samotor Magazine

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

Distance: 35kmRiver 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

Park Lands TrailDistance: 12km
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.


Coast Park

BrightonDistance: 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.


Riesling Trail

Riesling TrailDistance:34km
Start: Barinia Road, Clare Valley
Finish: Auburn

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

Mike Turter BikewayDistance: 10km
Start: South Terrace
Finish: Glenelg

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.


Encounter Bikeway

Encounter BayDistance:30km
Start: The Bluff, Encounter Bay
Finish: Goolwa

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

Little Para River TrailDistance: 9km
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