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Located 12km south of the City and easily accessible by car, bus or train is Nature Play SA's Park of the Month. Shepherd's Hill Recreation Park is one of Adelaide's secret treasures with a great network of tracks and trails making it ideal for families of walkers, runners, cyclists or horse riders. With fantastic views of the Adelaide Plains and coastline, and some great creeks to explore, you'll find it easy to while an afternoon or two here.
Shepherd's Hill was named after William Shepherd who owned some land here in the 1850's. For the next 100 years, the landscape changed markedly with trees being felled to facilitate grazing, cropping and some gold prospecting, a railway line being built with a magnificent old viaduct running to the east of the park, boundary roads being developed and of course the growth of Adelaide's population.
Shepherd's Hill was proclaimed a recreation park in 1955 and since then has become one of the more popular inner suburban recreational parks where walkers, runners, horses and mountain bikers can get together to appreciate some quiet moments while listening to the chirps of the birds and the wind through the leaves.
A large information board at the Ayliffes Road car park gives an insight in to this great network of trails most of which is shared. The River Red Gum Loop and the Grey Box Loop both take visitors past some of the natural woodlands that exist in the Park, while the Seaview Loop follows a fire trail and offers outstanding views across the southern suburbs of Adelaide towards Brighton and Glenelg.
In addition to the trail network there are some special play areas for adults and kids alike. A large hole in the ground is a great training area for mountain bikers and BMX riders with slight up and downhills to provide everyone with the training that they need. Nearby a kids area is a lot flatter and allows kids of all ages to get on their bike and ride in and out of the trees alongside the oval which often sees horses and ponies parading and training.
Nature Play SA, with support from the State Government, are encouraging all of us to get away from our electronic gadgets for a while, and to get outside and experience some of the best parks that SA has to offer. A brochure with further details on the park is available from the Mitcham Council Website while a map of the shared use trails is available from the National Parks of SA website. Walking SA also has some good descriptions of many of the individual trails throughout the Park.
Access to the Park is best from the car park on Ayliffes Road, near the corner of South Road. A bus stop is nearby, while for those travelling longer distances by bike, the Tonsley Station during weekdays and Ascot Park Station on weekends are the two closest. The Park is open 24 hours a day with access through the Archery Range unavailable while the red flags are flying.
A very nice area,especially when green and there is some water in the creek.It can also be accessed if you go up Shepherd's Hill Road and turn left into the road with the women's hockey fields on your left.This will lead you to streets where you can park your car and within a few steps enter the park.
I have walked up to the railway line,but not beyond it.I have seen people on the track beyond it,but I have no idea how far it will take you and where it ends.
Walkers will need to be aware that cyclists travelling fast,may just swerve past you on the narrow paths.
It is not a strenuous walk along the valley floor to the railway line and there are plenty of birds there.
I have not walked this area for a few years now,so it may be worth having another stroll there after it greens up.