On yer bike
There are plenty of excellent bike trails throughout SA suiting all levels of fitness, but here are a few that allow for a more leisurely ride.
Story: John Pedler
River Torrens Linear Park Trail
Start: Torrens Gorge Weir, River Torrens
Finish: Henley Beach South
The track: Arguably Adelaide’s premier cycling and walking trail, it's superbly facilitated with broad park lands, barbecue areas, playgrounds, public toilets, wetlands and the odd koala. Almost entirely made up of dedicated shared-use pathway (pedestrian/cycle), it's a corridor of tranquillity through a bustling city of a million people.
Tip: If you’re planning to ride the eastern section with the kids, then it’s best to organise a drop-off at the gorge and cycle downhill towards the CBD.
Park Lands Trail
Start: Bonython Park
Finish: River Torrens Linear Park
The track: A tour of Adelaide’s glorious park lands, the trail meanders through West Terrace Cemetery, Veale Gardens and the sprawling South Terrace sports grounds. It then follows East Terrace through an avenue of eucalypts, before passing the city’s historic olive groves. You'll then cycle through Rymill and Rundle parks on the way to the magnificent Moreton Bay fig trees in Botanic Park.
Tip: Pack a picnic lunch for this one.
Distance: 21km (9km + 12km)
Start: North Haven
Finish: Somerton Park
The Track: The dedicated shared-use pathway currently runs through Largs Bay and Semaphore, ending at Recreation Parade, Semaphore Park (9km). The second section runs from Grange to Somerton Park (12km). You can extend your ride to Brighton jetty by taking a short loop inland, via local streets, around Minda at North Brighton.
Tip: It's sea views all the way, with plenty of parks and picnic areas. Highlights include the section through the dunes at Largs North, and the beach-hugging section south of the Adelaide Shores boat ramp.
Start: Barinia Road, Clare Valley
The track: Following the route of an old railway line, it passes through woodlands, vineyards and farmlands with great views across the Clare Valley. From both ends, it rises gradually towards Penwortham. So if you can organise a drop off/pick up, then the easiest option is to start at Penwortham and head north or south.
Tip: The track occasionally wanders from the civilised road, so it’s a good idea to take a puncture repair kit, a pump, a mobile phone and plenty of water.
Mike Turtur Bikeway
Start: South Terrace
The track: Named after local boy and Olympic gold medallist, Mike Turtur, this is one of the busiest cycling commuter routes in Adelaide. It follows the tramline between the city and the sea and is mainly comprised of minor streets and shared-use pathways.
Tip: Travel between the city centre and South Terrace is via the King William Street bike lane, or you can link up with the Park Lands Trail. Take particular care if you continue your ride along busy Jetty Road at Glenelg.
Start: The Bluff, Encounter Bay
The track: Running through Victor Harbor, Port Elliot, Middleton and onto Goolwa, this bikeway follows a mix of roadway and shared-use pathways. There are sensational views over Knights Beach and Boomer Beach at Port Elliot, and you may also be lucky enough to see the southern right whales that visit Encounter Bay in winter.
Tip: For a change of pace, accompany your bike on the Cockle Train for the return trip.
Little Para River Trail
Start: Carisbrooke Reserve
Finish: Port Wakefield Road
The track: Some of the mightiest gums in the world – or at least in the northern suburbs line the Little Para River. The trail also passes though several major parks, playgrounds, and historic sites.
Tip: At Jenkins Reserve you’ll need to exit to Porter Street, Salisbury, and then turn left onto Brian Street, which leads back to the river. At Parabanks Shopping Centre, cross Commercial Road into the carpark and follow the gravel track running along the southern edge of Pitman Park. This leads to the Salisbury Highway underpass and from here on it’s clear sailing.
Images © SATC/Adam Bruzzone; RAA.
Read more about these top bike trails in the e-magazine