The weather is warming up and it's a great time to get outdoors and enjoy places nearby such as the Swan Valley, which is just a short drive from Perth.
And it's easy to enjoy a day out under your own steam with the Cycling in the Swan Valley & Guildford brochure, which lists a number of bicycle trails in an area well set out for getting around by pedal power.
Much of the valley is traversed by wide shared-use paths and quiet streets and along each is a host of attractions from wineries to restaurants, parks, picnic areas, animal farms, producers of honey, chocolate and coffee and historical sites.
Route 1: Guildford to Swan Valley
This 15km ride begins at Guildford Train Station - the train is a quick way into the area from Perth but note there is limited space for bikes and they are not permitted during morning and afternoon peak periods.
Guildford was a main centre in the Swan Valley Settlement and there are many historic buildings in the area. From the station, take the shared use path east and cross the railway track adjacent to Johnson Street moving north through Stirling Square where the Gothic St Matthews Church was built in 1873. Through the park is the Swan Valley Visitor Centre, where there is carparking available. Head in for more information on the area, or follow the trail north along Meadow Street, where it passes Moultons Landing, once the site of a public wharf. Cross the Swan River at Barker's Bridge.
Below the bridge is Lilac Hill Park, which has a playground, barbecue and tables. There's a 4km scenic loop, which passes wineries and restaurants on Hamersley Road or continue north along Meadow Street and West Swan Road passing attractions such as the Yahava Coffeeworks, The Margaret River Chocolate Company, Duckstein Brewery and Supa Golf. The shared-use path ends just to the north near the intersection with Henley Street.
There are a number of detours on this route, including a 6.8km loop west to Whiteman Park, where there are extensive cycle paths. Or at Douglas Road, turn right to cycle over the river at Maali Footbridge to Maali Bridge Park about 1.5km away. Again there are barbecue facilities.
Much of this route is also part of the 12km Swan Valley Heritage Cycle Trail, a shared use path that has starting points at Guildford, Maali Footbridge and West Swan Hall. Along the route are a series of signs recording the history of the land and the people of the Swan Valley and the trail passes galleries, wineries and roadside fruit vendors.
32km Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail
This is an extension of route one but the roads are slightly busier, so it's a ride for more confident cyclists. Instead of turning back near Henley Street, continue 3.3km to the junction with Great Northern Highway. Along the way, turn right on Henry Street and visit historic All Saints Anglican Church, the oldest in WA, built where Captain Stirling camped on his 1827 survey of the Swan River.
Take the Great Northern Highway south back into Guildford, passing vineyards such as Rangeview, Talijancich and Twin Hill, art galleries, places for lunch or a hot drink like The Coffee Hut and attractions such as The House of Honey.
Route 2: Maali Footbridge to West Swan Road
At 4km, this is by far the shortest route and is good for families with younger children. Start at Maali Footbridge, which is easy to reach by turning left off the Great Northern Highway at Barrett Street. Have a picnic in the park or try lunch at Sittella Winery. Then head west across the river to the shared path at West Swan Road and cycle north to Henley Street.
Route 3: Maali Footbridge, Swan River - Eastern Swan Valley
This circular route through the east of the valley loops for 18km, much of it on quiet roads, and there are a number of detours cyclists can take. Enjoy the quiet at Maali Bridge Park or check out the fashions at Alpaca Plus.
Take Barrett Street east to the Great Northern Highway, cross and cycle south on the sealed shoulder for 500m before turning left into Lennard Street, where you'll find Mondo Nougat & Chocolate. Cycle north on Railway Crescent which is lined with vineyards, an olive farm and a nursery. Take a right on Haddrill Road where there's the Swan Valley Fish and Lily Farm and Feral Brewery, then head south on Campersic Street for 4.4km and then back to the starting point via Lennard Street and the Great Northern Highway.
Route 4: Memorial Avenue - Meet the Winemaker
Start at Baskerville Oval on Memorial Avenue and head in either direction to visit the wineries, many of them family-owned, that the valley has become known for. Examples include John Kosovich, Harris Organic Wines and Baxter-Stokes Wines. The ride is approximately 3km - check winery websites for opening hours.
Cycling in the Swan Valley & Guildford is available at swanvalley.com.au and from the Swan Valley Visitor Centre at the corner of Meadow and Swan Streets in Guildford. Consult the website and visitor centre for information on bike hire.