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Published September 4th 2017
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Adelaide, a city blessed with the annual Tour Down Under cycling event and an active recreational cyclist group, is also very fortunate to feature some stunning bike trails for riders of all levels of skills and experience.
By definition, bike trails are typically away from main roads, and the interaction with vehicular traffic is limited or minimal. From former rail lines or roads, or shared trails through some of the most scenic suburbs in Adelaide, there are plenty to choose from thus making it difficult to limit to 7 only. But here goes .....
For over 20 years, the Linear Park from Athelstone to Henley Beach has provided hours of cycling fun for families. With access points almost everywhere, and trails on both sides of the River Torrens, travel distances can be as long or short as you like. The Linear Park Trail is predominantly flat and sheltered from the wind, which makes it ideal for families. Toilet facilities enroute as well as many nearby cafes make it ideal for everyone.
The Coast Park Trail from Largs to Seacliff is a shared use trail developed over many years that takes riders past the beaches, sea and jetties on one side, and some of the premier houses and buildings of Adelaide on the other. Similar to the Linear Park, access is available almost anywhere and the many cafes and kiosks along the way ensure your food and drink needs are covered.
Running 34km from Marino along the former Willunga railway line through Happy Valley, Reynella, Seaford Rise and McLaren Vale, this trail finishes at old Willunga railway station. Access is available at many points as are cafes and bathroom facilities. With mild gradients throughout and several road crossings, the trail may not suit the smallest members of families, but is ideal for parents and teenagers looking for a changing perspective as this rail trail leaves the coast, heads through the suburbs before heading into the country vines of McLaren Vale.
The vineyards of the Clare Valley were also once the home of a rail line which has now been converted into the hugely popular Riesling Trail from Clare to Auburn, and its sister trail, the Rattler Trail, from Auburn to Riverton. Traversing the gorgeous Clare Valley is something for everyone, and these two trails make it popular whether in small parts or overall. Facilities and cafes are available at all towns along the way, thus one of the reasons why this trail is one of the most popular.
The former rail line from Balhannah to Mt Torrens has now been sealed and renamed to the Amy Gillett Bikeway in honour of former Adelaide cyclists Amy Gillett. Broken into several parts, and anticipated to be extended the full distance to Mt Pleasant, this trail takes cyclist along the beautiful Onkaparinga Valley on a steady climb to the Mount. Facilities enroute are limited to the towns where care is needed crossing roads. And for those whom are challenged by slight gradients, it is a lot easier starting on the northern part of the trail, and freewheeling to the south.
The Barossa Valley is a stunning place to visit, and why not do it by bike along the Jack Bobridge Track. The Track starts just outside Gawler and follows the rail line and the North Para River through Lyndoch, Rowland Flat, Tanunda and Nuriootpa before climbing a short hill up to Angaston. Views are plentiful along the route, as are cafes and facilities at all major towns.
For something a bit different, the Crafers Bikeway from the Tollgate to Crafers runs alongside the Freeway for a few kilometres before venturing onto the old lowly trafficked Mount Barker Road up through Eagle on the Hill to Crafers. This trail is not for families as it averages 5% for its 10km, but it is a great bikeway for those looking to head up or down the Hills on a bitumen road without traffic.