Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park (Filsell Hill)

Walking Route Facts
4.7 km circuit
2-3 hours
Park (national park, conservation park, forest, reserve)
Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park
Adelaide Hills
Download maps & GPS files
  1. 1 map PDF
  2. 2 GPS files
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16 photos
Travel options
  1. Car
Travel time from Adelaide
1-2 hours
Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park (Filsell Hill)

About the Walking Route

Hiking map of Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park (Filsell Hill)

Download printable maps: PDF file | Image

Kenneth Stirling Conservation Park is actually a series of four parks. They were bequeathed by Kenneth Stirling to the people of South Australia, the parks were declared conservation park in 1990. Information about the parks is limited. We’ve featured walks in the two largest parks:

Both parks are predominately remnant native stringybark forest, similar to nearby Mt George Conservation Park. The understorey is a mixture of bracken, ferns and grasses.

Walk Directions

The walk detailed below remains in the conservation park and doesn’t enter private property (there are some minor crossings into private property, but there is no signage or gates or fences to note the boundary and it would be reasonable to walk on these short track sections). Please be respectful of private landowners who have permitted this. It isn’t easy to include a loop walk that explores the northern part of the park, but we have included some optional notes to walk to the quarry and return.

Read these directions in conjunction with the map.

  1. The hike begins from Gate 3 near the end of Ostigh Road (near 91 Ostigh Road, Carey Gully). Gate 3 is the only park gate with public access. There is limited roadside parking for 3-4 cars. The road continues past Gate 3, swinging to the left (east) and turns into a driveway. Gate 3 is in the forest so watch out for it . Gate 3 here is the conservation park gate and is at the start of Proberts Track (there are no sign posts naming the track). You may need to climb under the gate rather than over it. There are a couple of old hand-painted signs here stating ‘Private Property’ – but this is not the case here, the start of Proberts Track is along a road reserve, providing public access to the conservation park. 180 metres up Proberts Track the trail swings left (north), with a road into private property on the right.
  2. Continue straight at the next junction of the fire tracks (when walking clockwise). Birdbox number 23 is here. Between 2 and 3 is technically outside the conservation park, but the boundary is indistinct and the whole area forested. On the left you might catch a glimpse of some ruins.
  3. The boundary here is marked with a large gate post beside the junction. Continue straight. If you’re not comfortable with some harder navigation between points 4 and 5, you can shortcut along the easy to follow fire trail between points 3 and 6.
  4. At point 4, the junction and fire trail off to the right can be harder to see, as it isn’t very distinct and cuts back at a sharp angle. This fire trail is probably better considered as a pair of wheel ruts. It can be hard to follow as it descends, but the fire trail it meets is easily found by continuing to walk downhill until you cross it. The ! icon on the map marks where the trail becomes really difficult to follow (when walking downhill), it’s actually a t-junction (you’ve just walked down the long stem of the T) with options going left and right. We suggest going right (south-east), it’s a little less faint then left (north). Regardless, from this ! icon it’s only 70 metres to the easily found main fire track.
  5. Turn right onto the fire trail. If walking from point 6 to 5 to 4, it would be very hard to spot where the fire trail leaves point 5 to head uphill to 4.
  6. At point 6, turn left to walk downhill along the fire trail.
  7. Nearing point 7, you leave the park. There are no visual clues that you are leaving the park until you come out of the forest at the vineyards. There are no fences or gates at this boundary. Turn right onto the vehicle track following the edge of the vineyards. We’ll follow this track for less than 100 metres before turning right onto a fire track and heading back into the forest. There are no signs or fences here that make it obvious that this is actually a private access track for the commercial vineyard. Please respect that the private land owner here is permitting people to use this short section of track.
  8. At point 9, turn left. Turning right leads no where in particular. If walking anti-clockwise, be careful not to miss this junction.
  9. At point 10, you come to the park boundary and Gate 2. You will now be walking along Hidden Valley Track (there’s no sign post). Some maps show that this fire track between 10 and a little way back to point 2 as being outside the park. This is not the case, the fire track is always inside the park boundary fence, including an evident survey mark which is indicates that the track is inside the park boundary.
  10. At point 2, you re-join the Proberts Track, turn left to return to Gate 3 and Ostigh Road.

You could walk further north along Proberts Track from point 4, but there isn’t an easy way to make it into a loop, so you will need to return along the same route. The fire track on the western boundary, north of point 5, becomes fainter and more overgrown as it heads north. It disappears entirely before reaching the creek.

From the quarry you could walk to Filsell Track. The fire trail to the quarry is easy to follow. The quarry was used to quarry stone for the Adelaide to Lobethal road. There is a plaque here commemorating a worker’s accidental death. After the quarry, the fire track becomes increasingly faint before disappearing. You could make a small loop by continuing to walk by contouring around the hill for a further 150 metres to reach Filsell Track. Looking right (east) the Filsell Track enters private property, there is an old loose wire gate there, and a fence. You could walk left (west) and uphill to the peak of Filsell Hill – it’s steep but manageable. Over the summit, where Filsell Track meets the western boundary, there is a locked gate with commercial vines the other side. It’s easy to remain in the park, to walk downhill (south) along the inside of the fence – but it can be tough going, you can’t walk immediately beside the fence, but can walk parallel to it, returning to the dam you passed earlier. It’s only 250 metres, doable but maybe not pleasant.


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