Shoreline Loop, Happy Valley Reservoir

Walking Trail Facts
11 km circuit
3 hours
Suitable for
Walking, Hiking, Get to by public transport, Trail Running, Mountain Biking
Park (national park, conservation park, forest, reserve)
Happy Valley Reservoir
Adelaide City & Suburbs
Trail manager
Reservoirs SA (SA Water)
Download maps & GPS files
  1. 2 GPS files
  2. 1 website link
Jump to Downloads section
19 photos
Travel options
  1. Bus
  2. Car
Travel time from Adelaide
1 hour or less
Shoreline Loop, Happy Valley Reservoir

About the Walking Trail

The Shoreline Loop is one of the two hardest and longest of the four trails in the newly opened Happy Valley Reservoir. The reservoir and trails were opened to the public on 11 December 2021.

The Shoreline Loop is a 11km 3 hour trail, rated as Grade 4, which means “Very steep hills. Some bushwalking experience required.” The trails are suitable for children to ride bikes on, but do refer to the bike grade ratings on signs.

The Boundary Loop and Shoreline Loop are very similar, the difference being in the south eastern corner and southern side of the reservoir, the Shoreline Loop follows closer to the shore, whilst the Boundary Loop sticks closer to the boundary fence. North of the dam wall and carpark on Chandlers Hill Road, the trails exit the reservoir reserve and follow a nice treed corridor parallel to the road. Continuing north, where the trail meets South Road it re-enters the reservoir reservoir, and for a short section past the solar farm is bound in a short narrow corridor. Passing the intersection of South Road and Black Road, there is a connection across the pedestrian lights between Happy Valley Reservoir and Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta. As the trail follows some of Black Road, it follows the boundary fence with pine plantation on the reservoir side. The trail in these northern section of the reservoir reserve are avoiding the filtration plant and solar farm.

When we visited in December 2021 we noted that the Shoreline Loop can be difficult to follow. In particular we note two areas to be wary to follow the correct (and easier) trail:

  1. When you start from the main reservoir trailhead and carpark, off Chandlers Hill Road and walk across the bridge, then turn right, watch out to follow trail markers after this as the trail heads north (turns left) to the shoreline. The trail follows a vehicle track, and does not walk along the actual shoreline. The shoreline can be dusty, or muddy and wet to walk along. Try to watch out for markers when approaching the shoreline so you can stay on the more pleasant trail.
  2. When approaching the road crossing in front of the canoe launching carpark you tend to go straight ahead as the Zebra Xing leads to Woodland trail but the Shoreline trail is now inside the fence – there is no marker to direct you that way – and the markers are also inside the fence with the approaching trail post blank. You don’t see the marker arrow until you are beside the post.

The Shoreline Trail is rated as Grade 4, defined as “Very steep and difficult hills. Bushwalking experience required.” However we noted that the trail is mostly along vehicle roads and the “steep hills” are a 30m climb over a long 800m distance. For those familiar with parking at the Mt Lofty carpark, that grade can be compared to parking at the Mt Lofty carpark entrance and walking up up to the cafe/restaurant building.

The trail commences from the main reservoir trailhead and carpark, off Chandlers Hill Road, from the roundabout with Kenihans Road. This carpark is accessible to wheelchair users, but these two trails are not wheelchair friendly due to hills and some rougher track sections. There are toilets, picnic shelters and bbqs at this trailhead. The trail can also be accessed from the carpark near the dam wall, off Chandlers Hill Road, as well as the carpark on Manning Road for Minkarra Park. There are also a couple of other access gates scattered around the reservoir boundary.

The trail is marked with green trail markers.

You can view all trails on our Happy Valley Reservoir page.

Trails and reservoir opening hours

Dates Times
1 October to 31 March 7.30am – 8pm
1 April to 30 September 7.30am – 5pm
Total Fire Ban Days (generally occur between October and April – check on Closed

The trail is also closed during periods of operational activity (the gates will be closed).

Dog walking not permitted

Dogs are not permitted at Happy Valley Reservoir or at any of South Australia’s other reservoir reserves, regardless of whether they are on a leash, as they can carry harmful bacteria and viruses that can easily contaminate the water and are a risk to the safety of the drinking water. Dogs also pose a threat to local native birds and wildlife. Assistance animals are excepted.


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