Adelaide Hills flood damage closes some walking trails.

flood-damage-to-montacute-road14-09-2016

Flood damage to Montacute Road (picture courtesy of ABC News).

The heavy rains that fell in the Adelaide Hills last week have damaged some popular walking trails and restricted access to several parks.

The lower section of the Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty trail is closed and may take several months to repair. Alternative access points to the Mount Lofty trail can be found here: Cleland Conservation Park – Waterfall Gully.

While some of the damage has already been repaired, the following parks are also currently affected:

Walkers are advised to check the Park closures listing before setting out to walk in parks in the hills.

Montacute Road at Athelstone and Waterfall Gully Road at Burnside remain closed while repair works continue. Waterfall Gully Road is currently restricted to local traffic only, although it is expected to reopen within a few days.

You can check the current road access at Traffic SA road closures.

Walkers be warned – Bees!

Bees love Canola

Now is the time you need to take caution when walking near flowering crops. We are now at the highest risk of being attacked by bees.

August to October sees canola crops come into full flower providing picturesque bright yellow fields. The flowers attract bees and the installation of commercial bee hives (clusters of white boxes). Bees don’t take kindly to any interference (intentional or not) and can attack en masse.

What you need to do:

  1. To reduce the risk, walkers are strongly advised to avoid walking between the bee hives and neighbouring canola crops in flower.
  2. If your walking trail passes a group of hives, take a wide berth away from them. If possible, stick to made tracks or walk along fencelines.  You should avoid walking through crops when off trail.
  3. If you have experienced reactions to bee stings, you are responsible for carrying appropriate medication. You should also advise your walk leader of any medical condition before you commence your walk.

Walk the Yorke Official Opening 13 December 2015

The Friends of the Heysen Trail were represented at the successful opening to the Walk the Yorke at Port Vincent on Sunday 13 December 2015.

Around 70 walkers checked out four kilometres of the trail from Port Vincent wharf north to the Golf Club. At the Golf Club a large range of stalls and activities were crowded with locals and visitors before the opening by Rowan Ramsay MP at 12pm. There were many ARPA and Friends of the Heysen Trail members attending the walk.

Maps of the trail, including detailed section maps, are on the Visit Yorke Peninsula website.

The planning and construction was driven by the Yorke Peninsula Council Operations Manager, Stephen (Goldy) Goldsworthy. It was Goldy’s concept, and his passion and dedication that has delivered the project. Major funding came from an Australian Government Regional Development grant ($1.3m), plus the Yorke Peninsula Council ($1.3m) and the Government of South Australia ($900,000).

Almost 500km of trail, linking tracks and roads has been marked, trailhead signs are at all towns, plus walker crossing signs on the main roads. Shared Use signs indicate when walkers, bikes and cars are on the same road/track. Signs indicate where bikes and walkers separate. Bench seats installed and shelters with tanks constructed at strategic locations for multi-day treks. The section out of Port Wakefield towards Port Clinton follows the old trail formation. The walking trails vary from many kilometres of well formed gravel paths, to more challenging natural trail and beach walking along the south sections. For bushwalkers there seems to be a lot of road walking for an end to end trek, although the ARPA walkers have completed the full length over the past 3 years. Plenty of sections along the coast for short and day walks, with views of the ocean, along beaches and through coastal bush.

Goldy sees the Walk the Yorke as a work-in-progress, with the Council committed to maintenance, and local interest groups helping to keep the trail maintained. The plan is for upgrades and rerouting to improve the experience, to be done over time.

Checking out Other Sections – Port Clinton to Port Vincent

On Saturday as we checked out sections of the Walk the Yorke from Pt Clinton to Port Vincent.

Walk the Yorke from Port Clinton to Port Vincent (2) Walk the Yorke from Port Clinton to Port Vincent (3) Walk the Yorke from Port Clinton to Port Vincent (4) Walk the Yorke from Port Clinton to Port Vincent

Checking out Other Sections – South from Port Vincent

South from Port Vincent, Walk the Yorke Trail (2) South from Port Vincent, Walk the Yorke Trail (3) South from Port Vincent, Walk the Yorke Trail (4) South from Port Vincent, Walk the Yorke Trail

Seats made from recycled plastic, example at Port Julia. There are 40 of these seats that Stephen designed, and are installed along the walk. A lot of the posts and infrastructure utilises recycled plastic. Steel flexible posts, in yellow, are used as standard marker posts. Brown recycled plastic posts are also used for marker posts.

This Sunday 8th November – Morialta Centenary Picnic. 2 x Walks. Bid on Historic Images Auction

Morialta Centenary Picnic Sunday 8th November. 2 x Walks. Bid on Historic Images AuctionJoin in the community events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Morialta Conservation Park.

Free walks for the public to check out the Morialta Conservation Park.

  • 8:00am – 10:45am Friends of Heysen Trail guided walk into the higher areas of the park and back.
  • 9:00am – 10:45am Friends of Heysen Trail guided walk up around the top of First Falls, Second Falls and back.
  • Both walks are due back for the official program starting at 11am. 20 person limit to each walk.

11:00am Welcome to Country by Kaurna Elder Lewis O’Brien.

View all the day’s activities, including free face painting, slacklining, Bugs N Slugs, Violets, Ranger Talk.

Supported by us, the Friends of the Heysen Trail, Friends of Black Hill & Morialta and Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty.

Bushwalk.com eMag Featuring South Australia’s Best Walks

Bushwalk.com eMag October edition cover - Best South Australian Walks featuring Friends of the Heysen Trail

The October edition of Bushwalk.com eMag is out – with a focus the best walks in South Australia. The articles include a profile on the Friends of the Heysen Trail.

Other SA articles include:

Other articles include:

Deep Creek Family Fun Day – 20 September 2015

Deep Creek Family Fun Day - 20 September 2015Head to South Australia’s most scenic bushland reserve for a free family open day at Deep Creek Conservation Park.

  • Gourmet food and wine stalls
  • Enjoy kids’ face painting and games
  • Meet baby animals from the Native Animal Network
  • Meet animals including koalas from Urimbirra Wildlife Park
  • Learn about macro invertebrates with kids’ Water Watch activities

Drop in and say hi at our stall!

Lavender Federation Trail meets the Heysen Trail, extending to Clare

Lavender Federation Trail meets the Heysen Trail, extending to Clare

The Lavender Federation Trail has been successful in gaining grant funding to extend the trail from its current trailhead at Eudunda onwards to Clare.

The 106km extension will be constructed over the next 18 months and will bring the trail to a total 320km length. The extension also includes an 8km Point Pass Loop Trail and a 7km Robertstown Spur Trail.

The trail extension will intersect the Heysen Trail at Webb Gab. A special event is in the planning for April 2016 to celebrate the crossing of the two long-distance trails. The event will be run between us, the Friends of the Heysen Trail, and SARTI (South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated, the makers of the Lavender Federation Trail). The Lavender Federation Trail will also intersect with the Riesling Trail and Rattler Trails.

Survey on the Best Walks of SA

Survey on the Best Walks of South Australia

The Bushwalk Australia eMagazine October’s edition will focus on South Australia. They are seeking input on the best walks in South Australia.

Submit your favourite Heysen Trail walks! Browse through our Walk Selector for some inspiration.

Submit the survey below and enter your 6 favourite walks:

  • 3 x favourite day walks
  • 3 x favourite multi-day walks

For each walk:

  • name the walk/trail
  • short description of why you think it is good
  • a link to webpage somewhere with more info

If you are a day-walker only, or overnight-walker only, you could skip entering info on the other category.

Proposed Heysen Trail Realignment in Flinders Ranges Draft Management Plan – Have Your Say

Aroona-Valley-and-Heysen-RangeThe Flinders Ranges National Park Draft Management Plan has been released for public consultation. It sets out objectives and strategies for the ongoing protection and conservation of the natural and cultural values of the Park.

Our Concerns

We at the Friends of the Heysen Trail consider that the plan is well presented and a valuable addition to strategic planning for the region. We wholeheartedly agree with the investment in upgrading the hiking opportunities in the Park.

We would suggest the plan provide the vision of a diverse trail network of well managed trails covering the many diverse landforms, plus the natural and cultural features of the park. And as such we would have to disagree on the suggestion to re-align the Heysen Trail.

On page 18, “Developing a world class multi-day walk (with minimal impact hiker accommodation) based on a realignment of the Heysen Trail along the foothills of the Heysen Range between Bunyeroo Gorge and Aroona Campground.”

The most cited comment on hikers completing the Heysen Trail is that it provides such a variety of experiences. The countryside, vistas, flora and the fauna.

The proposal has the Heysen Trail continuing along the valley floor (mostly accessible by vehicle), rather than climbing to seeing the breathtaking vistas, trekking through geological ages, and through Sir Hans Heysen painting landscapes.

The proposed re-alignment of this section of the Heysen Trail:

  • miss out on some great vistas back to the Heysen Range and from walking through the Three Sisters from Sir Hans’s paintings. It misses the diversity of this country.
  • miss the magnificent vistas looking across the ABC Range to the rugged profile of Wilpena Pound and the Heysen Range, are one of the great iconic features of the Heysen Trail and we recommend this be retained.
  • Importantly it misses the Golden Spike at Trezona – Enorama Creek – Australia’s most significant geological feature, a world renown feature. Walkers on the Heysen Trail currently walk past the defining point, the ‘Golden Spike’. Other features such as the glacier rock are also passed on the Trail.
  • The current alignment takes the hikers through historic landscapes and includes two hiker huts. These old shepherd huts have been converted to hiker shelter and accommodation. They retain the original architecture and rustic character of the original construction. These would be by-passed with the proposed re-route. Hiker accommodation is currently available at these two huts.
  • The proposed re-alignment would require significant investment on trail construction and hiker accommodation. We consider this an unnecessary expense.

Working with the Government

The Friends are happy to provide ongoing assistance with the management of the trail within the park, working with Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resource (DEWNR) to enhance and improve trail and walker experiences.

We are finalising our fuller submission to respond to the draft plan. Review the plan yourself and share your views and any concerns at environment.sa.gov.au/haveyoursay

Responses close July 31, 2015.

5 Ordinary People finish 1,200km hike of Heysen Trail 2pm Saturday 20th June 2015

5 Ordinary People hiking the Heysen Trail

5 Ordinary People finish of their extraordinary 1,200km through hike of The Heysen Trail at Cape Jervis this at 2pm Saturday 20th June 2015. They will be welcomed by a large band of supporters at the Heysen Trail Trailhead in Cape Jervis. Heysen Trail End-to-End certificates and badges will be presented by the President of the Heysen Trail, Robert Alcock.

About the family’s 65-day trek

A family of five, including Eli, 12, Emily, 10, and Noah, 9, skipped term 2 of school in favour of hiking the Heysen Trail.

There’s so much more to life than just maths and English that kids miss out on, if parents don’t invest time in them.

Along with their parents Luke and Erina, they will be a world away from the classroom routine when they undertake a mission to cover 1,151km on foot over 56 days. Their trek began at the northern trailhead at Parachilna Gorge, trekking south through the Flinders Ranges and Adelaide Hills to Cape Jervis.

It’s all part of Erina’s plan to give her children an educational experience of a different kind.

“We want to teach our children the life lessons that, when you’re caught up in the nine to five regime, you just don’t have the time to do,” she says. “There’s so much more to life than just maths and English that kids miss out on, if parents don’t invest time in them.”

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