A well-marked 10km loop trail from Mylor, through the conservation park and around Aldgate Creek provides the opportunity to see a variety of birdlife, western grey kangaroos and is home to Bandicoot Lane, a protected area for the Southern Brown Bandicoot.
Mylor Genral Store c1900. B20725 State Library of South Australia
Located 25km southeast of Adelaide and 10km south of Mt. Lofty, the small town of Mylor is the starting point for this walk. George Goyder first surveyed the town in 1885. The acting Governor of South Australia, Sir James Boucaut, proclaimed Mylor in 1891 naming the town after his birthplace in Cornwall.
The small town has a country village ambiance, the main street housing a general store, post office, hardware store and small welcoming cafes. When visiting Mylor, the Harvest Café is a welcoming, friendly haven with crocheted rugs folded over the chairs to keep the patrons warm while they enjoy home made baked goods and coffee.
The community feel extends to the Mylor Country Market which is held on the tree lined Mylor Oval on the first Sunday of every month. The town is also home to the primary school, CFS and two churches. The Tour Down Under races through the town each year, during which time, the local community joins the excitement by hanging bicycles from trees and lamp posts throughout the main street.
During the early settler days of Mylor, a church, school and cooperative general store were among the buildings in Mylor, but a country pub was not part of the town back then, nor is there one in the town today. The original settlers were strict Methodists who believed in temperance resulting in opposition to the construction of a hotel in the area.
Although the land surrounding the town of Mylor has been cleared for residential and agricultural purposes, the natural vegetation and wildlife is protected and nurtured in the nearby Mylor Conservation Park. A popular bushwalking location, the Conservation Park is the starting point for this walk. A section of the Heysen Trail travels through the park, which is also used for horse riding in the open woodland areas.
Leave the car at the entrance to the Conservation Park on Whitehead Road, before heading south on the Heysen Trail towards Mylor. Follow the Heysen Trail signs toward Stock Road, near the Mylor tennis courts along a dirt foot track , which runs parallel to the road before twisting and turning though to Kyle Road, following the trail through to Brogan Place. The trail passes the National Trust Nurrutti Reserve and the Valley of the Bandicoots. A project of the Aldgate Valley Landcare Group, the Valley of the Bandicoots is a five km long wildlife passage designed to conserve the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot and improve the health of the Aldgate Creek catchment.
Believed to have been part of a plot of land settled in the 1860s by a former American whaler, James Wissell, the Aldgate Reserve is now under the care of the Adelaide Hills Council and the local community. Aldgate Creek, originally named Bosun's Creek, runs through the reserve and is crossed during the walk. The tree lined picnic area near the creek is a good place for a quick rest break on the trail.
Crossing the Aldgate Valley Road to enter the Aldgate Valley Reserve toward Blackwood Lane, the trail follows a fire track to Dalton Road. Returning to the bush terrain of the Mylor Conservation Park, via Strathalbyn Road and Hooper Road, the trail returns to the starting point to complete the 2-3 hour trail.
A spur trail to the Adelaide Hills town of Aldgate, following the Aldgate Valley Nature Walk, will add an extra 6km to the walk. Passing the historic Stirling Cemetery and Aldgate Primary School, this trail leads to Aldgate, first settled in the 1870s and later subdivided by The Hills Land and Investment Company in 1882. A feature of Aldgate is the Aldgate Pump Hotel owned by Richard D. Hawkins. The hotel pump became a standard place to water the horses and bullock teams as they made their way south to the Echunga Goldfields in the 1800s.
Aldgate Hotel 1924 B4455 State Library Of South Australia
Whether you decide to do the circuit walk or the trail from Mylor to Aldgate, the moderate trails through woodlands, bush land and short road walks is a pleasant way to keep fit, interact with nature and see first hand how the collaboration between the community and council can achieve so much for the environment and wildlife. The unsealed, undulating track is not suitable for strollers.
Strange things you see on the trail- Hazel Cochrane