Nine years in the making and almost there, a reflection on the Adelaide100 trail

We've launched a project website for the Adelaide100 trail at adelaide100.com.au

by Jim McLean

Jim McLean, the visionary and trail maker of the Adelaide100 loop trail

As a kid on Sunday School Picnics in the Belair National Park, I was dubbed “Mountain Goat” for the ease with which I scaled steep slopes to explore the holes in the rock which we called “caves”. It was then that I fell in love with the Adelaide Hills. It was the 1950s. On weekends and public holidays people dressed up and headed in droves by steam train, manually operated buses and bone shaking family cars to the picnic grounds of Belair, Loftia Park, Mount George and Morialta. You could find a nook in a gully with a shack and a waterhole and stay and swim over the weekend.

In my youth, through the Boys’ Brigade and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, I was exposed to multiday group-walking. We started with two days on the Fleurieu Peninsula, progressed to three days in the northern Mount Lofty Ranges, and finished with four days in the northern Flinders.

In adult years, friends and I got away when we could. We never tired of the “at peace with the world feeling” that comes with being in unspoilt outdoor environments and being fit and healthy. Central mountains of Tasmania, hinterland forests of southern NSW, logging country of Victoria and the emerging long distance trails at home enduced perfect senses of remoteness even when we knew civilisation was just on the other side of the range or the forest.

I did the Yurrebilla Trail in three one-day walks. I did the Lavender Federation Trail (Murray Bridge to Clare) from Murray Bridge to Springton in two three-day walks. In May 2012 I completed the Heysen Trail. It had taken 22 years, walks of one to six days, and eleven different companions in all.

Trail visionary, Jim McLean, installing an arrow decal in Belair National Park

It was 3.00am in July 2012 with the Heysen Trail fresh in my mind when an idea popped into my head. When that happens I can’t let it go. I jumped out of bed, went to the home office, spread the maps out, and started looking for a way around the suburbs and hills of Adelaide.

Australia is a big country. Just getting to its best walking environments can take significant energy, resources and time. Adelaide is globally unique. It is on a small piece of plain wedged between the coast to the west and the hills to the east. For a dry climate, significant waterways find their way from the hills to the sea to the north and the south. How many other places have this variety on environment so close to the CBD?

A loop trail taking in coast, hills and fresh waterways could be accessed from the backdoors of a large population of curious, outdoors thirsty, health conscious people. It couldn’t be too hard to make. In a couple of years, I could put a rough line-map out to the walking community to do with it as it wished, and I could wash my hands of the project.

It soon became evident it wasn’t that easy. I needed help. The Friends of the Heysen Trail and the Warren Bonython Heysen Trail Foundation were very welcoming, they understood everything about making and managing a signature trail and were very good at it, but they had their plates full. SA Recreation Trails Inc (SARTI) were making the Lavender Federation Trail. They built and are managing a trail from scratch so they knew what they were doing. They were extremely helpful, totally authoritative, but they had their hands with the Lavender Federation Trail. The Department for Environment and Water (manager of the Heysen Trail) and the SA Tourism Commission had other agendas. I tried smaller walking groups and trail makers, anyone I could find.

I toted my idea around hoping for a glimmer of break-through support. In the end it was John Eaton of Walking SA who listened and provided the encouragement I sought. Although no longer officially with Walking SA he was still heavily involved in walking initiatives and was strongly enthusiastic for the Adelaide100, as it came to be known. I was on a range of walking councils, boards, and committees. I joined the Board of Walking SA as well. The Adelaide100 became a Walking SA project in 2015. The first portion, 1.6km of unmade road reserve at Norton Summit known as Monument Road, was completed on the 19th June 2017.

A local National Parks and Wildlife Service SA ranger, working on the roll out of the Adelaide100 trail through Morialta Conservation Park

It is nine years from the time the idea popped into my head. Walking SA has support for the Adelaide100 of the Minister for Environment and Water, David Spiers, his department The Department for Environment and Water, and the mayors of 13 LGAs. SA Health recognised the worth of the project and gave it significant support. An initial project launch at Pinky Flat on the Torrens River was attended by hundreds of people. A subsequent launch was part of Walking SA’s Hiking Expo at Belair which was attended by over 1,000 people.

The Adelaide100 is a long-distance loop trail of more than 100km in length. In addition, it roughly coincides with the boundary of the land title division, set by the South Australian colonists, of the Hundred of Adelaide. The Adelaide100 traverses the traditional plain of the Kaurna people from coast to foothills and extends over the range of the Peramangk people to its most eastern point Basket Range. The colonists chose the site, on the Torrens River, of the City of Adelaide around which the Adelaide100 loops. The current route traverses 13 LGAs, 9 big parks managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA, and SA Water’s yet to be opened Happy Valley Reservoir.

The Adelaide100 is currently 40-50% marked on the ground. There is an Adelaide100 website. There are electronic route files. People are walking it. People are running it.

Jim McLean leads the walkers out at the Adelaide100 section launch at Pinky Flat

The first completed sections of the Adelaide100 was opened last October, with a 7km showcase walk on the River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri. The trail section was officially opened by Stephen Wade MLC and Walktober Ambassadors Sandy Verschoor – Lord Mayor of Adelaide and Genevieve Theseira-Haese. It was a spectacular, sunny day with hundreds of walkers celebrating with a community walk along the River Torrens.

The Adelaide100 is designed around accommodation and food outlets being available along the way. It can be walked at a casual pace in six or seven days with nothing more than a day pack on the back. The yet to be signed portions, all in the hills, are currently being negotiated. Fine tuning of the route in these parts is continuing.

A volunteer installing an Adelaide100 arrow decal in Mark Oliphant Conservation Park

As well as the 9 big parks there are numerous smaller parks and reserves along the way. The Torrens Linear Park is traversed from the bottom of Black Hill to West Beach. Most of the Adelaide100 is shared-use. There are cycling alternatives for the walk-only bits. Signage is in place from the Black Hill Conservation Park exit, along the Torrens River to West Beach, along the coast to Kingston Park, and through the back streets to the entry at O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park. Signage is in place through the Sturt Gorge Recreation Park, the Belair National Park, and the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park. Belair and Mark Oliphant is shared-use and there is a cycling alternative for Sturt Gorge.

Walking SA received great cooperation and even generous enthusiasm from suburban and city councils along the way. Rangers of the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA and officers of the Adelaide Hills Council are generously giving their time to the location and fixation of signage through the Adelaide Hills. The brand new Glenthorne National Park is currently being developed by the NPWSSA with walking corridors. The Happy Valley Reservoir will be opened to the public at the end of the year. We look forward to working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA and SA Water to complete the routes through Glenthorne and Happy Valley when the time is right.

The two most common questions are: When will it be finished? How long will it be? Walking SA was hoping that it will be finished by the end of the year. Let’s say not long after that. My estimation is that the Adelaide100 will be between 130km and 140km. We will see.

 

You can find out more about the Adelaide100 trail, and sign up for updates, at adelaide100.com.au.

Adelaide100 Trail Launch, 7km showcase walk

We've launched a project website for the Adelaide100 trail at adelaide100.com.au

Join us to celebrate the launch of the first section of the Adelaide100® trail.

The Adelaide100® is a loop walking trail of over 100km that takes in the coast, waterways and hills of the capital city of South Australia.

The 7km showcase walk starts from Pinky Flat, following the linear trail along the beautiful River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri. Walking upstream past Adelaide Oval before crossing the river at Hackney Bridge and returning past the zoo and Elder Park. Passing the Festival Centre and Convention Centre, the walk continues under Montefiore Road, crossing the river over the weir before returning to Pinky Flat.

Sunday 11 October 2020
10:00am
Pinky Flat, Adelaide

Registration is free. Participant numbers are limited due to COVID-19 event planning guidelines. Please register to assist us in managing our COVID-Safe event plan.

Post a photo on social media with #adelaide100 for a chance to win a $200 Scout Outdoor Centre voucher.

25% of Adelaide100 trail marking completed with new City of Holdfast Bay section

We've launched a project website for the Adelaide100 trail at adelaide100.com.au

The monument of the Tjilbruki dreaming and the Kaurna People

Jason, Jim, Helen, Melissa and Flekig at Somerton Park

The Adelaide100® is now fully marked in the City of Holdfast Bay.

This 11km portion of the Adelaide100® from the marina and lock at the Patawalonga heads south along the foreshore through Glenelg, Brighton and Seacliff, with coastal views extending far into the distance. The trail follows the new boardwalk through the dunes at Somerton Park, past the Tjilbruke monument to the country’s custodians at Kingston Park, and the historic house at Kingston Park. The marked section finishes in the Gully Road Reserve at Seacliff Park, with O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park only one kilometre away.

The City of Holdfast Bay Youth and Recreation Coordinator Melissa enthusiastically set the task in motion. The job was efficiently delivered by Work Group Leader Bill and his Maintenance Team. Jason of the Maintenance Team took a great sense of pride and enjoyment in the job done. Walking SA Project Manager Helen was delighted in the ambience of the locale and was delighted that 25% of the trail is now complete.

The Adelaide100® can be enjoyed as small chunks or as a multi-day loop walk with accommodation opportunities and food outlets along the way.

Look for the signed bollards between Anderson Avenue Glenelg North, and Arthur Street Seacliff Park.

The next stage of the Adelaide100 trail progresses

We've launched a project website for the Adelaide100 trail at adelaide100.com.au

Officers from Campbelltown City Council join Walking SA to install the first Adelaide100 post at the bottom of Black Hill. From L-R: Jim McLean (L), Walking SA Adelaide100 project; Tracey Johnstone, Rob Johnstone and Walter Iasiello from Campbelltown City Council, and Helen Donovan, Walking SA Executive Director

Walking SA is currently engaged in negotiating with fourteen property stakeholders along the 100 plus km route of the new walking trail the Adelaide100. Local government of the north eastern suburbs immediately recognised the worth of the project. The Campbelltown City Council, the City of Tea Tree Gully and the City of Port Adelaide Enfield quickly committed support and resources to the portions of the trail traversing their regions.

This is a 10.5km section to add to the 1.6km start at Norton Summit. As this story is posted the marking with 32 post and signs of the Campbelltown City Council portion has been completed. The portions in the City of Tea Tree Gully and the City of Port Adelaide Enfield will be completed in the next couple of weeks.

As with Norton Summit it is a great walk on its own so be one of the first to have a go when it is finished. Start at the Black Hill Wildflower Garden in Addison Avenue. Traverse local parks and reserves, wind your way along Fifth Creek, follow the River Torrens Linear Park to Lochiel Park Golf Course and enjoy a baguette and coffee at Bunker Cafe.

Work continues on bringing the vision of the Adelaide 100 trail to fruition

We've launched a project website for the Adelaide100 trail at adelaide100.com.au

We’ve started working through Stage 2 of bringing the Adelaide 100 trail to reality. Stage 2 is focussed on the advanced planning of some of the more complex trail connections, which will then be work-shopped with key stakeholders to seek necessary approvals, support and ongoing co-operation.

The Adelaide 100 trail is a concept for a 100km trail circumnavigating the Greater Adelaide region. The trailwill link up existing infrastructure, creating short distance links to create the full trail. Adelaide is renowned for its beautiful parks and reserves that encircle our city, enhance our suburbs, thread along our coast and feature throughout the hills. The trail will take in these beautiful areas.

Board members Rod Quintrell and Jim Mclean have been undertaking field surveys in suburban Lockleys, Basket Range and Stirling in the Adelaide Hills.
Whilst working on the planning, there’s plenty of the trail that can be walked. There is a new 1.6km section of trail in Norton Summit, heading north along Monument Road. The section is well signposted and varied in landscape and terrain, with a historic church ruin to visit along the way. The trail is undulating and presents no significant challenges to anyone of moderate fitness. The section showcases the Adelaide Hills well, and is a nice sampler of the Adelaide 100.

We have been pleased to have consistently constructive and well received feedback from stakeholders, with trail approvals achieved with the City of Campbelltown and Flinders University.

We are awaiting finalisation around trail marker positioning after a positive meeting with the team from the City of West Torrens. Other stakeholder consultations continue.

Maps of the concept trail and details of sections that are accessible now can be found on our website.

First Post Installed on Adelaide 100 Trail

We've launched a project website for the Adelaide100 trail at adelaide100.com.au

Jim Mclean, trail visionary, with John Potter, from the Friends of the Heysen Trail, and helper Bill Gehling having installed the first Adelaide 100 post.

Jim Mclean, trail visionary, with John Potter, from the Friends of the Heysen Trail, and helper Bill Gehling having installed the first Adelaide 100 post.

Installing the first post on the #Adelaide100 trail, directing walkers along Monument Road between Norton Summit and Debneys Road.

Installing the first post on the Adelaide100 trail, directing walkers along Monument Road between Norton Summit and Debneys Road.

Joe Stellmann, a local landholder, with John Potter, from the Friends of the Heysen Trail, and helper Bill Gehling having installed the first Adelaide 100 post.

Joe Stellmann, a local landholder, with John Potter, from the Friends of the Heysen Trail, and helper Bill Gehling having installed the first Adelaide 100 post.

We’ve installed our first post on the Adelaide100 trail.

The Adelaide 100 will link up existing infrastructure, creating short distance links to create a 100km trail. Adelaide is renowned for its beautiful parks and reserves that encircle our city, enhance our suburbs, thread along our coast and feature throughout the hills. The trail will take in these beautiful areas.

The first post was installed in the Adelaide Hills, directing walkers along a short section of a road reserve along Monument Road between Norton Summit and Debneys Road.

The trail proposal involves key stakeholders like the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR), Foresty SA and numerous local councils.

Read more about the project at walkingsa.org.au/news/category/adelaide100

Map of the proposed Adelaide100 trail route

We've launched a project website for the Adelaide100 trail at adelaide100.com.au

The Adelaide 100 will link up existing infrastructure, creating short distance links to create a 100km trail. Adelaide is renowned for its beautiful parks and reserves that encircle our city, enhance our suburbs, thread along our coast and feature throughout the hills. The trail will take in these beautiful areas.

As at June 2017, Walking SA has met with key staff in the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) in order to take the Adelaide100 walking trail concept to a reality, which includes engaging with key stakeholders such as land managers and nine local councils.

For the most part the trail will link up existing trails to form a circuit. A short connecting section near Norton Summit was marked in early June 2017. Some sections still require negotiation with land owners and managers, or aren’t practical to walk along. Some of the route can be walked, albeit without the trail being marked as such, and without detailed local maps. Please respect land owners and keep to existing trails, paths and roads. The following sections can be easily walked along existing trails:

Follow project updates at walkingsa.org.au/news/category/adelaide100.

Maps of the Proposed Route

As the project progresses towards implementation, further detailed maps, brochures and apps may be developed, and the trail marked.

Overall Circuit Map

Map of the proposed Adelaide100 trail route

GPS Map

GPS files and maps will be improved as the project progresses from a concept to reality.

Adelaide100 Update, May 2017

We've launched a project website for the Adelaide100 trail at adelaide100.com.au

Proposed Adelaide100 Trail RouteWalking SA has recently met with key staff in the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) regarding taking the Adelaide100 walking trail concept to a reality.

The staff were most supportive of this initiative and provided specific advice in translating the vision into a reality. This will involve some formal submissions and engagement with the Department and other state agencies as well as local government. Their support will most useful in us taking this to the next level.

Proposed Adelaide 100 Walking Trail Progresses, March 2017 Update

We've launched a project website for the Adelaide100 trail at adelaide100.com.au

Proposed Adelaide100 Trail RouteWalking SA continues to develop the unique Adelaide100 walking trail. We are currently finalising a budget to implement Stage 1 of our plan, and putting that together in a business plan, to seek funding support for the trail.

The major advantage this trail has in its implementation is that it uses existing trails to form the whole of the Adelaide100. As such infrastructure needs are minimised, as the various trail elements and their ongoing maintenance that make the Adelaide100 are already supported, so that what we are left to provide is signage on the trails together with interpretative signs at various locations.

Our vision goes beyond this thought to include a dedicated web site, an Adelaide100 trail app with many benefits and other features. We are planning a forum for all key stakeholders shortly at which we will present the next stage of the plan.

Interest In The Adelaide100 Grows

We've launched a project website for the Adelaide100 trail at adelaide100.com.au

Proposed Adelaide100 Trail RouteIn April, the Adelaide100 was enthusiastically tested by Board members Alan Bundy, Ian Budenberg and me, and Rosie Budenberg. The Adelaide100 is a local long distance loop walk of over 100 kilometres. The Adelaide100 takes in the metropolitan sea front, the Adelaide Hills, and the River Torrens Linear Park. The best parts of nine parks feature. Extensive panoramic views and intimate remote bush settings are special.

We enjoyed the coast, watercourses and Hills over 9 days and 8 nights. At the end of the day there was a warm bed in a holiday park at Belair, a bed and breakfast at Stirling, or a hotel at Newton. On the menu was a bacon and egg breakfast from Jaspers at platform level in the Adelaide Railway Station, a pasty from the award winning Orange Spot Bakery at Glenelg, or a three course feast in the medieval decored Camelot Castle at Basket Range.

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Adelaide100, September Update

We've launched a project website for the Adelaide100 trail at adelaide100.com.au

Adelaide 100, September 2016 UpdateWalking SA continues to work on developing the Adelaide100 initiated by Board member Jim Mclean.

Having conducted a wide range of initial consultation, a small group walking the trail to learn first hand and as we continue to refine the concept we are now into a business planning mode to determine how we can garner further support to make this project happen. As we have used the principle of using existing well maintained trails for the Adelaide100 we believe that the additional cost of creating the trail will be relatively modest, and in particular when compared to what it would be if we were creating it from scratch.

We are grateful for the ongoing support we are receiving across the Board for this project through our member clubs and organisations, local government, state government and a wide range of community groups that we are engaging with. In particular we acknowledge the financial contribution made by the Friends of the Heysen Trail and Skyline Walkers which will greatly assist us getting work done on the ground.

Adelaide 100, July 2016 Update

We've launched a project website for the Adelaide100 trail at adelaide100.com.au

Adelaide 100, July 2016 Update, brandedWalking SA has a vision for the establishment of Adelaide100 initiated by passionate Board Member Jim McLean. Adelaide is renowned for its beautiful parks and reserves that encircle our city, enhance our suburbs, thread along our coast and feature throughout the hills. Our landscape, and nature reserves coupled with a favourable climate and fantastic food and wine make Adelaide one of the most liveable places in the world. There is no other city in the world with a signposted loop trail that traverses city, coast, bush and suburbs, incorporates shorter or longer walks, provides accommodation, food, historical and cultural information and links up and promotes other trails. The Adelaide100 will link up existing infrastructure, creating short distance links and trail loops to create a 100km network.

Walking SA has been working closely with Board member Jim Mclean in further developing his vision for the Adelaide100 walking trail. This is progressing and we have recently held meetings with Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) staff to assist us in addressing specific trail details to enable the trail to utilise the maximum number of existing well maintained trails. We have also been meeting with SA Tourism Commission who are providing invaluable advice in moving this project forward.

More recently Jim and a small group walked the whole trail including addition options to “test it out”. It is fair to say that it fulfilled our vision of being a unique and enjoyable walking trail that we believe can have great appeal to south Australians as well as interstate and international tourists. Walking SA is greatly appreciative of the financial support from The Friends of the Heysen Trail and Skyline Walkers, highly valued member clubs of Walking SA.

Vision for the establishment of Adelaide100 walking trail

We've launched a project website for the Adelaide100 trail at adelaide100.com.au

Vision for the establishment of Adelaide100 walking trail

Walking SA has a vision for the establishment of Adelaide100 initiated by passionate Board member Jim McLean. Adelaide is renowned for its beautiful parks and reserves that encircle our city, enhance our suburbs, thread along our coast and feature throughout the hills. Our landscape, and nature reserves coupled with a favourable climate and fantastic food and wine make Adelaide one of the most liveable places in the world.

As such, South Australia is an ideal nature tourism destination and we are already attracting many national and international walkers into our state. Now is the time to capitalise on existing assets and create new initiatives to capture the growing nature tourism market. We have the opportunity to use existing infrastructure to develop a unique walking experience that show cases our near city vistas, produce and experiences. The Adelaide100 will cater for different walking abilities providing a variety of walk options within the longer trail, and link people to great places to stay, eat and enjoy along the way.

There is no other city in the world with a sign posted loop trail that traverses city, coast, bush and suburbs, incorporates shorter or longer walks, provides accommodation, food, historical and cultural information and links up and promotes other trails. The Adelaide100 links up existing infrastructure, creating short distance links and trail loops to create a 100km network.

Joined up, well-signposted trails with way finding (maps and apps) will provide more options for more people and will attract more people looking for nature tourism experiences. The new sections of the trail have been designed to ensure that walkers can complete short distance legs or the entire trail with easy access to provisions and accommodation if required. This will ensure that short stay tourists as well as local walkers are catered for.

Monument Road

If you asked the locals of Norton Summit about Monument Road you would be told that it exists. Some even know roughly where it might be. On most maps, street directory included, you find a line that looks like Monument Road. With the right search criteria its name is recognised by the Property Location Browser, and there it is, with Norton Summit land holdings on both sides.

Monument Road looks the perfect walking route for a number of reasons. Local residents could use it as a direct, safe, healthy way to reach their hub of community facilities. It is an ideal spur, loop and alternate route of the Heysen Trail which goes right through Norton Summit. It is only 1.6km in length but is the perfect inclusion in the long distance Adelaide100 walking trail.

Despite what paper and electronic mapping shows, finding Monument Road on the ground is not straight forward. It is vehicular track at one end and a well-defined corridor of paddock at the other, but is apparently completely blocked off in between.

Walking SA has now determined where the road reserve is, and in partnership with Skyline Walkers and the Friends of the Heysen Trail has committed to developing Monument Road for use by walkers. Consultation processes with local residents, the broader rate paying community, and the Adelaide Hills Council (AHC) have been completed. Infrastructure requirements have been determined. A detailed submission has been lodged with the AHC. Initial response is favourable – Monument Road is in the AHC 20 Year Strategic Plan (document part 1, document part 2).

It is envisaged that work on the ground will be conducted in the immediate term. Markers, stiles, information boards, and maintenance and management strategies, will be put in place. The opening of this public asset will advantage local walkers and long distance walkers alike. It will bring to the local and wider community the benefits of walking that we know so well.