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Published December 15th 2016
One of life's little pleasures in the Adelaide Hills
The Sturt River starts in the leafy Upper Sturt area of the Adelaide Hills, and meanders down through three local council areas in Adelaide and the Sturt Gorge Recreation Park before reaching the Patawalonga at Glenelg North. This division of council responsibilities has led to a curious side effect - there is more than one Sturt Linear Park.
This article is about the section of the Sturt River in Coromandel Valley, where a scenic walking trail follows the river as it winds through the valley. The shared use path is not a long or difficult walk, but allows a glimpse of the creek in a natural setting without being constrained by vast concrete walls.
Much of the Adelaide Hills has managed to retain its character and a good deal of the native vegetation, and this has helped to keep a diversity of bird life that is far less common in the suburbs south of Adelaide.
A Magpie Lark Has a Late Lunch in Sturt Creek Coromandel Valley
While traffic noise along nearby Main Road is audible at times along the Sturt River Linear Park, it isn't overly intrusive, making the park a pleasant place to walk. I saw other groups of friendly walkers enjoying the walking trail as I took my dogs along for some exercise.
Coromandel Valley Heritage - Former Murray Biscuit Factory
While it doesn't fee like it, you're never that far from civilisation along the Sturt River trail. There's the Duck Inn pub and a bakery a short distance away from the central part of this shared use path. They are perfectly situated if you want a refreshment break, or coffee and cake on your stroll.
The City of Mitcham Coromandel Chronology includes a map of a heritage walking trail between the old Coromandel Institute building, and the Coromandel Valley Primary School. It's a handy guide as you walk the Sturt River Linear Park, showing many photos and highlights of Coromandel Valley history. If the walk is too long for you, it's easy to see on a bike.
At the southern end of the Sturt River trail the 1881 Coromandel Valley Institute building is attractive and well restored. It currently houses Big Dog Studio and glass artist Sheryl Glassmith. There were some very colourful examples of her work outside the studio when I passed.
The old Post Office building nearby was marred many years ago by the addition of a shop at the front, but the original building can still be seen. Next door is a disused service station whose former owner never failed to wave at passing cars for many years.
Biscuit Factory Heritage Signs By the City of Onkaparinga
You can enjoy walking or cycling the Sturt River Linear Park at Coromandel Valley from either end. Find one end at the Franks Smith Park and wetland, and the other end near the Coromandel Institute, or use any of several entrances along the way. An easy place to park is at Watchman House where the Coromandel Valley & Districts Branch National Trust welcome visitors.
It's a pleasant place to visit, listening to the native birds, watching the wildlife, or chatting to strangers along the path. Whether you start at the Frank Smith Park or the Coromandel Valley Institute, it's a lovely walk. Try it - you will enjoy it.
I wouldn't recommend some of the locations on high bushfire warning days.
Gum Trees can also be a hazard in hot weather. They tend to drop branches or blow over during hot dry weather, even more so when windy. SES always dread people being trapped because of them.
I agree with your sentiments Dave.This stroll beside the creek is particularly good after heavy rains, as the water rushes over mini falls in a few places.There is a possibility I believe the walk will be extended eventually.Merry Christmas.