|Dear Footsteps Followers,
We have a new Footsteps Newsletter for you.
Newsletter of the South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated
and Lavender Federation Trail
Volume 13 Issue 3 September 2014
In this issue:
- Sturt Highway to Eudunda Trail Opening.
- Map 4 Now Available.
- Walking Eudunda to Murray Bridge. Who is first?
- SARTI a South Australian Regional Awards Finalist.
- New Trails Proposed.
- Back In Time Part 2.
- Bits & Pieces.
Sturt Highway to Eudunda Trail Opening
Celebrate the official opening of the newest section of the Lavender Federation Trail from the Sturt Highway near Truro to Eudunda, a distance of 55.6 kilometres. The opening coincides with the 15th Anniversary of the first walk on the Lavender Federation Trail in September 1999 when around 150 walked from Murray Bridge to Monarto. Were you one of those who participated in this walk?
Where? Centennial Gardens (Colin Thiele Park), Eudunda.
When? Sunday 28th September 2014.
The day will include organized walks to suit all fitness levels.
Walk #1 commencing at 9.30 am of 5.4 km will pass the old aqueduct and local golf course finishing at the Eudunda Town Gardens.
Walk #2 at 10.00 am will go in reverse direction and start in Eudunda Town Gardens, walk through the golf course to the old Aqueduct to Riemann Road, and walkers picked up at Nicholson Rd and returned to the start. Distance 5.4 km.
Walk #3 at 9.30 am– Walkers driven/car pool about 13 km from Eudunda township to Smith Rd, a circular uphill walk through historic Narcoota Water Reserve and back to starting point – a 4 km walk.
This should enable walkers to be back in the Town Gardens by 12 noon in time to buy lunch.
We would like to encourage people to support local fundraising food stalls, which will include a BBQ (Eudunda Area School), Hot Potatoes (Eudunda Heritage Gallery), desserts/tea/coffee/cake (Christmas Street Party Committee).
The official opening by Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP will be at 1 pm.
In addition to the food stalls, displays of interest to walkers from walking clubs, maps sales including the new Map 4 Truro to Eudunda and a photo display of the LFT featuring scenes of the new section. A local band will provide entertainment during the day.
A short historical town walk around the town will be held during the afternoon if there is sufficient interest.
Scenes of the Sturt Highway to Eudunda section of the LFT.
A photo display will be shown at the SARTI stand at the trail opening.
Please come and support the local community and hardworking volunteers who have spent the last few years planning and building the latest section of trail for the enjoyment of all of us.
The multiple award winning Eudunda Centenary Gardens is the place to come to for the opening of the Truro to Eudunda Section. It is also the place to think of Eudunda born Colin Thiele AC. Colin is remembered as a famous South Australian author, poet and educator, renouned for writing over 100 books many for children and of great stories ranging from country life near Eudunda (Sun on the Stubble) through to the Coorong based story of 'Storm Boy' which was made into a movie and still enjoyed around the world today.
Eudunda is just over a 1 hour drive from the northern suburbs of Adelaide or come for the weekend, stay at local accommodation and join other walkers for a meal on Saturday night?
Sunday’s activities are being organized by the “Eudunda Community, Business and Tourism Committee (ECBAT)”. More information about Eudunda can be found on the district's web portal at www.eudunda.net
Beautiful landscape scene on the Lavender Federation Trail
L-R: Volunteers working on steep hillside / Trail Sign /
Night Life on Lavender Trail (taken on part of Eudunda town section by mobile phone
about 1 meter away just before sitting down to do newsletter) /
George Adams shows new signs ready for replacement of February fire damaged signs
Map 4 Truro to Eudunda has been released and is available at all outlets stocking Lavender Federation Trail maps and brochures. A list of map outlets can be accessed from our website www.lavenderfederationtrail.org.au.
Map 4 Now Available
Map 4 follows a similar format to previous maps with details of the trail route, distances, land contours and route details of interest plus some additional information not on previous maps.
Walkers using this area of the trail should be aware of very steep terrain particularly near Leake Lookout (refer to the contour chart), mobile phone coverage may be unavailable and vehicle access limited in some areas.
As always, we ask trail users always to stay on the marked trail and respect local landowners and their stock. This section of trail uses more private land than any other part of the trail with the permission of the landowner. The route of the trail has been influenced to a large extent from local residents with many landowners not only building the trail across their property but volunteering to maintain it.
SARTI is grateful to the work of Ian Poole, George Adams and Isobel Barrett and the Eudunda Working Group of Trevor & Julie Mathews, Lina Williams and Peter Herriman and others who assisted with the latest 55.6 kilometre section of the Lavender Federation Trail.
On Saturday 30th August, the first group of walkers planning to walk the entire length of the Lavender Federation Trail from Eudunda to Murray Bridge in one unbroken walk set out from Eudunda. Using a backup vehicle, the walkers, all from NSW, will camp or use local accommodation and restaurants where available and plan to walk between 12 and 22 kilometres each day carrying day packs.
Walking From Eudunda to Murray Bridge;
who will be first?
The group planned to take 14 days to walk the 212 km to arrive at Murray Bridge on Friday 12th September but are ahead of schedule by two days.
This walk is an example of the benefits of the LFT and the $$$s into local communities.
The SARTI Board has always followed the concept set 15 years ago of taking the trail as close as practical to smaller townships so they gain maximum economic benefits from the trail.
STOP PRESS: Well done to Di, Heather, Judy and Helen for finished the trail 3 days ahead of time. They report that the trail was great, well marked and have given the trail organisers extra feedback and a big thumbs up.
L-R: Helen Wood, Di Waterhouse, Heather Littlejohn, Judy Nisbet from Wake (Wagga & Kempsey) Walkers, NSW, at Eudunda at the start of their 212 km walk to Murray Bridge over 14 days.
The Group has also generated some great publicity for the Lavender Trail with articles in 3 newspapers (The Murray Valley Standard, The Northern Argus, Burra Broadcaster) this week (and two newspapers due next week).
Full story & photos http://lavenderfederationtrail.org.au/web/first-full-length-trail-walk
Brand SA has advised that South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated has been selected as a finalist in the South Australian Regional Awards for the Yorke Peninsula and Mid North Region.
South Australian Regional Awards
In 2013, SARTI received an award as one of the final three organizations for the Murraylands and Riverland Region in the “Community Group Awards” category.
This time we are a finalist in the “Tourism “category.
The awards night will be held at Clare on Tuesday 28th October.
New Trails Proposed
The feasibility study for the “Murraylands River Trail”, Morgan to Salt Creek, is now underway with several meetings held and initial consultations held with interest groups. The steering committee consists of representatives of the three Local Government areas, State Government, consultants undertaking the study and SARTI.
SARTI is also represented on the “Monarto Trails Working Group”. Mountain bikers have shown increasing interest in using the Monarto area including the Lavender Federation Trail for mountain biking. Together with State and Local Government authorities, the group is looking at consolidating trails in Monarto into a system of well-designed and marked trails suitable for walkers and mountain bikers and removing the unauthorized trails that have appeared over many years.
Trails including the Lavender Federation Trail have been GPS’d ready to be added to relevant maps so that it can be recognised on the title of Crown lands, investigation of a car park on the Princess Highway at Murray Bridge at the start of a trail through to Rocky Gully to join the LFT and investigations commenced to reroute a section of the LFT on Hartman Road onto Crown Land.
Volunteers are required to assist in trail upgrades in Rocky Gully on the 17th & 18th October where walkers & mountain bikers will work together. Can you assist?
Mid Murray Council approached SARTI for advice on trails in the Mannum Waterfalls/Reedy Creek area. The Mannum Waterfalls area has stunning beauty which is relatively unknown. It has been somewhat degraded by neglect but has the potential to be a major tourist attraction which would benefit the local community if developed and promoted thoughtfully. SARTI Chairman, Chris Bushell has prepared a report for Council with a number of recommendations for the area. There is potential to link this area to the LFT.
Back in Time Part 2
Walkers who participated in the introductory walk in September 1999 from Murray Bridge to Monarto commented that they were surprised at the local area and what could be seen in an area many thought would have little attractive features. Rocky Gully Gorge, the uniqueness of a trail where exotic animals such as giraffe and rare Mongolian Wild Horses could be seen as they walked the boundary of the Monarto Zoo and the use of traffic free attractive road reserves.
The success of the day convinced a small but enthusiastic group of volunteers and the Murray Bridge Council who sponsored the introductory walk, that the demand for a walking trail on the eastern side of the Mt Lofty Ranges was warranted. At this time there was interest only from walkers so the decision was taken to design and build the trail solely for walkers.
Detailed route planning for the first stage then commenced. It was planned to build stage 1 to Mount Beevor, a distance of 55 kilometers from Murray Bridge, name it the Federation Trail to celebrate the Centenary of the Federation of Australia by opening the first section in 2001.
An incorporated body was formed and it was decided to call the group South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated (SARTI) with the view that the group could become involved in other trail projects in the future, something that is now increasingly coming into fruition. (“New Trails Proposed” in this issue of Footsteps.)
Using a grant from the Office for Recreation, Sport & Racing and the Murray Bridge Council, under the guidance of Terry Lavender using his years of experience planning and building the Heysen Trail, volunteers, mainly locals, became more proficient in the processes required to design and construct a walking trail. Construction of the early sections wouldn’t have happened without large groups of volunteers, some travelling considerable distances to spend the day helping with its construction. On one occasion it took seven people over two hours hacking into rock to install one stile over a fence at Rockleigh. This area has a very appropriate name as this group found out the hard way. Local service clubs were of great assistance with the Murray Bridge Apex club winning a national community award for their work on the trail. To achieve the aim of building a 55 km trail with a small budget, trail markers consisted of a yellow aluminum strip with a point at one end and “FT” printed on a decal attached to the aluminum stip. The makers were attached to fence posts and star droppers. Some of these early markers can still be seen along some sections.
With many setbacks, negotiations with land owners, many initially wary of people walking across the countryside near their properties, combined with the inexperience of the volunteer group meant the plan of opening the first section in 2001 was unachievable.
On Sunday 7th April 2002 the first marked section from Murray Bridge too Mount Beevor was officially opened by Murray Bridge Mayor, Alan Arbon at Sturt Reserve on the banks of the River Murray in conjunction with the opening of the 2002 Walking Season. A map for the first section and supported by advertising was also released on the day. The SARTI Board was also successful in obtaining a grant from the SA Tourism Commission to produce a color brochure to distribute to Tourist outlets, also launched at the opening. The third updated of this brochure is being used today.
The Federation Trail was no longer just a dream of some but a reality. The hard work however had just begun and almost 15 years from the first walk in 1999, work still continues with some of the original volunteers still involved.
Bits and pieces
- ABC Radio Riverland conducted an interview about the Lavender Federation Trail on their “Riverland Today” program on the 16th July.
If you would like to hear the interview which lasts about 12 minutes, mouse over the link, then ‘Ctrl + link” to open.
At the end of the write up, click on “download audio” to listen to the interview offline.
- The SARTI AGM was held on July 10th at the RSL Club Eudunda.
Re-elected for a 2 year term were Chris Bushell (Chairman), Barry Stacey (Secretary), Ian Poole (Trail Forward Planning)
Continuing members:-Graham Hallandal (Funding & publicity), George Adams (Trail manager), Isobel Barrett.
Council Representatives: - Bob England (Liaison for the RCMB), Michael Seager (Barossa Council), Peter Dunn (Goyder Council)
Regional Representatives: - Roger Lillecrap (Keyneton region), Peter Herriman and Trevor & Julie Matthews (Eudunda Region), John Neal (Point Pass). Julie Matthews has also taken over the duties Membership Secretary.
- Website Photo Album updates: The online photo album is being rebuilt, firstly with bigger photos so you can enjoy the spectacular views better. It is also being re-organised so that photos are grouped in the area of the map that they were taken in. Map 1 is already online and the other maps photos should be online soon, including MAP 4. LFT Web Host says "Thanks to great work from various photographers, George Adams and Graham Hallandal for sorting them".
- Website Adverts: There has been growing interest to place advertisements on the website. We are excited about this as it gives businesses who are interested in you as walkers an opportunity to display to you directly. We hope you will consider checking out their advertisements and support them if you can. You will see some Truro & Eudunda ones coming in next week. Use website contact form to contact 'Trail Committee'
Walkers at Murray Bridge Trail Head / The happy band of trail builders near Eudunda
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Lavender Federation Walking Trail.
South Australian Recreation Trails Inc.,
Post Office Box 1052,
Murray Bridge, 5253, Australia.