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With the easing of COVID-19 health restrictions on May 11th, the campsites and huts along the Heysen Trail are now open to ‘through’ walkers.
The easing of restrictions means that the trail is now open for small group walks. Currently, under Step 1 of the SA Government Road Map to Recovery bushwalking is permitted, provided the group size and social distancing advice is observed.
Additionally, through walkers need to keep informed while they are on the trail. The COVID situation may change while they are on the trail and this could affect their ability to continue to walk. This particularly applies to walkers from interstate, as border crossing arrangements may change from time to time.
Before setting off on walks on the Heysen Trail, you need to be aware of the following issues:
1. Trail closure caused by the Cudlee Creek bushfire
Forestry SA has closed access to the Heysen Trail in the vicinity of Cudlee Creek, with the affected section shown on this exclusion zone map.
It covers sections of the following maps:
Heysen Trail Sheet Maps 2B & 2C and
Southern Guidebook Map 3.6.
The exclusion zone commences at the eastern exit of Montacute Conservation Park (Grid Ref 983 377) and concludes when the trail leaves Forestry property at Snake Gully Rd (GR 014 402).
Due to the location of the trail in relation to the extensive exclusion zone, finding an alternative route is presenting some difficulties. The travel restrictions caused by COVID-19 have further delayed the task. However, our Trail Development Team is attempting to find a way, but it may be some time before a re-route is approved.
All walkers are advised to avoid the area. Trail closure signs have been erected by Forestry SA. Any walker planning to walk the whole trail this year, including through Cudlee Creek should email the Friends Office to seek advice on alternative arrangements. One option would include taking vehicular transport to avoid the area.
Unfortunately the excluded area includes Grandpa’s campsite, which is now closed. Due to the extent of the fire zone and the danger of falling trees, we do not anticipate the campsite being available for several months, if at all during 2020.
As a result of this closure, there is no campsite between Woodhouse and Scotts Shelter, a distance of 76 kms. Through walkers should be aware of this, and plan accordingly. Refer to the Service Directory and Transport for planning information.
2. On Line Bookings for Forestry SA campsites
Forestry SA has initiated an on line booking system for the following campsites along the trail:
- Kuitpo Forest: Chookaloo & Rocky Creek
- Mt Crawford Forest: Rocky Paddock & Chalks.
No fees apply to the Heysen Trail huts in Mt Crawford Forest, ie Scotts Shelter & Rossiters
3. Temporary closure of the Montacute Conservation park
Parks SA have advised that the Montacute Conservation Park will be closed from 6pm, Sunday 31 May until 6pm Friday 5 June 2020 for a feral pest control program. Heysen Trail walkers need to avoid the area during this period.
4. Correction to the website accommodation list – camping is not permitted in the Finniss Conservation Park
Parks SA have also advised us that the old campsite in the Finniss Conservation Park was incorrectly shown in the accommodation list as being available for camping. The campsite was closed some years ago in the interest of protecting the park.
5. Tanks – take care if you are relying on them for your water supplies
Over summer we have become aware that several of the tanks along the trail require maintenance. Due to travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, we have been unable to travel to these remote locations to fix/replace the tanks.
Fortunately, indications are that we can anticipate good winter rains. However, the supply of water in our tanks cannot be guaranteed.
Easing of restrictions will allow gradual reintroduction of walks
The Friends Council appreciates your ongoing support during the Covid 19 restriction period. The latest SA Government announcement about a slight easing of some restrictions is welcome, although we will remain vigilant in protecting the health and safety of our volunteers and members.
Council has supported a recommendation from the Chair of the Walking Committee to adopt appropriate guidelines that will assist us to revive small group walking over the next few weeks. Walk leaders will be consulted about suitable loop walks with the view to ease into a modified program around the middle to late June after finalising any practical steps.
Extra responsibilities of walkers
Members attending walks will be expected to
- register online
- take responsibility for their own and others health by adhering to the current social distancing requirements; and
- stay away if they have any cough, cold or fever symptoms.
Golden Boots passes extended
To acknowledge the patience of our members during the Covid restrictions, Council has decided to extend expiry dates for Golden Boots passes by 12 months.
We are also looking at how to recommence volunteer trail maintenance and will notify members when we have confirmed those arrangements.
Office relocation and reopening
During this period the Friends is also moving office to a larger space just next door. The office will remain closed until the relocation has been completed. Council has decided it is safer for our team if we get the new space organised before opening up again.
See you on the trail
We appreciate your patience as we gradually ease back into operation, and look forward to seeing you back on the trail.
Heysen Trail walkers are advised that a number of parks in the Mid North will be closed from 6am Sunday May 24th until 6am Monday, June 1st 2020.
The park closures that will affect Heysen Trail walkers are:
- Caroona Creek Conservation Park
- Hopkins Creek Conservation Park
The parks will be closed for the purpose of undertaking a pest control program. Walkers will not be able to access the Heysen Trail in and adjacent to the parks during this period.
The parks are located south and north of Burra. Affected sections of the trail can be found on
- Heysen Trail Map Sheets 3D, 4A & 4B and
- Southern Guide Book Maps 5.10, 6.4 and 6.5
For more information about the control program or the park closures, please refer to the Parks Closure notice or contact the Natural Resources Centre Northern and Yorke on (08) 8841 3400.
Unfortunately we received late notification of this closure. When planning walks on the trail we recommend you check the Parks Alerts page to check whether parks that you intend to visit will be affected by a closure.
The Friends of the Heysen Trail is disappointed to announce an extension to the cancellation of planned activities beyond 31 May 2020.
Sadly, in light of ongoing public health requirements, the Friends Council and Executive has made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel all the following activities:
- End to End Walk Program for 2020;
- Group walks using buses: Lavender/Willunga Basin/Yurrebilla/Yorke Peninsula; and
- Except that the October South Coast Walk will be reviewed mid-year.
- Trailstarter/Trailwalker program.
- Trail Development infrastructure projects;
- Section Leader Trail Maintenance; and
- Friends Shed work.
- Remain closed until further notice;
- Online shop will cease for map and book sales;
- Membership Subscriptions and Renewals will continue to be processed.
- Production of pdf only version will continue until restrictions are removed.
We share the frustration and regret that walks and trail work plans had to be adjusted.
Depending on progress around the current public health risks and any announced reduction in community isolation practices, the Friends may be able to revive some of our local Trailstarter/Trailwalker and/or trail development work later in the year. The website will be updated if that occurs.
Heysen Trail walkers are advised that the Hale Conservation Park will be closed for several days over the week commencing Monday, 20th April 2020.
The closure will be for the purpose of DEW undertaking a prescribed burn. The burn off is most likely be held on Friday April 24th, but this may vary due to weather conditions. The closure may affect walkers in the vicinity of the Mount Crawford Forest. The Hale Conservation Park is approx. 4 kms west of the Heysen Trail at Mt Crawford. You can find the park on Map 3.9 of the Southern Guidebook and Heysen Trail Mapsheet 2C.
Rangers will post closure signs the day before the burn on the trail coming from the Warren Conservation Park. On the day of the burn, additional signs will be posted for the two loop walks within the Hale Conservation Park.
The Heysen Trail remains closed during the Fire Danger Season
Walkers are reminded that the Heysen Trail south of Wirrabara remains closed during the Fire Danger Season. The season ends at midnight on April 30th. Walkers can use the Heysen Trail in Parks and Forest Reserves during the fire season, except on days of total fire bans.
UPDATE IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19
The first End to End 15 walk which was to be held on Saturday May 9th 2020 has been cancelled.
Bookings for End to End 15 walks which were due to open on Monday March 23rd 2020 have been suspended.
This walk is one of a number of events that have been cancelled by the Friends as a part of our response to COVID-19.
Refer to the FOHT – Response to COVID-19 news item which issued on March 19th for further information.
Further updates will be posted on our website in due course.
Announcement: All Friends events cancelled until the end of May 2020
Dear Members and Volunteers
FOHT has been monitoring the rapidly changing developments arising from the pandemic announcement for Coronavirus COVID-19 and especially the need to adhere to public health requirements issued by the Federal and State Governments.
As a member-based organisation that relies on the active support of our dedicated volunteers, we are most focused on the health, safety and wellbeing of our members and volunteers. We have considered the public health requirements about social distancing as well as the related issue of avoiding non-essential activity and our specific demographic. We also wanted to make clear decisions that allow lead in time for our volunteer Walk and Maintenance Coordinators to organise necessary changes to programmed events.
The Friends Council has made the difficult decision to cancel ALL FOHT events: this includes all walks in our program, all trail maintenance trips and section work, all face-to-face meetings and to close the office. This will have effect immediately until 31 May 2020. We recognise that the public health requirements may continue to change so Council has established a small response group to review the COVID-19 situation as it evolves and update members should changes occur.
Action from hereon:
- Walk and Maintenance Leaders will contact groups about any specific details.
- The Office will continue to be monitored by a small team of willing volunteers to ensure emails, phone and shop are managed.
- Finance team will generally manage the bookkeeping by remote access.
- We will apply the usual refund policy where members are already booked and paid on walks. If this affects you, you will not need to contact the Office. Please allow us 2 weeks to complete your refund.
- Our Council and Committees will organise through email and phone discussion as needed.
Advice to our members
We encourage you to individually get out walking in nature for your own physical and mental well-being and where it aligns with the current public health requirements.
- Practice social distancing i.e. keep at least 1.5m away from others;
- Increase hand hygiene by washing with soap & water after sneezing, coughing, toilet and contact with doors, benches etc.
- Dispose of tissues safely.
- Use email and phone communication.
- Stay home if you are unwell.
These decision will create challenges for the Friends and our partner bus companies, as the current situation is damaging many small businesses. Please consider renewing your membership to continue to support the Friends and the Heysen Trail.
If you have any questions or concerns
Please email the office if you have any specific questions. We will appreciate your patience as we may take longer than usual to respond.
This is an unusual time but mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 virus to protect community health is critical. You may find the following sites useful in monitoring developments:
In response to Covid 19 health provisions for social distancing and to avoid non-essential gatherings, the Friends Council has decided to postpone the Annual General Meeting that was scheduled on Friday 20 March 2020.
A new date will be notified when the public health situation becomes clear.
Announcements about other events will be made in the next day or so.
Heysen Trail to be re-routed around the Cudlee Creek fireground, including Grandpas campsite.
As we are all aware the recent bushfire at Cudlee Creek has caused significant damage to the forest area. As a result, Forestry SA has closed the Cudlee Creek Forest Reserve, which includes Thomas Hill and Mount Misery to the public for safety reasons.
The Heysen Trail traverses part of the forest from Snake Gully Road through to Stone Hut Road. A temporary reroute has been plotted but has not as yet been approved by FSA and DEW. We hope to have this finalised prior to the opening of the walk season but until then we are required to avoid the area.
When the re-route has been established we will publish it on our re-routes page. Due to the amount of work to be undertaken in the area, it may be a number of months before we can return the trail to the normal route.
This CFS Map shows the extent of the Cudlee Creek Forest exclusion zone. Please refer to it before walking in the area and abide by all signage.
There is a National parks & Wildlife Service sign at the end of Valley Rd (Montacute Conservation Park) informing people that there is no thoroughfare through Montacute CP to Forestry SA property along the Heysen Trail.
Grandpas campsite is within the fire exclusion zone and will remain closed until further notice. Some of the infrastructure at the campsite including the rainwater tank has been damaged and will require replacement.
Temporary closure of the Montacute Conservation Park
Fortunately the nearby Montacute Conservation Park was not affected by the fire. However, Parks SA have advised that the park is currently closed for the purposes of a feral animal eradication program. In the interest of public safety, we advise walkers not to enter the park. Parks have posted closure notices at the entrances to the park.
The last closure for this operation will be held on Monday June 1st to Friday June 5th.
You can get more information on the closure, including any changes to the park closure date on the Parks SA Alert page.
Heysen Trail walkers are advised that the following parks in the Southern Flinders Ranges will be closed from 6am Saturday, 22 February 2020 until 6pm Friday, 28 February 2020:
- Telowie Gorge Conservation Park,
- The Napperby Block of Mount Remarkable National Park,
- Spaniards Gully Conservation Park and
- Wirrabara Range Conservation Park
Walkers will not be able to access the Heysen Trail in these parks during this period.
The parks will be closed for the purpose of undertaking a pest control program. Walkers need to take note of this closure and avoid that section of the trail during those dates.
Heysen Trail closure during the Fire Danger Season
The Country Fire Service has already announced the commencement of the Fire Danger Season for the Mid North & Flinders Districts. As a result, much of the Heysen Trail is already closed.
Some sections of the Heysen Trail may be open during the Fire Danger Season – principally those not on private land. The areas that are open (other than on total fire ban days) include Conservation Parks and Reserves, Forests, public roads and vacant land.
The closure of these conservation parks later this week therefore places additional restrictions on walkers.
You can get a further explanation about access to the Heysen Trail during the fire season from our Fire Danger Season webpage.
Please that the Friend’s website will be undergoing maintenance for a few days from early on Tuesday February 18th 2020. If you want to read about the fire danger season but the webpage is not available, please try again later.
For more information about the control program or park closure, please contact the Natural Resources Centre on (08) 8841 3400. Further information can be found on the Parks SA Alerts page.
To be held on Friday March 20th 2020
You are invited to attend the 33rd Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Heysen Trail and Other Walking Trails Inc. The meeting will be held at 7.30 pm on Friday March 20th 2020. The venue will be the Woodville Lawn Bowling Club, Oval Avenue, Woodville.
We are seeking nominations from you, our members, for election to the Friends Council at the AGM. There are vacancies in the following positions:
- Vice President,
- Treasurer and
- half of the remaining members.
Our Constitution calls for not less than four and no more than ten non office-bearing members.
Our guest speaker will be a double act this year, Paul Nicholas and Eric Felgate. They managed the restoration and renovation of many of the iconic huts along the Trail including Mayo, Marschalls and Curnows with the help of men from Uniting Communities men’s shelters. This is their story!
You will also hear about our Association’s activities in 2019 and plans for 2020.
Come along and meet your council (they are the people who make the decisions). Find out what we intend to do to further develop, maintain and promote the use of the Heysen and other walking trails.
If you are thinking of becoming more involved please check the information and nomination form that you find in the Autumn issue of the Trailwalker which will be issuing shortly.
Please bring a plate. The bar will be open for drinks. Coffee and tea will be available.
- Acceptance of Minutes of the previous AGM held on March 22nd 2019.
- President’s Report
- Financial Report
- Election of Officers
- Vice President
- Council Members
- Appointment of the Auditor
- Election of Honorary Members
- Other Business
- Close Meeting
Any member wishing to move a motion at the AGM should be aware of the Constitutional requirements:
‘Notice of any such motion proposed to be moved at a General Meeting by any member not being a member of the Council shall be signed by the proposer and seconder and shall be delivered to the Secretary at least seven days before the meeting. No motion moved by any member other than a member of the Council shall be entertained by the meeting unless notice thereof has been given as aforesaid.’
Our volunteers undertake installation of infrastructure and trail maintenance work. All equipment, including personal protection equipment, is provided by The Friends. Volunteers will be allocated tasks to match their level of competence and confidence. If required, specific training can be arranged.
See the Volunteer Support policy at https://heysentrail.asn.au/friends/policy/volunteer-support-policy/ for information on recognition of volunteers as well as reimbursement of expenses. For more information, and to register your interest in any of these events, please see the Walks Page on the Friends of the Heysen Trail web site.
Calendar of Maintenance Events
Regular Shed Maintenance days are held on Thursdays at our Cobbler Creek facility, off Bridge Road Salisbury East in Cobbler Creek Recreation Park.
You don’t have to be an expert handy person to join in.
Much of our work for the coming months will be manufacturing steelwork items requiring a different skill set including welding light steel sections. Much of our efforts will be learning and welding.
|Thurs 20th||The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek|
|Thurs 27th||The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek|
|Thurs 5th||The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek|
|Thurs 12th||The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek|
|Thurs 19th||The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek|
|Thurs 26th||The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek|
|Thurs 2nd||The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek|
|Thurs 9th||The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek|
|Thurs 16th||The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek|
|Thurs 16th to Sun 19th||Eyre Depot Arden Creek Maintenance Trip|
|Fri 17th to Sun 19th||Marschalls Hut project supported by E2E11|
|Thurs 23rd||The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek|
|Thurs 30th||The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek|
|Mon 11th to Fri 15th||Hiskey Hut|
|Fri 15th to Sat 16th||Remark trail – Buckaringa North to Willochra Creek|
Date to be confirmed – Black Jack toilet rebuild
Eyre Depot Recce – Julian Monfries
With a trip looming in April to install a toilet, replace a tank and realign the route around the notorious Mt Arden waterfall, a group of volunteers ventured to Eyre Depot on February 7th and 8th to undertake a recce.
Lead by Simon Cameron, the section leader for the area, along with Colin Edwards and Julian Monfries a hurried trip north was undertaken.
Heavy rain the previous week made the drive to Wilkatana a bit hairy, with deep washaways, mud and clay to contend with.
Luckily, despite some damage to the access tracks on the drive from the Old Leigh Creek Road and the good graces of Andrew Smart, the manager of Wilkatana, in grading the roads, we got into Eyre Depot without too much anxiety.
The first task was to assess the route around the waterfall up Mount Arden Creek to avoid the steep, slippery descent above the waterfall heading north.
It was decided that a better alignment of the track higher up the ridge with a safer descent into the creek, beyond the waterfall, would be suitable for north walkers and the current route be used for south walkers.
The plan is to mark this in April this year with a team of volunteers (see following item).
Having established a plan to realign the Trail there, it was back to Eyre Depot to sort out access to the current tank and campsite for trailer and vehicles. The problem has been a deep washaway between the Eyre Depot gate and the current tank/campsite. Luckily, a short walk towards the range, a suitable path for vehicles and loaded trailers was found, requiring minimal effort to get to the worksite.
The tank at Eyre Depot had been reported as empty an inspection proved this was correct, and the culprit was determined to be a 2 cm hole in the base. This was especially disappointing as inspection in April last year showed it was full and the heavy rain the previous week which should have topped it up.
A site for the toilet was located and preparatory digging started as the soil was soft. It was remarkable how far the moisture has penetrated auguring well for final installation in April.
Having completed the recce the team headed home.
Eyre Depot Arden Creek Maintenance Trip April 16th to 19th 2020 – Julian Monfries
Team Leader – Simon Cameron
Where – Eyre Depot staying at Wilkatana Shearers Quarters – will need sleeping bags.
When – Thursday 16th April to Sunday 19th April
Inclusions – Evening meals each night
Exclusions – breakfast, lunches, nibbles and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and international air travel.
Thursday Drive up with two vehicles and two trailers carrying the new toilet, a replacement tank and a platform. The loaded trailers will be collected from Cobblers Creek that morning.
Drive into Eyre Depot and deliver the trailers to the work site and if possible, install the tank, or the platform, or both. Some track work may be needed to access the site.
Friday Split into track realignment team, and infrastructure team
The track realignment will take one 4WD to access the Trail up Arden Creek and walk in.
They will remark the Trail over the waterfall, with a new northern alignment, retaining the current route for southern walkers and mark appropriately.
The infrastructure team will complete the site work for installation of the toilet, which includes completing the long drop excavation and installing the toilet frame etc.
Saturday Complete the installation of the toilet, wall cladding, roofing, install a “modesty screen” and toilet tank.
Sunday Drive home
Cudlee Creek Fire – Colin Edwards
We have been advised by Forestry SA (Andrew Moylan) that the recent bushfire at Cudlee Creek has left a significant number of trees near the Trail in a dangerous state, with the possibility of falling on windy days. FSA have requested that the trail south of Holland Creek Road be temporarily rerouted.
The reroute around this area has not as yet been agreed on. Temporary marking will be needed. As we have found in the past this will be in place certainly for the 2020 walking season. A call for volunteers will be posted on the web site to do the marking as soon as possible.
Actual damage to the trail is minimal with the main damage being to the tank shelter frame which will probably require a new structure. The new platform recently installed was not damaged.
Cobbler Creek Shed – Colin Edwards
Projects undertaken during 2019, the cabin renovation and installation at Black Jack, several long bench seats and other furniture required working mainly with timber. This year will be a change to mainly working with steel, needing cutting, grinding, welding etc. This is due to the expense and supply of timber, and, it is environmentally more acceptable.
For this work we will be using a mig welder which will mean tuition and supervision for the start of the year. This should not be too challenging. It is worth noting that our most proficient arc welder last year was a female and she supplied great cakes.
The 2020 work started at the shed on Feb 6th and will continue as before – every Thursday from 9am to 2pm as posted on the FOHT Walking Program.
2020 Projects – Colin Edwards
- Complete and modify two toilet frames
- Manufacture four tank shelters
- Fence stiles in future will be steel frame. Manufacture ten for stock
- Platforms are being redesigned but could be a mix of steel and timber. We have budgeted to manufacture ten units
Trail Development Committee
As a part the upgrade of our membership and walk registration system we will be temporarily suspending online walk registrations for a day or so.
What are we doing?
We are updating the software that we use to run the membership and walk registration system. These changes to the ‘back end’ are mainly going to affect our Office Volunteers and Walk Leaders, but the system will make it easier to renew your membership.
We’ve chosen a period of low demand to make the change. This will allow us to be ready for the period of increased website traffic during the walk season.
Will the change affect you?
Apart from the temporary reduction in services on our website, our members and frequent visitors won’t notice many changes.
Our website address will continue as https://heysentrail.asn.au.
After the upgrade, the Walk Calendar on the website will look slightly different. But the calendar will operate much the same as the one you are familiar with.
There will be a welcome change for anyone intending to register for our End to End 15 walk. Registrations for this and all other events will no longer have a set opening time of midnight. Bookings will generally open at 7am instead.
You can help make the change easy
Over the next week our Office Volunteers will be undertaking training in using the new system.
If you need to renew your membership or register for a walk, we ask you to use the existing website. It will be operating normally until late on Monday February 17th.
If you contact the Office before the shutdown, we may not be able to answer the phone immediately. For urgent enquiries, please send us an email which we will action it as soon as we can.
If you haven’t got your copy yet, we still have copies available for $12.00. This is your last chance to admire the photography of the Heysen Trail trail submitted by members of the Friends and other walkers.
Get one for your wall at home or work. Use it to plan your walks and travel for 2020. Proceeds are used for the maintenance and further development of the trail.
Order from our On-line shop for delivery by post.
By ordering the calendar from our On-line shop you can request postage to an address in Australia or overseas.
Postage charges to any address within Australia (for a single copy) is an additional $4.80.
The Friends Office remains closed until 10.30 am on Tuesday February 4th.
Please note that our Office is closed until February 4th. A few volunteers will be making occasional visits to the Office to process on-line shop orders. While the Office is closed, we are not offering a ‘pick up’ service for calendar orders.
Holiday Closure for the Friends Office
The Friends of the Heysen Trail office will close for the Christmas period at 2:30pm on Friday, December 13th 2019. Our volunteers have earned a good break.
If you need to contact the office (by email or telephone) over the holiday period, it is unlikely that we will respond to your enquiry until we reopen. So we recommend that you refer to our website for any information you may need.
There will be a Volunteers Information Day on Monday, 3rd February with normal office operations beginning on Tuesday, 4th February 2020.
Online Shop Sales over Christmas
While the office is closed, our online shop will remain open for business. However, as many of our volunteers will be on holidays, it may take longer than normal to service orders. We will endeavour to dispatch shop orders within 5 business days.
If you want to shop for last minute Christmas purchases we undertake to dispatch any orders received by midday on Wednesday, December 18th, on that day.
Friends 2020 Calendar
If you haven’t yet got a copy of our new calendar, we still have supplies available. Pick up a copy from the office for $12, or order from our on-line shop. If you order by December 18th, you should have delivery by Christmas (subject to AusPost delivery timetables).
The Heysen Trail is closed over the Fire Danger Season
Remember that the Heysen Trail is now closed for the Fire Danger Season. You can access more information about the trail closure here.
Register for Twilight walks
Although the office and the Heysen Trail are closed, don’t forget our evening Twilight Walks. You can register for walks using our online Walks Calendar.
The Office Volunteers wish all Friends members and supporters a Merry Christmas and a great New Year.
The SA Country Fire Service (CFS) has declared the Fire Danger Season will start early in the Mt Lofty Ranges, Mid North and Flinders Fire Ban Districts.
Update April 2020: the Fire Danger Season dates will end as normal (between 15 and 30 April 2020.)
This means that access to most sections of the Heysen Trail have closed to walkers earlier than expected. A dry winter and increased temperatures for spring has brought the fire season forward in these areas.
Mt Lofty Ranges Fire Ban Season commences on 15 November 2019 and ends on 30 April 2020
The Mt Lofty Ranges District includes the trail between Cape Jervis and Tanunda. The Heysen Trail between these locations will close on November 15, 2019 and will reopen on April 30, 2020.
Mid North District Fire Ban Season commenced on 1 November 2019 and ends on 30 April 2020
The Mid North District includes the trail between north of Tanunda and south of Wirrabara. The Heysen Trail between these locations closed on November 1, 2019 will reopen on April 30, 2020.
Flinders District Fire Danger Season commenced on 21 October 2019 and ends on 15 April 2020
The Flinders District covers the Heysen Trail north of Wirrabara (near Laura). The trail in this section includes Melrose, Wilmington, Quorn, Hawker, Wilpena Pound, the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park through to the northern end of the trail at Parachilna Gorge. This section of the trail closed on October 21, 2019 and will reopen on April 15, 2020.
Some sections of the trail remain open over the Fire Danger Season
During the declared fire danger season some sections of the Heysen Trail remain open to walkers. They are principally the sections of the trail that are not on private land. These include public roads, Conservation Parks and Reserves, Forests and vacant land. You can read more about the sections of the trail that you may walk on our Fire Danger Season page.
Please note that Conservation Parks and Reserves and Forests are closed on days of Total Fire Ban. The CFS publishes these bans, as does the Bureau of Meteorology. In addition, the media also broadcast weather reports including fire ban information.
If you want to walk on the trail, check which Fire District you will be in. Details of the Fire Ban Districts can be found Google map on the Friends website.
We strongly advise you to respect the rights of landholders. Please restrict any activity which may increase the risk of fire in this period.
As the walking season has come to a close, the arrival of warmer evenings and daylight saving has heralded the beginning of our Twilight Walks. There is a 1.5-2 hour walk on most Wednesday or Thursday nights until March.
The full programme is listed on our walk calendar but here are the details for the next four walks:
Wed 27th November 6pm: Semaphore South
A 10km walk taking in what we hope will be a stunning sunset.
Thursday 5th December 6pm: The Pat
Details to be advised.
Wed 11th December 6pm: Anstey’s Hill
An evening walk around Anstey’s Hill Recreation Park. We will be on the look out for local wildlife.
Wed 18th December 6pm: Brownhill Creek
A walk up to McElligotts quarry to enjoy some great views then a descent to the start of the Brownhill Creek Recreation Park. We will follow the creek, either on tracks or road and hopefully see some wildlife along the way, along with some of the great work in re-vegetation and clearing done by Friends of Brownhill Creek.
Golden Boots passes are accepted for Twilight walks
Walk fees are $5.00 ($1.00 for walkers under 18 years of age). Remember that Golden Boots passes are accepted for Twilight walks.
If you don’t have a Golden Boots pass, you can purchase one when you register for the walk. Just click on the Golden Boots pass payment option.
Further details of our walks and walker registration can be found on our website at heysentrail.asn.au/walks