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Clare Valley Wine & Wilderness Trail

Sat 1 to Sun 2 Jun 2024

Walk name/location
Clare Valley Wine & Wilderness Trail
Walk grade
Extended Walk 2
Description

What is the Clare Valley Wine & Wilderness Trail?

  • A 100km walking trail around the Clare Valley.
  • The trail will consist of 6 stages, each stage is approximately 1 days walk. We have spread the hikes over 3 weekends.
  • The trail begins and ends at the Clare Valley Wine, Food & Tourism Centre. All other trail heads are at Wineries
  • The trail is a moderate grade hiking trail, challenges include;
    • Crossing Fences (with the use of a stile).
    • Crossing Flowing Creeks (during the wet winter months).
    • Steep climbs.
    • Rocky uneven surfaces & fallen trees.
    • Snakes during the hot months.
  • The trail showcases the region’s natural beauty & premium food and wine products, passing cellar doors, restaurants and cafes.
  • The trail is a public trail available to locals and visitors, users of the trail will be free to complete the entire route or smaller sections at their leisure.
  • The trail travels on a network of backroads, road reserves & private property.
  • There is no camping on the trail.
  • There is lots of great accommodation throughout the Clare Valley where you can base yourselves.
  • A bus will be organised to get you to the start of the hike each day.

Saturday 1st June 2024 – Stage 3

Distance 13.5km
Duration Allow 4 hours of actual walking time
Difficulty Moderate – about 5.5km of easy road to follow and 8km of harder trail through paddocks, multiple ridge climbs and winter creeks. 80% of the route is well shaded.
Elevation Gain 409m
Start Jeanneret Wines, 22 Jeanneret Rd, Sevenhill SA 5453
End O’Leary Walker Wines, 7093 Horrocks Highway, Leasingham, Clare SA 5452
Map Download Here

Description

Traversing the picturesque Skillogalee Valley, Stage 3 encompasses six wineries, the greatest number of cellar doors of all the stages on the Trail.

Starting at Jeanneret Wines.

From the trail signage next to the dam, locate a small vehicle track and head east. Note the trail continues straight through the bush where the road turns left (it’s easy to miss this turn) and push through to the ridge where, on emerging from the scrub, you will be presented with a stunning view of the Skillogalee Vineyards and Skilly Valley – one of the best views on the entire trail. Follow the markers toward the Skillogalee restaurant and cellar door, making sure that you stay well clear on the vineyards. Continue through the carefully cultivated vineyards towards Mitchell Wines.

Cross the stile in the paddock and continue along the creek line through the old pear orchard until you reach a stile that will thrust you into the domain of Kilikanoon Wines.

Head east along the fence line, then curve south along the creek for a short distance, keeping a close eye on trail markers as you head up towards Hughes Park Road. (Don’t be distracted by the resident alpaca clowning around, pretending to be a dead sheep!). Whilst on the subject of sheep, please give them plenty of room, if you see newborn lambs stop & go well around, mothers and lambs need to bond for at least 6 hours and must remain undisturbed, if you split them up,  lamby will probably die.

Cross the road and look for a stile heading east into more beautiful bushland, then hike up the hill on an old dirt track that takes you south along the ridge line. Zig zag down through the bush to Hughes Park Road again, and follow this enchanting old stock route for 5.5km. Enjoy the shade from the massive gum trees towering over you as you walk along, and watch for local traffic. On a clear day, you will see Mount Oakden, the second highest mountain in the Clare Valley (elevation 580m) on your right.

After about 5km you’ll come to the Popes Hill Rd intersection, continue along Hughes Park Road (at this point called Upper Skilly Rd) for about 650 metres, keeping an eye out for a stile on your left.

Cross the stile and follow the fence line up the hill, and enjoy the challenging climb! Go through the gap in the fence half way up and veer right to avoid dense scrub before returning to the fence line. Once at the top, enjoy spectacular views as you begin to meander south along the ridge top. Now you really feel like you are in the wilderness, and will likely be accompanied by wallabies and kangaroos along the way.

Glimpses of vineyards and the Riesling Trail through the Clare Valley on the left unfurl into views of a patchwork quilt of vines and hills. Be sure to turn right before the gate on the top of the hill. The trail then undulates through natural scrub up, over and down the hill south to a fence and over another stile. Then follow this fence line south to your final style. Climb over this one and head down and up the next hill towards a final summit which is a beauty! Stop and rest, have a big drink of water and take it all in. You only have about 1.5 km to go.

Follow the trail markers down from the ridge top. At the bottom of the hill just before the Riesling Trail, the trail turns to the right, and  crosses an old fence towards a bitumen road.  Before you get to the bitumen road, note the old Pepper Tree in the Vineyard on your right (next to a pump shed) – this is the Pepper Tree Vineyard belonging to Mitchell Wines which supplies their Pepper Tree Shiraz.

Hop onto the Riesling Trail on the other side of the bitumen and head south for about 700m.  Prepare to be wowed by the scene that greets you here: O’Leary Walker Wines cellar door, your finishing point!.

Sunday 2nd June 2024 – Stage 4

Distance 12.5km
Duration Allow 3-4 hours
Difficulty Moderate to easy – gentle undulations along established trails, tracks and unpaved roads.
Elevation Gain -300m [223m if travelling in reverse, Auburn to Leasingham]
Start O’Leary Walker Wines, 7093 Horrocks Highway, Leasingham, Clare SA 5452
End Taylors Wines, Clare Valley, 89A Winery Rd, Auburn SA 5451
Map Download Here

Description

Passing through the enchanting village of Auburn, Stage 4 comprises the southernmost section of the Trail.

From O’Leary Walker Wines car park, head west towards the entry point to the Riesling Trail.  Turn left, and head south for 200 metres or so, before turning right through an open gate. Follow a vehicle track across the paddock, then exit via another open gate onto a dirt track.  Turn left, and follow the trail  markers along an old stock route for three kilometres or so. Enjoy sweeping easterly views across the Clare Valley towards Mount Horrocks and Polish Hill River Valley, until you reach the turn off for Tank Road.  Turn left, and follow this track all the way to the big water tank at the crest of the hill. Pause here a while, taking in the panoramic views – on a clear day you can see the Camel’s Hump Range in the distance.

Continue east along the road, turning left into Maddern Road once you arrive at the next junction.

Follow Maddern Road until you arrive back at the Riesling Trail, turn right, and follow south into the charming village of Auburn.  

You will pass by the Rising Sun Hotel before arriving at Velvet & Willow Wines.

On leaving Wines by KT, continue south along the footpath and watch for the trail marker turning you left along a creek path prior to reaching the service station.  Follow this path across Eyre’s Creek and up to Mt Horrocks Wines, a delightful cellar door space converted from the historic Auburn Railway Station.  Head north along a new section of the Riesling Trail, which pops you out onto a paved road north of the township.

Turn right to cross Eyre’s Creek, then look for the trail marker guiding you left onto a grassy track.  Enjoy the lovely views across vineyard country up to Mount Horrocks (look for the phone towers)  This old government road will, take you to Overton Road.  Turn left, and follow your nose (and the signs) to iconic Taylors Wines.  You have now completed Stage 4.

BIOSECURITY MEASURES – Please ensure you thoroughly clean your footwear, clothing, walking poles and other equipment before and after each walk to remove all seeds, dirt and other debris. Removed seeds should be bagged and disposed in a ‘to landfill’ garbage bin.

Start
Saturday 1 June 2024
End
Sunday 2 June 2024
Walk Leaders
Heather Jensen
Adam Matthews
Suzanne Matthews
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Meeting Location

Meeting location details will be provided after you have registered for this event.

Details
Information withheld

Event Fees
Event fee
AUD $24.00
(under 18 years of age AUD $10.00)
Golden Boots cards
Accepted
Bus
AUD $50.00