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Published September 30th 2013
Look out for convicts
Razor Wire Visible in the Distance - A Reminder of Yatala Gaol
Dry Creek Linear Park is a secluded nature corridor running alongside the Dry Creek wetlands, between Walkleys Road and Bridge Road north of Adelaide.
It's a pleasant place for a walk or to exercise your dog, with lots of bird and animal life to see. But an added piece of interest is the historical buildings that you will find as you walk along the unpaved walking trail through the linear park.
Prisoners from nearby Yatala Gaol were once required to perform hard labour as part of their sentences, and this usually meant working at breaking rocks in one of the numerous quarries in this area. While nowadays prisoners are able to study for University or watch TV as they serve their sentences, life was not always that easy.
Entry to the Dry Creek Linear Park is easy from a small car park on the west side of Walkleys Road, just north of Grand Junction Road. A short walk brings you to Dry Creek, and the background noise of traffic quickly disappears to be replaced by the soothing sound of water flowing (in winter).
The first old building is not far along the track, but on the opposite side of the river. It was once a hut for stockmen, when R.M Williams owned some land here from the 1950's. A derelict pump house ruins are also nearby on the river banks.
A blacksmith's shop was restored by the City of Salisbury, but unfortunately is vandalised so remains locked. But a picnic table setting is adjacent to it, allowing walkers to rest in a shady spot for a break.
More reminders of the penal history of the park are visible - a rusted part of the old gaol fence, and a lookout tower used by prison guards.
The last and most visible reminder of Yatala's history here is a powder magazine used for holding explosives for quarrying. Now it is highly visible because of the unsightly graffiti covering its walls.
If you're needing a break, take a detour into the scenic Stockade Botanical Park here - it's a lovely place to rest in the shade near the waterfall. The park also has picnic and toilet facilities.
Otherwise continue on the last short stretch of the Dry Creek Linear Park to reach Bridge Road. You may even be following in the footsteps of escaping convicts from yesteryear.
Friends of Dry Creek Trail are a community group who are working to re-vegetate a portion of Dry Creek in Valley View. Their goal is to re-introduce native grasses and flowers to encourage songbirds back into the area. You can find out more about their activities on Facebook.