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The Old Timberline Rail Trail follows the route of a tramway built by the Kauri Timber Company.
The southern end of the Old Timberline Trail is at the old railway bridge in the Nannup Foreshore Park and runs to Cambray Siding. A second rail trail, the Sidings Rail Trail, also beings at Nannup and follows the route of a former government railway. The two trails can be combined to form a 37 km loop.
In July 2009, the section of the OTT between Sleeper Hewer's Camp and Cambray Siding was closed for safety reasons to allow repairs to a culvert blowout caused by heavy rains. There are temporary track closure signs on all access points as well as in Nannup. As of August 2010 repairs have not been able to be completed, but the area is passable with care in good weather conditions. The area should not be entered during rain or flood conditions.
The Timberline trail leaves the tramway formation in a couple of places and in these sections it is narrow and, in places, steep. Nannup, a heritage town of 1200, has been greatly influenced by railways and its relationship with the valuable jarrah and karri timber industry. The trail starts in Nannup at the old railway bridge. This bridge was used by the government railway to Nannup, the tramway originally crossed the river about 3 km to the south near the sawmill. After crossing the bridge, the trail swings southwest to join the tramway formation while the Sidings Rail Trail continues north.
After about 5 km, the trail leaves the formation for several kilometres to cut across to Workers (although frequently referred to as Workers the correct name is Workmans) Pool and Barrabup Pool. These are pools formed by St John Brook. In the days when a sawmill operated at Barrabup, the mill workers could bathe at Workers (Workmans) pool, but Barrabup pool was reserved for the mill manager!
After crossing the brook at Barrabup pool, the trail climbs steeply to rejoin the tramway formation. Note: if you are coming south, the formation continues straight ahead here, but you will need to turn left to Barrabup pool.
The trail continues north along the formation for a couple of kilometres. A loop off the formation to the east avoids a section that may be muddy in wet weather, but in dry weather you can continue straight ahead.
The trail then climbs steeply before descending back down to the brook. The descent is steep and narrow so cyclists may need to wheel their bikes. At the bottom of the descent the trail rejoins the formation at the point where the tramway once crossed the brook. The remains of the bridge can be seen here. Note: if you are heading south, the trail makes a sharp right just before the bridge. This turn is badly signed as at October 2006. Look for a marker arrow half way up a tree.
The trail continues, mostly on the formation, to Cambray Siding where it meets the Sidings Rail Trail to form a loop.
Signs explaining the history of the railway and tramway have been placed along the trail at intervals between Barrabup Pool and Cambray Siding.
Car access is available to Cambray Siding and Barrabup Pool on dirt roads. The road into Cambray is narrow and may not be passable by 2WD vehicles after wet weather. The trail is mainly compacted earth with some gravel sections.
The rail trail is managed by the Recreation and Trails Unit of the Department of Environment and Conservation, ph. (08) 93340265 or email.
Nannup to Cambray in Regional Western Australia
300km south of Perth
Compacted earth, Coarse gravel
Flat and undulating with some steep sections
For more information and a location map please visit RailTrails Australia.