David Francis is a freelance writer based in Adelaide.
Published December 27th 2011
A smooth bitumen track, suitable for walking or cycling, links Lynton with Belair and provides an alternative to dicing with traffic on the narrow and winding Belair Road. In the same area there are numerous dirt tracks for mountain bikers and walkers.
The up-track starts behind the Lynton railway station at the end of Beagle Terrace, adjacent to the site of the old Lynton dump (not as bad as it sounds – it's now only used once a month for green waste). The bitumen doubles-up as a fast access road for emergency vehicles and there is an SES station here.
In no time you forget there is a railway running parallel, unless a train passes, and the gentle ascent is enough to provide some nice views out to Glenelg after only a few minutes.
The maps situated at each entrance to the area show the pathways to take and most of the junction points are signposted. Even so, it is sometimes difficult to know exactly which path you are taking until you've taken it once. The area is quite compact, so you would have to try very hard to get lost here.
Sticking to the bitumen track will take you away from the train line in a steep uphill climb towards Belair, providing a great workout by wheel or foot. The views become more impressive here, as a great stretch of coastline becomes visible to the west and the city of Adelaide can be seen to the north.
At the end of the first long and steep section there is a bench seat, where you can take in the scenery while getting your breath back. Across the valley at the top of the next ridge is the Windy Point lookout. Even if you are struggling at this point, it is worth persevering as there are only a couple of short, steep bits left until you reach the streets of Belair at Caroline Avenue.
Some people turn around and head straight down again – on a bike this is fast and freewheeling – but there are alternatives. You can take one of the other tracks, or follow Caroline Avenue around then turn left at Gloucester Avenue until you reach the top of Kalyra Road. Head down this steep road until almost to its end at Belair Road – the Windy Point Restaurant entrance is opposite the end of Kalyra. On your left is another entrance to the walking/cycling area and a path here zigzags down into the valley between the two ridges you have just walked, eventually finding its way back to the lower section of the bitumen track.
The Lynton – Belair Urban Trail (the official name of the bitumen track) is only 1.6 kilometres long but provides a good cardio workout and some excellent views.