With so many trails to get to and so many different variables to take into account, how do we know which trail is suitable to where you are at with your fitness, time available, and ability right now?
In 2011, the Australian Walking Track Grading System was endorsed by Bushwalking Australia as the walking standard for grading. The grading system was developed to enable uniform grading of hiking trails and to communicate that grade to the public in an easy to understand way.
Under this grading system, hiking trails are graded on a difficulty scale from grades one to five.
Grade One is suitable for people with a disability with assistance. These trails are always wheelchair and pram friendly, usually hard surfaces, and flat terrain. No bushwalking or hiking experience required, and walks no longer than 5km.
An example hike in this grade is Lake Leschenaultia, Chidlow.
Grade Two is suitable for families with young children. No bushwalking or hiking experience required. These trails tend to be on hard or compacted surfaces, with a small amount of loose surface. Grade 2 walks no more than 10km.
An example hike in this grade is Swan View Tunnel and Heritage Trail, John Forrest National Park .
Grade Three is still suitable for most ages and fitness levels, however it is recommended for people with some bushwalking or hiking experience. Trails may have short steep hills, rough surfaces, and sections of uneven ground. These trails walk up to 20km.
An example hike in this grade is Baldwins Bluff, Serpentine National Park.
Grade Four is recommended for experienced hikers. Trails may likely be long and rough, with very steep ascents and descents. Signage is often limited.
An example hike in this grade is Bluff Knoll, Stirling Ranges.
Grade Five is recommended for very experienced hikers. Trails are very rough, steep and often unmarked. Hikers should not go out on these trail without good navigation skills and first aid provisions. These trails walk more than 20km most times.
An example hike in this grade is Toolbrunnup Peak, Stirling ranges.
We hope this guide helps you to find the right trail for you! We do find sometimes the information provided on the trail can air on the side of caution, so if you are heading out on your own, make sure you do your research online prior to heading out on the trail.