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Published October 7th 2015
Time to smell the flowers on Adelaide's best valley ride
I have cycled most parts of the Adelaide Hills, and a number of the other valleys around South Australia, but my favorite ride has always been through the Aldgate Valley. Irrespective of the season, Aldgate Valley Road always has something to see, and due to its mild gradient and minimal traffic, it suits everyone from the long distance peletons to the smaller and often road-shy families.
Aldgate Valley Road can be tackled in either direction, and being only 5km in length, it is perfect to tack on to another ride. Like most people, my preference is for the gentle downhill where I can spend more time 'smelling the roses' rather than worrying about constant pedalling and whether my heart rate is about to jump past its recommended maximum.
The start of Aldgate Valley Road is across the road from the Aldgate Pump Hotel, on the Southeastern side of the town. A very short ascent past the Andrewartha Memorial Hostel and around the first corner leads to the start of the gentle decline which continues for the majority of the trip through to Mylor.
It is not long after the corner before Aldgate Creek appears on the southern side of the road and we follow the creek for the remainder of the trip along the road. At various points the creek is close to the road, and during winter is often full of water and hence becomes a key attractor for ducks and other birdlife.
The road passes Aldgate Valley Reserve, a popular reserve for picnickers, and also the halfway point on the Aldgate Valley Nature Trail. This trail takes hikers through a natural bush corridor that has been renovated to facilitate the movement of bandicoots and other animals. But never fear, I have yet to see a bandicoot along the road !
Tow of the great attractions of this road are its smoothness in comparison to many other Adelaide Hills roads and the beauty alongside the side of the road. From the winding creek to wildlife to majestic gum trees to deciduous poplars and to spring flowers, there is something to admire all year round.
Shortly after, the road crosses Aldgate Creek and then continues to its end at the intersection of Stock Road in Mylor. It is now just 500m to that delightful coffee shop in Mylor known as Harvest Mylor, and time for reflection on yet another short but pleasant cycle through the Aldgate Valley.
The Aldgate Valley Road is available all year round, noting of course that it is quite cool in the depths of winter. Vehicle traffic flows on the road are very light, and are mainly local residents, as most motorists looking to travel between Aldgate and Mylor use the main, and less circuitous, B33 Strathalbyn Road.
And for additional reflection, the below Letter to the Editor was published in The Advertiser on 24th November 1908. It appears that the Aldgate Valley has been a secret for many years on this road of even gradient and home to many beautiful flowers..