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Craigburn Farm Shared Use Trails

Home > Adelaide > Walks | Outdoor | Family | Escape the City | Cycling
by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. Please click the link to Like my articles, and subscribe to see more. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au
Published May 1st 2013
Let's head for the Hills
mountain biking, hiking in the, bicycle trails, adelaide hills, off leash dog, south of Adelaide, bike trail, craigburn farm, sturt gorge, shared use trails
Craigburn Farm Shared Use Trails Entry


Adelaide is lucky to have a large number of green spaces for recreational use. Sometimes the problem is just finding where they all are.

One sunny morning I was idly browsing the net, looking for somewhere interesting to go when I stumbled across Craigburn Farm Shared Use Trails. They are actually a part of the huge Sturt Gorge Recreation Park south of Adelaide, and I had already visited the attractive Warriparinga Wetlands where the river meets the metropolitan area.

mountain biking, hiking in the, bicycle trails, adelaide hills, off leash dog, south of Adelaide, bike trail, craigburn farm, sturt gorge, native birds
Paths Meander Through Scrub


What particularly attracted me to Craigburn Farm's trails was that they are intended for a variety of uses - walking and hiking, horse riding, and mountain biking are all catered for. Even better, a number of trails of various difficulties have been mapped out for you, and dogs are permitted (on leash) there.

There's no need to take your GPS, and there's no chance of getting lost if you simply follow the signs. For me the hardest part turned out to be getting there. More about that later.

mountain biking, hiking in the, bicycle trails, adelaide hills, off leash dog, south of Adelaide, bike trail, craigburn farm, sturt gorge, sign posts
Sign Posts Clearly Mark Trails


Having my dog with me, the logical path choice for my first visit was the Walk the Dog trail. The directions from Bonython Way were clearly marked with a map and colour coded sign posts, and we were soon making good time along the gently sloping path.

mountain biking, hiking in the, bicycle trails, adelaide hills, off leash dog, south of Adelaide, bike trail, craigburn farm, sturt gorge, new plantings
New Plantings Near the Trails


On a weekday there was no one else about - no traffic noise or other intrusions, just a few butterflies lazily flitting and the occasional bird call. The terrain is slightly hilly through grasslands with scattered trees, and evidence of some new plantings - some apparently done by mountain biker volunteers.

mountain biking, hiking in the, bicycle trails, adelaide hills, off leash dog, south of Adelaide, bike trail, craigburn farm, sturt gorge, mountain bike rider
A Lone Mountain Bike Rider


After about 10 minutes I spotted a lone bike rider, then saw a few more arriving and taking off rapidly down steep bicycle trails. One keen rider even had a video camera on his helmet to record the highlights of his ride.

mountain biking, hiking in the, bicycle trails, adelaide hills, off leash dog, south of Adelaide, bike trail, craigburn farm, sturt gorge, mountain bike riders
Mountain Bike Riders With a Video Camera


While the dog was busy sniffing happily, I scanned the trees for local fauna. I didn't see any koalas, but there were plenty of native birds including Australian ravens (crows), rainbow lorikeets, and a few others I couldn't identify.

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A Rainbow Lorikeet Feeds in the Trees


The Walk the Dog trail was an easy walk taking only around half an hour, but it felt like a country trip.

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A Dead Gum Tree Still Houses Animals


The time I went on the Lakeview trail for another fairly easy walk, and spotted a koala.

mountain biking, hiking in the, bicycle trails, adelaide hills, off leash dog, south of Adelaide, bike trail, craigburn farm, sturt gorge, koala
A Koala Eyes Me Disdainfully


There are no amenities (water, toilets etc.) in the reserve, so it's best to bring a bottle of water and maybe some lunch if you plan to spend a while. Otherwise it's not far to return to Blackwood where there are plenty of places to eat.

mountain biking, hiking in the, bicycle trails, adelaide hills, off leash dog, south of Adelaide, bike trail, craigburn farm, sturt gorge, hayman retreat
Hayman Retreat for the NIMBY


The park entry on Bonython Way would be easily reached from Craigburn Road, but the entrance to the appropriately named Hayman Retreat has a "no entry" sign. It seems that the local residents are offended by the sight of other people's cars polluting their fair street, and lobbied the Mitcham Council to close the road.

This means that to access the Craigburn Farm shared trails in a vehicle it's necessary to drive a far longer route past a whole heap more houses in the subdivision - but Hayman Retreat residents don't get their tranquility disturbed. A classic case of NIMBY!

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Alternative Entry to Craigburn Farm


If you're mountain biking you can access the trails readily via a closed off section of Craigburn Road, but for those hiking in the reserve this means a ten minute additional walk to even reach the trails.

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Enjoying a Downhill Run


There are also a couple of other parks nearby that are great for hiking in the Adelaide Hills too - the Sturt River Linear Park has a little more to see, while at Blackwood Forest it's an off leash dog area.

On a Saturday morning the Lions Secondhand Book Shed down the road in Coromandel Valley has a big range of books going dirt cheap - ideal if you want to take a break from your hike.

mountain biking, hiking in the, bicycle trails, adelaide hills, off leash dog, south of Adelaide, bike trail, craigburn farm, sturt gorge, lakeview
The Lake View on the Lakeview Trail

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Your Comment
For a similar walking experience, try the Lynton - Belair Walking Path. You can walk all the way to Belair on the bitumen track or veer off up the paths to Windy Point.
by angie (score: 1|24) 2335 days ago
So how do you access the shared trails by car?
by Pam (score: 0|5) 2187 days ago
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