Back in time – Part 4
The proposed route of the now renamed Lavender Federation Trail between Tungkillo and Springton had been planned but still much work needed to be done to settle on a final route. This section was to be the first with a loop trail that would use part of the main trail and offer a walk starting and finishing at the same point.
Following the policy set by SARTI right from the start, one on one meetings with landowners needed to be held where unmade road reserves for the trail were planned, letters to all landowners along the planned route of the trail sent by council made more complex in this section in both Mid Murray and Barossa Council districts.
In October 2005, a segment of “Postcards” was produced with host Keith Conlon. Covering the trail from Murray Bridge to Tungkillo. The episode was aired in 2006. You can still view this video on our LFT website.
This was the second TV program SARTI organized after Channel 7s “Discover” program in 2002.
One change to the planned route occurred near Pleasant Grove after a land owner adjacent to unmade, unfenced road reserve suggested it might be advisable to seek an alternative route. The area we were walking contained his prize bulls that were not very friendly. After a rapid exit over the nearest barbed wire fence with no permanent injuries, an alternative route was planned. Unfortunate, as the original planned route was far superior to the final route.
After everything was confirmed, stiles built and trail marking items ordered. By this time, all signs at major towns and locations were being designed “in-house” by then SARTI secretary Barry Stacey who continues this job now.
Expensive lessons had been learnt earlier in the trail construction. Specialized businesses were needed to manufacture trail equipment when fading made some of our original signs illegible after less than 12 months. All our current signs are fade resistant, coated with anti-graffiti finish and arrows are reflective. We continue to use the same manufacturers after 20 years.
On 7th May 2006 on a cold wet day, the Tungkillo to Springton section of the Lavender Federation Trail was officially opened at Springton.
As part of the SARTI trail planning process, the possibility of future trails interconnected to the main trail is investigated.
One possibility for a future trail was at Saunders Gorge. In 2003 the owners initiated proceedings to purchase a road reserve on their property. We became aware of a road reserve closure application under the “Road process under the roads (Opening and Closing) Act 1991” lodged by the Mid Murray Council at Sanders Gorge. An objection by the Office for Recreation and Sport on our behalf was lodged in 2005. The final result was, what we understand to be, the first public access easement placed on a land title in this State. This has guaranteed, in perpetuity, a 2 metres wide trail across private land. The trail is vested with Mid Murray Council and the future construction and maintenance the responsibility of SARTI.
On the 21st August 2016, the Sanderston Trail was opened after 13 years of discussion & negotiation. between SARTI, Mid Murray Council and the landowners, Brenton & Nadine Newman This trail, with kilometers of unbroken dry-stone walls and stunning views in all directions, remains one of the most scenic (and undulating) sections of trail between Murray Bridge and Clare. A 6 km link trail connects the Sanderston Trail to the Springton Loop Trail.You can view photos of the Sanderston Trail at “Photos Map 3”.
During 2003 a proposal for a loop trail on the northern side of Rocky Gully was investigated and submitted to Forestry SA, the then land managers of the area. A consultant was hired to investigate the route proposed by SARTI with the result that in the main, the route we proposed was accepted. The proposal then stalled due to a lack of finance.
In 2016, the area was renamed Kinchina Conservation Park under the control of DEW. The loop trail proposal resurfaced. The result was a multipurpose walking/ mountain bike trail of 6.3 km, longer than the original SARTI proposal, that went further north and included a section along the fence line of Monarto Safari Park Wild Africa.
Called the Cypress Hill Trail, it was constructed by a trail building contractor and opened in late 2019, 16 years after the initial SARTI proposal. Costing $200,000, mainly as a result of heavy machinery required for a creek crossing of permanent water in Rocky Gully Creek and a 12-section zig zag down steep terrain at the eastern end of the trail. An electronic “Traker” counter recorded over 12,000 using this trail in 2020.
A map of this trail & others in the area click here.
In 2020 the Mount Pleasant Loop Trail was built and opened using a part of the main trail. Originally planned as part of future trail building fourteen years earlier, was put on the “to do” list as a future project.
The Sanderston Trail and Mount Pleasant Loop Trail are shown on the updated Map 2 Mount Beevor to Springton released in 2020.
Back In Time – Part 4
Written for the Footsteps Newsletter
Volume 20 Issue 1 March 2021
by Graham Hallandal
Read the full newsletter here