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Mt Lofty Ranges Trails

Home > Adelaide > Cycling | Day Trips | Escape the City | Outdoor | Walks
by Steve Hudson (subscribe)
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Published November 17th 2017
Arising from the Ashes of 2015
It was January 2015 when a devastating and destructive bushfire ripped through the northern Adelaide Hills bushlands in and around Sampson Flat, Kersbrook and Forreston. Homes were lost, animals perished and 12,500 hectares of private properties, conservation parks and forest reserves were burnt.

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The re-discovery


One little known effect of the bushfire was the impact on some of the popular walking and cycling trails in and through this region. The long distance Heysen Trail was re-routed around the Sampson Flat fireground in order to allow Forestry and National Park crews to clear dangerous trees and restore fences, the Roachdale Nature Reserve was closed, while the Mt Lofty Ranges Trails in and around Kersbrook were closed.

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Re-growth


But now, following a successful clearing effort, the Mt Lofty Trails have re-opened with new branding, signage and maps, and a chance for you to walk through five of these great trails with more being opened in coming months.

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Pick a trail


The Kersbrook Public Hall is the convenient central starting point with bathroom facilities available, and a large sign highlighting the location and starting point for each of the trails in the area. Each of the trails are supported by bright yellow directional signage inclusive of coordinates, colours which replace the distinctive black boot print logo which was used for decades.

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Old signage


The Simpson Loop Trail starts from the Hall and is a 17.5km trek along the little known road reserves and farming land around Kersbrook, a trek which in part follows the Kersbrook Horse Trail. The Simpson Trail is named after Albert Simpson, the former Director of the National Fitness Council.

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Shade and Shelter


Simpson was instrumental in the 50's and 60's in the development of walking trails in South Australia with ones around Kersbrook originally known as the National Fitness Council or the Mount Lofty Network Trails. For those unable to traverse the full Simpson Loop, or perhaps short on time, the Morgan Loop is a 6.6km shortened version which traverses many of the same roads and road reserves.

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Misty farmlands


Further south, and in between Kersbrook Hill Wines Cellar Door and Chain of Ponds, the Andersen Loop Trail is an 8.1km walk through the remnants and regrowth of the Southern Mount Crawford Forest.

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Trailhead


Starting near the old Kersbrook Arboretum on Little Para Road, the trail loops the undulating pine forest following parts of the Heysen Trail along an oft-uneven path through cleared lands and atop ridges with (now) 360 degree views. This trail is named after Thelma Andersen, a long time volunteer and contributor to walking trails and organisations throughout South Australia.

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Ridgetop vistas


Meanwhile to the north of Kersbrook there are two trails through this western part of the Mount Crawford Forest. The Devils Gully Link Trail is a 11.5km linear trail which links Para Wirra National Park to Kersbrook, while the Old Kersbrook Loop Trail is a popular 7.5km loop through the native forest reserve offering mixed views of forests and farmlands. The latter trail traverses much of the boundary of the forest reserve, one that was only slightly damaged by the 2015 bushfire.

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Distinctive


Each of the five trails are suitable for walking or cycling (mountain bike), while horses are allowed on trails that do not pass into the native forest reserve. Pets are allowed on leashes, noting that in some areas there will be occasional fox baiting. Further details on all the walks are available from the big sign at the Kersbrook Public Hall, or online from the Walking SA website or by selecting the images below.

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Anderson Loop
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Old Kersbrook
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Simpson Loop
 
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Why? Re-Discover the Re-Growth
When: Any time
Where: Kersbrook
Cost: Free
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