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Published May 1st 2016
Family Friendly ride to Glenelg and back
If you are looking for a safe and easy walk or ride to Glenelg from the City then look no further. The Westside Bikeway, which starts formally in Mile End, could we be what you are looking for with wide paths, minimal traffic interface and facilities along the way.
The Bikeway follows the route of the former Holdfast Bay Railway on a tree-lined path through the inner Adelaide suburbs before emerging at the beach in Glenelg where the soft sands, shops and restaurants are there to greet you. The trail is popular with walkers and cyclists, many of whom use it as a commuter trail to the city, and also with skate boarders and rollerbladers looking for a smooth path to commute or play on.
The origins of this wide corridor of land go back to 1873 when the first railway to Glenelg operated from North Terrace to Glenelg. Soon thereafter a competing service commenced from South Terrace, a service which eventually proved to be more popular and resulted in the closure of the Northern line in 1929.
The Bikeway starts on the western side of the Mile End Railway Station close to where the Holdfast Bay railway met the existing tracks and follows James Congdon Drive until South Road. Upon crossing South Road, the Bikeway becomes surrounded by trees and quieter streets and is a lot more enjoyable for the whole family.
After 2km the remains of the former Plympton station platform appear in what is the only indication that there ever was a railway once here. A monument provides some background to the former railway, while the shelter and water stop provide an opportunity for a short break.
The bikeway continues across the other side of Marion Road and winds its way in and around trees, gardens and playgrounds. One can only assume that the original rail line was more straight than this winding path, else the reason for the closure of the line becomes quite apparent.
Camden Oval appears on the left and a plaque informs us that this was the site of the former Camden Park Motordrome which hosted midget speedway in the late 1930's at a time when suburban speedways were popular and noise pollution wasn't an issue.
The bikeway winds its way around the oval, and then heads on to a marked path running alongside Anzac Highway for a short distance. Crossing over Anzac Highway the Bikeway heads along Grove Street towards the tramline before turning on to Dunbar Terrace. A quick trip across the tramlines and the Bikeway joins the Mike Turtur Bikeway and takes us to Brighton Road where the path ends.
The Westside Bikeway is relatively short at 8km and is ideal for kids, families, walkers and runners. The winding nature of the path and the defined road crossing points adds to the safety of the Bikeway. Extensive lighting throughout means it is safe to travel along the bikeway at any time, with numerous seats and shelters along the way.