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3 walks in South Australia’s national parks you might not have tried

Looking for new places to walk? Here’s three recently opened trails which are perfect for your next parks visit.

Believe it or not, some good things came out of 2020 including the opening of some new trails in South Australia’s national parks.

SA’s parks are more popular than ever, providing people with a peaceful place to connect with nature during a time filled with a lot of uncertainty.

It’s no secret that walking in nature is a great activity to reduce stress levels, clear your head, connect with family and friends and stretch your legs.

But if you feel like you could walk your favourite trail with your eyes closed, it might be time to try a new location and keep yourself motivated.

Check out these three recently opened trails in SA’s national parks:

1. Glenthorne Loop Trail, Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta

Just 16 km from Adelaide’s CBD, Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta’s gates opened to visitors in early August last year, offering a 4 km temporary loop trail around significant areas of the park.

The loop trail is a great way to learn more about Adelaide’s newest national park through the interpretive signage dotted along the trail, which provides visitors with a great opportunity to watch the creation of the park unfold over the coming months and years.

You can even bring your dog with you, provided they are on a leash (no longer than 2 m), they don’t stray from the trail and you pick up their poo.

Planning for more trails at Glenthorne is underway with construction expected to commence this year.

Visit the National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia website for visitor information and a trail map.

2. Steub Trail, Cleland Conservation Park

This new, 3.8 km shared-use trail in Cleland Conservation Park recently opened to bikes, prams and walkers.

It’s been designed with accessibility in mind, and provides people with reduced mobility or families using prams with a comfortable option to travel between Waterfall Gully and Mount Lofty Summit in the Adelaide Hills, as the trail is less steep than the popular Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Trail.

This trail is a great spot for a relaxing stroll to take in the beauty of Cleland Conservation Park. Enjoy the views of the peaceful gullies and don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for native animals such as bandicoots, echidnas, yellow-tailed cockatoos and kangaroos that have all been spotted along the trail.

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3. Cypress Hill Trail, Kinchina Conservation Park

Less than an hour’s drive from Adelaide, a new 6 km multi-use trail has opened in Kinchina Conservation Park, which can be enjoyed by both walkers and mountain bikers.

The Cypress Hill Trail wasn’t named after the 90’s hip hop band but rather the cypress or Callitris trees that dominate the area. The name was voted as the top pick by the local community.

The trail is a Class Three Australian walking trail and standard International Mountain Bicycling Association green circle mountain-bike trail, which means it’s suitable for beginners but can be a bit ‘Insane in the Membrane’ during some challenging sections, just like the Cypress Hill 90s hit.

The 6 km Cypress Hill trail borders the new Monarto Safari Park expansion, so after a morning spotting lions you can head out for a literal walk in the park.

This new trail is part of the broader Kinchina shared-use trail network of 20 km, and also links to the Lavender Federation Trail, a 325 km walking trail which runs from Murray Bridge to the Clare Valley.

It’s most easily accessed from Maurice Road and is best enjoyed from west to east, with one possible return being via the Lavender Federation Trail. If you’re just starting out, hold on to your visor and helmets as the Lavender Federation Trail is not recommended for beginners.

When you try the trail, keep an eye out for Menzel’s wattle – there’s more than 4000 plants of this threatened plant species found in the park.

Three mountain-biking and trail running events are hosted in the park each year through Murraylands Multisport, so if you’re the competitive type or like to run or ride for a cause, a great way to check out the new trail is by participating in the Kinchina Trail Run/Adventurethon on Sunday 11 April.

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Looking for more places to walk in nature? Check out our blogs on Belair National Park’s Waterfall Hike and Para Wirra Conservation Park’s Mack Creek Hike.

Main image: Glenthorne Loop Trail, Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta

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