Little Para River Trail - the other linear park

Thursday, 10th Oct 2013 by John Pedler
Categories: Family Cycling

Happy Home ReserveHappy Home Reserve

When it comes to linear parks the River Torrens trail is a cracker, but the folk in the northern suburbs have their own version. Although it may not be as well-known as its downtown neighbour, the Little Para River Trail is a great place for a cycle or stroll.

Starting at Main North Road the trail winds its way through the City of Salisbury, en route to Whites Road Wetland on the western side of Port Wakefield Road.

For cyclists seeking a leisurely ride the best place to start is Carisbrooke Reserve, one of many great parks along the route.

For the most part the trail is dedicated shared use pathway and you’ll only need to hit the road on a few occasions.

Parks and Reserves

Carisbrooke Reserve
Facilities include a picnic table, park benches, toilets and two undercover playgrounds. There are lots of shady trees, acres of lawned area, and the giant gnarled eucalypts seem old enough to have nursed pterodactyl eggs.

Hire of the reserve includes the use of the kitchen and shelter. Phone Salisbury Council on 8406222.

Carisbrooke ReserveCarisbrooke Reserve

Harry Bowey Reserve
Set among a forest of gums, Harry Bowey Reserve has barbecues, sheltered picnic tables, toilets, a tennis court and a cricket pitch.

For information on hiring the reserve, including use of the shelter, phone Salisbury Council on 8406222.

Harry Bowey ReserveHarry Bowey Reserve

Jenkins Reserve
Jenkins Reserve has a huge lawned area and a fenced off dog park with plenty of equipment to keep Rover entertained.

From the northern side of the reserve, exit to Porter Street, Salisbury, and then turn left onto Brian Street, which leads back to the river.

Pioneer Park
The trail passes through this large park on the approach to Parabanks Shopping Centre. On the western edge of Pioneer Park is Waterwheel Museum; open the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month between 2pm and 4pm.

At Commercial Road, cross into the shopping centre carpark and then follow the short 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.

Pitman Park
Right next to Parabanks Shopping Centre, Pitman Park is a pretty little spot with shady trees, park benches, a toilet, a waterfall feature and ducks. A good spot to grab some takeaway from the shopping centre and settle in for a picnic lunch.

Pitman ParkPitman Park

Happy Home Reserve  
The reserve was once the site of the Happy Home Homestead and hotel, a layover for bullock train teams transporting grain and ore to Adelaide and Port Adelaide. Nowadays the reserve is less about bullocks and more about sport and recreation. The fitness loop exercise course runs alongside the trail, and the nearby Salisbury Recreation Precinct has an outdoor Olympic-sized pool. There are also a couple of playgrounds, huge shady trees, picnic tables and a fenced off dog park.

Happy Home ReserveHappy Home Reserve

Strowan Park
Upon entering Strowan Park, keep to the northern side of the river. There are paddocks of play areas and some mighty gums through this section. The trail leaves Strowan Park and runs alongside Martins Road on the boundary of Salisbury Green Par 3 golf course before returning to the park a little further along.

Little Para Linear Reserve
About half way along this sprawling reserve there’s a sizeable river red gum and an information sign identifying the creatures most likely to call it home.

Little Para Linear ReserveLittle Para Linear Reserve

Hausler Reserve
Passing under Kings Road you’ll enter Hausler Reserve which has a small playground.

After this reserve the trail traverses the top of a levy bank before passing under Port Wakefield Road.

Whites Road Wetland
A series of ponds on the Little Para River, this is a surprisingly serene location given its proximity to Port Wakefield Road. A popular hangout for all sorts of waterbirds and waterbird watchers.

Update: Since the posting of this blog there have been further developments to the trail. See the comments from Jim Binder in the comments section below.

Whites Road WetlandWhites Road Wetland

Nuts and Bolts

  • The trail is only nine kilometres long so it makes for an easy round trip.
  • Carry water, snacks and a mobile phone in case of emergency.


replied 2000 days ago 
what an awesome trail the kids love it on their bikes we ride the entire length youngest is 7 good job Salisbury council
John Pedler
replied 1997 days ago 
It sure is a great ride Mark, and it still seems to be a bit of a secret. Last time I rode it, I didn't come across another cyclist. John
Jim Binder
replied 1778 days ago 
Great job John ! Yes we would love more people to know about our fantastic trails. Further improvements have been made now with a bitumen path option on one side of the trail all the way from Salisbury to Port Wakefield Rd. Underpass and bitumen track now at Commercial Road (no crossing the Road and into Parabanks car-park) Future development will formalise the track further West around Globe Derby and a pedestrian and Cycling underpass at Port Wakefield Road connecting to the Dry Creek Trail which is bitumised from Mawson Lakes to Port Wakefield Road. Often travel along here with the Cycle Salisbury Social Rides´╗┐ program which has low level Social Rides.
John Pedler
replied 1774 days ago 
Hi Jim. I'll have to head back out there and check out the upgrades. And I'll keep spreading the word. Cheers, John
replied 483 days ago 
hi, rode on this track last week from Main North Road to Past Port Wakefield. Was a great run, well recommended for all ages.
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