Top national parks in Adelaide for trail running

Top national parks in Adelaide for trail running

Love run­ning? Step it up a notch and try trail run­ning in one of Adelaide’s nation­al parks. Here’s where to start.

If you love the rush of going for a run and you enjoy get­ting out in our nation­al parks, then trail run­ning may be for you.

The sport has seen a big rise in pop­u­lar­i­ty in recent years, and if you start on easy trails, it’s not near­ly as daunt­ing as it might sound.

Trail run­ners report few­er injuries and bet­ter endurance, and all the ben­e­fits of being sur­round­ed by trees and fresh air that you get from bush­walk­ing.

Why not have a go at one of these runs?


Belair Nation­al Park is anoth­er park that is pop­u­lar with walk­ers and moun­tain bik­ers, and many of its trails are also good for trail running.

For begin­ners, try the Lori­keet Loop, or try the Val­ley Loop if you are at the inter­me­di­ate stage.

Hal­lett Cove Con­ser­va­tion Park is the per­fect place for you if you love stun­ning sea views and climb­ing stairs.

The park is just 2 kilo­me­tres long, but the Mar­i­on Coastal Trail con­tin­ues to the north and con­nects to the Esplanade at Kingston Park – and it includes about 800 steps each way.

If you’re lucky, you’ll even spot dol­phins or seals on your run.

Sturt Gorge Recre­ation Park has a good 6 km loop start­ing at Black­wood Foot­ball Club, which is per­fect for beginners.

Fol­low Craig­burn Road down to the main trail hub, then take the Walk the Dog trail and final­ly Lake­view to lead you around the lake.

A 10 km ver­sion starts from the same spot and is great for inter­me­di­ate runners.


Black Hill Con­ser­va­tion Park has plen­ty of trails with steep climbs, mak­ing it pop­u­lar with inter­me­di­ate and advanced trail run­ners, but there are also easy fire tracks and sin­gle track trails on the Mary­vale Road side that begin­ners will enjoy.

The Gorge Road entrance has a very long and steep climb up the Main Ridge track that will test endurance.

Near­by is a slight­ly eas­i­er, but still chal­leng­ing, climb up the Ambers Gul­ly Track.

Cle­land Nation­al Park is a great place to run if you’re try­ing to beat your per­son­al best, as the park’s now a parkrun location.

If you’re not famil­iar with Parkrun, it’s an organ­ised week­ly event where you and your pals can have your 5 km run timed by an offi­cial. But don’t let this put you off going it alone.

There’s heaps of trails you can do any day of the week – and why wouldn’t you at this pic­turesque location.


Much of Anstey Hill Recre­ation Park can be crossed via fire trails, all of which are flat, and have easy footings.

Take the Water Gul­ly Track up to the ruins of New­mans Nurs­ery – it’s fair­ly easy but still has a steady uphill climb.

If you’re look­ing for a tough climb, the well-named Tor­ture Hill in the cen­tre of the park fits the bill, or try the longer Wild­side Down­hill and Wild­flower tracks from the Per­se­ver­ance Road side.

The loop around the car park is pop­u­lar for time tri­als, and the top sec­tion of the park is a good place for kan­ga­roo spotting.

Remem­ber that some trails in the park are for moun­tain bikes only, so check a map before begin­ning your run.

Cob­bler Creek Recre­ation Park is the per­fect place for first-time runners.

There are a few steep sec­tions up to the Teak­le Ruins, but these are short and are on easy fire trails.Most of the trails are easy to low-lev­el intermediate.

The Porosa Loop fol­lows the creek, and the Ruins Loop will bring you back down, or try the Bab­bler Loop or Mai Tap­pa Cir­cuit on the carpark side of the Grove Way.

Like Anstey Hill, Cob­bler Creek is pop­u­lar for moun­tain bik­ers, so remem­ber to keep an eye out and always share the trails.

If you’d like more infor­ma­tion about trail run­ning, or would like to join a social run, get in touch withTrail Run­ning SA. Or check out theNation­al Parks SA web­sitefor more parks to vis­it – for a run or just to relax.

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in July 2017.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living