I joined the Friends of the Heysen 20 years ago, and from the start was interested in trail maintenance. I could not at that time take on a maintenance section due to business commitments, so volunteered to work on an ad hoc basis, notably when there was a full time FoHT Manager, who would telephone for volunteers.
End-to-End 3 crossed the final stile at Parachilna on Saturday the 13th, for the largest finishing celebration in the Friend’s history. Eighty three walkers climbed the wooden steps. Fifty four were completing the trail and of that group forty three had started the journey together at Cape Jervis, six years earlier.
In July, 2002 Stuart wrote an excellent and detailed account of the origins of the Heysen Trail and has granted me the privilege of re-counting events below, as they occurred at the time. Stuart’s detailed account is entitled “The Heysen Trail – The First Steps”.
It is now 18 years since the Heysen Trail was conceived; the first 9, under the State Planning Authority, were a period of enthusiastic planning changing to frustration; the second 9, under the Department of Recreation & Sport, have been a period of steady building of the trail and further promotion of the idea behind it.