More and more people are discovering one of the region’s best kept secrets: its potential for trail running.

With coastal and inland routes, beautiful national parkland and forests, there’s always something new to discover. The great thing about running in the Margaret River Region is that it’s so easy; you’re always just a stone’s throw away from some scenic trails. Of course, when attempting these trails make sure that you are carrying enough water, particularly in the summer months, and that someone knows when you are due to get back.

Lace up your trainers, here are five great running trails to get you started.

Winter Walks - Meelup Regional Park Trails
The Meelup Regional Park Trails. Photo: Supplied

Dunsborough to Meelup Beach

  • Starting point: Dunsborough
  • One-way length: 3.11km
  • Difficulty: Easy

The beautiful Meelup Track follows the coastline from Dunsborough to Meelup Beach. It’s mostly a gravel trail with brief sections over the beach and through a woodland. There are plenty of reasons to take this one slowly – you can stop to admire the beautiful Curtis Bay and Castle Rock, and during spring you’re likely to see wildflowers and whales.

Cape to Cape Track Cape Leeuwin Sugarloaf Rock
The Cape to Cape Track, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. Photo: Supplied

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse to Sugarloaf Rock

  • Start point: Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
  • One-way length: 3.9km
  • Difficulty: Moderately easy

This track starts and ends with two of the northern end of the region’s icons: the working Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, and the towering, sea-sculptured Sugarloaf Rock. This is an easily accessible, reasonably short run which is paved or on boardwalks all the way. There are stunning views, particularly from the lookout and as you approach Sugarloaf Rock. We particularly recommend doing this run at sunset!

Rails to Trails (Wadandi Track)

  • Start point: Cowaramup
  • One-way length: 16.41km
  • Difficulty: Moderately easy

The Rails to Trails is a delightful, well graded, wide dual-use trail that runs from the town of Cowaramup (north of Margaret River) through to Witchcliffe (south of Margaret River). There are various access points for the trail, and runners can try out a short section or run the whole trail. Much of the trail is shaded with a broad canopy of trees overhead, and scenery ranges from tall forest to vineyards, open farmland and bushland.

The Wadandi Track. Photo: Margaret River Ultra

Crazy Steps

  • Start point: North or south side of Boodjidup Valley
  • One-way length: 10.31km (including 183 steps)
  • Difficulty: Difficult

Hidden in the Boodjidup Valley, part of the Cape to Cape Track reveals a gruelling set of stairs. Known by locals as ‘the crazy steps’, these 183 stairs take runners down into the Boodjidup Valley, across the Boodjidup Brook, and up the other side of the valley. Not for the faint-hearted, this trail is for experienced runners.

Augusta Ocean & River Trail

  • Start point: Augusta Town Jetty
  • One-way length: 4.5km
  • Difficulty: Easy

Start at the Town Jetty which is located at the bottom of Ellis Street in Augusta – from there it’s just over a kilometre of easy boardwalk/pathway, following the banks of the Hardy Inlet before you reach Turner Street Jetty (where the inlet enters the Southern Ocean). Along the way you might see dolphins or seabirds playing in the river, and you will definitely see some spectacular views. You can return the way you came for a just over a 2km run or you can continue on the path and join up with the ocean trail which takes you along the coast for another 2.5km to Flinders Bay, the location of the Old Flinders Settlement where Augusta was first settled back in 1830.

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