- Rail Trail
- On Road
- Possible Rail Trail
- Other Trail
- former Railway
The Ranford Pool Walk Trail is a short rail trail near Boddington in the Peel region. On the alignment of the former Pinjarra–Narrogin line, the trail finishes at Darnmining Pool (also known as Ranford Pool).
Boddington has accommodation, cafes, a hotel and a supermarket. The best time to visit is between April and October, when the Hotham River contains water and the surrounding farmland is lush.
- The small town of Boddington
- Hotham River foreshore
- Ranford Pool
- Other connecting trails such as the Tullis Bridge Walk Trail
Following Hotham River, the trail winds through paperbark thickets and rural paddocks and ends near the site of the former Tannin Extracts Factory in Ranford.
The first part of the walk is fully paved along the old railway alignment; wide enough for bikes, prams and wheelchairs. At River Rd it continues north to the river and pool. Returning west along the riverbank when water levels permit, a separate path reverts to a more natural state and ends as a narrow walking trail only, rejoining the start of the trail closer to town.
Darnmining/Ranford Pool is a deep part of Hotham River that served the tannin factory from the 1930s to the 1960s. The pool is a popular with local children as a swimming hole. The walk trail is signposted and has information signs on the area’s birds and fishes.
Rail Trails Australia acknowledges the Wiilman people of the Noongar Nation, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the trail is built.
Development and future of the rail trail
In 2020 the Peel Alliance (comprising the Mandurah, Murray, Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Waroona and Boddington Councils) released a State funding submission that focused on a variety of infrastructure, jobs and tourism initiatives. The document identified several rail trail opportunities within a short drive of Perth, including the proposed Hotham Valley Rail Trail, which would involve upgrading/combining the Tullis Bridge and Ranfrod Pool Walk Trails, and extending them west to Dwellingup.
Rail line history
The Pinjarra to Narrogin railway was a 153 km line built between Pinjarra and Narrogin. The line opened in stages between 1910 and 1927 to serve the timber industry as well as rural and fruit-growing industries. Pinjarra and Narrogin are on the South Western and Great Southern main lines, so the Pinjarra to Narrogin line provided an important link with towns and mills such as Dwellingup and Boddington. The closing of many of local timber mills led to a decline in traffic on the line and services were withdrawn until last service ended in 1984. The Hotham Valley Railway operates a heritage railway over 32 km between Pinjarra and Etmilyn, near Dwellingup.