gravel bush roads and narrow footpaths with the surface being rather rough at times with tree roots and stones to negotiate around and over.
Hikers need to be mindful that the track is shared with enthusiastic mountain bike cyclists enjoying the adventure of flogging up the ascents and the thrill of the descents over rough terrain.
The first serious ascent is a steady climb up carved out dirt steps which leads to the Eagle View area with a rocky outcrop display that overlooks the locality of Jane Brook and an opportunity to sight the city of Perth if skies are clear enough. A great spot to pause and take the view in before embarking on the steep rough descent.
The next ascent is a challenging climb over a very rocky path with the spring flowers in spring showcasing a spectacular display. The view of the Wandoo Valley can be enjoyed from this point.
Further a long the the track a final ascent takes you to a natural viewing platform of the Perth city and on a clear day creates a wonderful photo opportunity. From this section it is pretty much down hill back to the picnic area with a detour to Hovea Falls.
Along the Eagle track there is no availability of water so it is essential to carry adequate water and food along with first aid and mobile phone. Leave ‘no trace policy’ must be adhered too whilst in the JFNP.
The JFNP is a great place for those who wish to enjoy a stroll around the main picnic area or take on a few more challenging kms that the Eagle track provides. If you are a local or a visitor to WA the JFNP is a great place to appreciate nature.
Until next yarn, happy hiking.