The Latest Footsteps Newsletter from South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated (SARTI) and the Lavender Federation Trail.
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Everyone Welcome to the Opening of Callington Spur Trail, 12th Sept 10am

Footsteps Newsletter

Volume 19, Issue 2 - July, 2020


Welcome to the second edition for 2020 of Footsteps, the newsletter of South Australian Recreation Trails Inc.

When we sent out the last edition of Footsteps in March, we were just starting to hear about this new virus starting to spread throughout the World. Not many of us realized how much our lives would be affected in the months that followed.

Thankfully, in many parts of the country, restrictions are being eased, however, we are being warned not to become too complacent. As many countries have discovered, if we are not careful, we will be back into isolation conditions again. Please remember this as you walk with friends and car share.

One side affect of the past months has been a huge increase in outdoor activities with walking one of the major beneficiaries. Trail usage is monitored in many areas of the state by Traker counters.

Read about this in this newsletter.

In this issue:

  • Official opening of the Callington Spur Trail.
  • The New Mount Pleasant Loop Trail Is Completed.
  • Premiers awards to SARTI and members.
  • Huge increase in trail use.
  • How did the Lavender Federation Trail start- Part 2? 
  • Did the Kelly Gang visit SA?
  • New shelter erected for LFT users.
  • New scenic loop trail At Mount Horrocks.
  • Bits & Pieces.

Official Opening of the Callington Spur Trail

The Lavender Federation Trail Callington Spur will be officially opened by the Mayor of the Rural City of Murray Bridge Breton Lewis at 10.00 am on Saturday 12th September. Location is at the start of the trail near the Truckers memorial on Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge.

Callington Spur Trail - HandoutPlease join us to help celebrate the opening, a joint venture of SARTI with the support of the Rural City of Murray Bridge. 

Designed for both walkers and mountain bikes, it is a linear trail of 27 km and utilizes and connects with other trails within the Kinchina Conservation Park and the main Lavender Federation Trail. This interconnection allows many options including a loop via the riverfront and back to the trailhead on Adelaide Road.

A new giveaway brochure of the Callington Spur which includes a map and photos will be launched at the opening. The opening is still in the early stages of being organized.

Updates on our web site as we get closer to the event. - "Callington Spur Trail"

The New Mount Pleasant Loop Trail Is Completed.

Commencing in the main street of the township, the trail is 23 km in length and offers a number of options with interconnection with the Lavender Federation Trail, Tungkillo Loop Trail and the M2C cycling trail.

A map of the trail is shown on the latest edition of the Lavender Federation Trail Map 2, which also has included many other upgrades to trails in the area.

Keep your eyes on the website and Facebook & Twitter feeds for any last minute updates.

Premiers Awards to SARTI and Members

“Premiers Award for outstanding volunteer service” certificates for 2020 have been presented to SARTI as an organization and several SARTI members.

The award to SARTI recognizes the construction of a 325 km trail from Murray Bridge to Care plus over 100 kilometers of connecting trails over a 21-year time span. A project designed and constructed entirely by volunteers.
Individual awards were presented to four SARTI members.

Barry Stacey was recognized for his long commitment to SARTI. Commencing as secretary in 2002, a job he held for 15 years, he set up all the systems and procedures to follow when building a trail. Many other organizations have adopted these procedures. He designed all the interpretive signs that can be seen along the trail.

George Adams has been involved in SARTI since 2004. He was involved in planning the route of the trail, assisted in building it and designed a stile that could carried in sections and assembled on site. At home he built around 230 stiles, a number still increasing. 

Graham Hallandal became involved in 1999 from early meetings in Adelaide and is still involved. Initially working and learning trail building from Terry Lavender, he gradually took over increased responsibilities. After 2004 he took on the responsibilities of obtaining funding as well as trail publicity, a role he still undertakes.

Ian Pool has been involved in SARTI since 2004. As trail development manager, Ian was responsible in route planning, on-site inspections, discussions with land owners and Government authorities. On completion of the main trail to Clare 2 years ago, Ian stepped back from his original responsibility and now acts as an advisor on the SARTI board.

Photo L-R: Our Celebrated Committee Members - Chris Bushell, Graham Hallandal, Ian Pool, George Adams, Barry Stacey.

Huge increase in trail use

Additional time to get outdoors and enjoy fresh air and exercise appears to have been one of the few positives forced on many of our lives by COVID-19. SARTI monitors a number of Traker counters along the Lavender Federation Trail as well as several within Kinchina Conservation Park for the Department of Environment & Water.

Beginning in March, trails close to Murray Bridge recorded usage up to three time greater than at the same time last year. The multi-purpose trails for mountain bikers and walkers, many from the Adelaide Hills have been increasingly coming to the area. Feedback tells us, dry trails and better weather has been a major attraction.

On more remote trail sections, generally used by more dedicated walkers, figures are around double last year.

How did the Lavender Federation Trail Start - Part 2?

Lavender Federation Trail - Original Logo
Enthused by the success of the introductory walk from Murray Bridge to Monarto, the SARTI Board then had the task of financing the building of the trail and obtaining formal access permission to land under the control of Federal and State Government authorities, private company leased land and a conservation society.

Access to Rocky Gully could only be easily achieved by using the verges of the main rail line under control of the Railtrack Corporation, a Federal Government Corporation, Rocky Gully from Forestry SA, a section at the boundary of Monarto Zoo from Zoos SA and the rail line from Monarto to Apamurra from the Genesee and Wyoming Railway Company, a track at the time, still in use.  

Optimistically, the aim in November 2000 was to open the first 55 km of trail to Mt Beevor by Autumn 2001, only 6 months away. 

Looking ahead, a presentation to the Mid Murray Council was scheduled the following month and a request to appoint a Mid Murray Councilor on the SARTI Board. Once Mt Beevor had been reached, the trail would move into their area. 

Using a grant from the Office for Recreation, Sport & Racing and the Murray Bridge Council, trail building commenced under the guidance of Terry Lavender. Using his years of experience planning and building the Heysen Trail, volunteers using Terry’s expertise 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, 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. Volunteers built two bridges, one on private land that also assisted the land owner cross a creek.

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 strip. The makers were attached to fence posts and star droppers. Some of the original markers can still be seen in Monarto and Rockleigh.

With many setbacks, negotiations with land owners, many initially wary of people walking across the countryside near their properties, combined with the over optimistic timeline of the volunteer group meant the plan of opening the first section in 2001 was unachievable.
Above Left: The first free giveaway brochure. Many updated versions have been produced since.Above Right: First map produced when the trail reached Mt Beevor.
Logo at top of article: Original trail marker decal. Some can still be seen in the earlier built sections of the trail

On Sunday 7th April 2002 the first marked section from Murray Bridge to 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 compiled by Terry’s company, Lavender Trailmasters, supported by advertising together with a giveaway color brochure produced as a result of a grant from the SA Tourism Commission was launched at the opening. The fifth update of this brochure is being used today.

Everything appeared to be coming together but it was not to be. Forward progress ceased as the trail was named in State Parliament, the project came to a halt and the SARTI Board came close to disbanding.

Part 3 in the next issue.

SARTI Annual General Meeting
The AGM of South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated will be held on Thursday 27th August at 1.00 pm at the Auditorium at The Railway Station in Murray Bridge. 

All welcome, but as there are still COVID-19 issues, we ask that if you would like to attend that you contact us as soon as possible. It may eventuate that we have to do a hasty re-arrangement of plans, perhaps a Teleconference meeting instead, and we will need your contact details so that we can keep you informed and involved or if unable to do that - perhaps cancel the AGM.
Note that there will be no catering available. If you wish to make a submission to the board, please contact us about it asap. See Our Link to COVID-19 Updates in the Bits & Pieces Section.

Use Our Contact Page.

Did the Kelly Gang visit SA?

At dusk on Monday, February 10, with £2140 in cash stolen from the Bank of NSW packed in their saddlebags, the Kelly gang galloped south out of Jerilderie... and vanished.

Nothing more was heard of the outlaws - Ned Kelly, his brother, Dan, Steve Hart and Joe Byrne, whose exploits of murder, robbery and derring-do had brought them national infamy - until more than a year later. In June, 1880, the gang broke out of hiding. Even after his capture at Glenrowan, Kelly wouldn't give a clue to where he had been hiding.

Now a story has come to light which suggests Ned Kelly may have been hiding out in South Australia’s Clare Valley for at least a few weeks or months of that year in which he was on the run from the Victorian police.

Folklore of the valley's Polish Hill River region claims Kelly lived in a stone and mud mortar hut near the base of Mt Horrocks. The hut, the ruins of which still stand on the property now known as Kadlunga station, has been called "Ned's Hut" or "Kelly's Place" by generations of Polish Hill River residents.

While in the Clare region Kelly is said to have mixed with the neighbourhood riff-raff who hung around the wine shanties that lined the bullock track known as the Gulf Road, which linked the copper-mining town of Burra to Port Wakefield. He's even said to have joined some of these bushrangers, who had a hideout on a scrubby hill above Watervale, in some rustling and horse-stealing ventures. It is also suggested he met up with his sister, Kate, who was also staying in the area.

Is the story true? We will probably never know for sure.

New shelter erected for LFT users.

The Rural City of Murray Bridge has erected the first of three shelters constructed for the use of Lavender Federation Trail users. Situated at the Monarto Recreation Reserve, it is open on one side away from most of the weather, has a grass floor allowing tents to be erected under cover. A bench is still to be installed and a section still open at the base of the shelter filled in.
The reserve has toilets, two undercover electric BBQ, adult gym equipment and a children’s playground. Installation of showers is being investigated.

The next instillation is planned to be erected this year 20 km further towards Mt Beevor on an unmade road reserve. It is planned to be lower, half the size and have a rainwater tank attached.

New Scenic Loop Trail at Mount Horrocks

The section of the LFT between Mintaro and Watervale has some spectacular views with an elevation reaching 570 metres. Panoramic views to the sea and the windfarms of Waterloo to the east are well worth the climb.

Near Mt Horrocks, a local land owner has allowed the construction of a short 570 m loop trail across his property so walkers can access the best location to view the surroundings.

Please respect the privilege of accessing this area by staying on the marked trail and not deviating for any reason. The trail is close to an adjoining property where permission has not been granted to walk.

A link to a video of the views from the loop trail, and history of the area PLUS a MAP can be found at the LFT Website:

Bits & Pieces:-

For The Latest Information and Resources about the COVID-19 Pandemic including things like Travel restrictions. this is especially important for anyone planning to come from Interstate, as each state has its own rules (on top of the Federal  ones). Stay Safe!

Please visit the South Australian Government website for COVOD-19
Lavender Federation Trail Map 2 Updated
A new Map 2, Mount Beevor to Springton is about to be released. The new map has undergone many changes, updates and additions. The Murray Bridge to Clare (M2C) Lavender Cycling Trail and Springton Loop Trail are additions to the new map. The Sanderston Trail and link trail to the Springton Loop Trail, previously shown on a separate brochure are now included as well as the new Mt Pleasant Loop Trail (23 kilometers) shortly to begin construction. The new map 2 as well as all other five Lavender Federation

Trail maps will be on sale at map outlets listed on our web site. Carto Graphics and the Map Shop are happy to mail order to interstate and country orders.

Be aware that some Visitor Information Centres may be temporarily closed and will have COVID Safe procedures, so phone ahead if you can.
Planning to walk the LFT over several days continuously?

The web site is continually being updated with overnight stay options. Some sections of the trail traverse areas away from close accommodation.

Find the latest info on the LFT Accommodation Page

Contact providers direct as many in the past have conducted pick up and drop off services for walkers.

Tourism Operators.

If you have accommodation, food or facilities that could be used by trail users, why not advertise on our web site? See who has already taken advantage of our listings at the bottom of this newsletter.

New Accommodation Listing Coming Soon!

We are currently upgrading our Accommodation Listing - it will be bigger,and brighter and we need your help - tell us about your facility so we can add it and help people find you.
Check out the "Sneak Peek" in the image above. you can have a listing like these too.
Please note that the final listing may use different layout and text.

Contact us now to find out how we can help you.

MTB at Kinchina Conservation Park - Murray Bridge

You may not be a MTB rider, but we think you will enjoy this video from Pete Smith of their ride in the Trails in Kinchina Conservation Park at Murray Bridge this May 2020.

You will get to see areas where you too could walk, as most of the trails are designated for shared Walking and Riding. - well worth the 10 plus minutes to watch and get your walking boots on.

Maintenance of the Lavender Federation Trail

And all the connecting loop and spur trails is an ongoing task that is undertaken by a group of volunteers. Maintenance volunteers are always welcome. Sometimes a major upgrade or change is required that requires extra help for just a few hours. Contact Trail Maintenance Manager Stuart Shepherd at 85682340 or 0431369354 if you are interested in assisting.

Please Report any Damage or Concerns ASAP

We ask all trail users, if they see anything that they feel needs attention such as missing stiles (several have been stolen this year), improved signage or better track access, you are our eyes. Please report to Stuart or alternatively, leave a message on our web site.

Webb Gap Damage

Trail damage through vandalism is common especially near major roads and towns. What isn’t expected is damage reported earlier this year to the interpretive sign at Web Gap. Located at the eastern intersection of the Heysen & Lavender Federation Trails, it contains information of each trail. Most of the timber roof was removed and stolen. It has since been repaired.

24 Hour Fuel Available in Eudunda

After a long wait for installation Sskids Tyres and Mechanical on 1 Barwell Street, Eudunda have now got 24 Hour / 7 Day a Week Fuel available via credit card. This should be of benefit to those travelling through late at night or wanting to get an early start. For mechanical work - best phone ahead  (08) 8581 1428  

Check thier website.

Trail Warnings & Local Events - Please Tell Us!!!

We ask that the towns & districts along the Lavender Federation Trail send us news and warning items - We would love to be able to broadcast your Community Events to our readers (if in time - to the Footsteps Readers) but more likely to those who follow the Website and our Social Media streams on Facebook and Twitter.

If LFT walkers know about your community event they may arrange thier arrival in your town or district to be present and enjoy it, creating a unique experience for them, and higher attendance for your event.

For trail warnings: some of the events in your district may not be related to walking, but they MAY actually intersect somewhere along the trail. It would be great if you could let us know, so that walkers could be prepared for safety sake, and perhaps to end up taking the time to enjoy your event. They may choose to walk in another district too, but rest assured; they will be planning to come to yours to complete thier walk of the trail.

Please realise that SARTI is not able to broadcast these events unless someone tells us about them, and sometimes we only find out about them at very short notice.

Find Resources On Our Website

  • Retail map outlets for the Lavender Federation Trail are listed on the web site. See website 
  • Maps & brochures to wholesalers - If you would like to stock Lavender Federation Trail Maps and or brochures please contact Don McDonald who has taken over the distributing maps & brochures to wholesalers. You can contact Don from the website.

    Mail Order Maps - We receive many requests for information on map purchases particularly from country areas or interstate. Click for the website 'Maps' page
  • Lavender Federation Trail Cloth Badges For Sale
    Cost is $10 plus postage however, some map outlets stock them if you want to avoid the postage.

  • They are also available from George Adams (phone 08) 8396-8140 or
     Order via web form 
  • Are you a “Friend of the Lavender Federation Trail”?
    New Forms will be Available after our AGM.

    Memberships are $10 PA for individuals with 5 & 10 year also available.
    Clubs and businesses $100 PA which include an advertisement on the web site.
    Your contribution will allow SARTI to maintain the Lavender Federation Trail (Thank You)

    Details of becoming a LFT “friend” are on the website.

  • Do you have any other favourite resources that might help others? 
  • You are welcome to tell us about your walk experience of the Lavender Federation Trail. Photos are welcome too!
  • Spot something wrong on the Trail - Please Tell Us!
  • Hear of a Community Event that will happen on or close to the trail that other walkers might like to know about - Let Us Know! - We want the communities along the LFT to benefit. CONTACT US

New Accommodation Listings On Website
Click for See Listing

Additionally there is a great amount of work behind the scenes
collecting information on "Camping sites" suitable for walkers
and these will become available on the website when verified.

Eckert's Old Place

Rustic, Peaceful Cottage for 4 at Emu Downs, (Robertstown) not far from Webb Gap, can arrange pickup.
Room for caravans and tents. Firewood & Running Rainwater.

Trestrail Cottage B&B

Sevenhill In the beautiful Clare Valley. Two night Romantic Retreat for Two. 40 hectares of picturesque woodland, within the Spring Gully Conservation Reserve environment

Watervale Retreat

Clare Valley Accomm. - Watervale
4 Self Contained Cabins (3.5 Stars),
Breakfast included
Animal Park, Bird-life, Historic sites,
Wineries, Conservation Parks

Sheoak Rest Watervale

Entire house hosted by Penny
7 guests · 3 bedrooms · 4 beds · 2.5 baths, 2 toilets, 2 separate living areas. Relaxing country escape in the heart of the beautiful Clare Valley

Go Go Eden Valley

This entire bungalow - nestled into a tranquil acre block in the main street of Eden Valley township

Sunnybrook Bed & Breakfast

Tungkillo, 5236, SA, Ph: (08) 8568 2159, (Links to Facebook)
If you would like to attract Lavender Federation Trail Walkers and thier support teams to your tourism related business, please contact us for details.


Are you receiving this newsletter indirectly via a club or friend? Why not receive a copy direct and get all the latest news direct to your computer or mobile device?

The Lavender Federation Trail website home page  gives easy access to subscribe or unsubscribe. Don’t forget to tell us if you change your email address via the link at the bottom of this email, 'update subscription preferences' at the bottom of this newsletter
“Footsteps” Newsletter is free. Reproduction of all or part of this newsletter by any organization may be permitted providing permission is first obtained from SARTI.

Previous Newsletter?

Looking for the Previous Newsletter? You can get it on the website.

If you have any trouble with this link
You can download the latest Footsteps Newsletter from the website at this link.
and follow the links. You can also download previous newsletters here too.


Be Social - Tell Others about our Trail

We hope you like the latest information.

 Please 'Like us' or 'Share' a page on Facebook at
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Graham Hallandal
Editor (Footsteps),
Lavender Federation Walking Trail.
South Australian Recreation Trails Inc.,
Post Office Box 1052,
Murray Bridge, 5253, Australia.
See Website


from Our Business Members

Footside Farm

Overnight accommodation, Farm visits by appointment.

Refurbished ‘Barn’ for sleeping space. Toilet/shower close by.  Ample room for tenting.Catering options from self catering to fully catered country style with the option of featuring native foods. See Website

Carto Graphics

Unley based Carto Graphics has supplied SARTI with all the Lavender Federation Trail maps and given us great support including coming to all our Trail Openings with a display.
See Website

Business Members - Advertise in Footsteps Newsletter & Website
Join as a Full Member for $100 per year to get the benefits of Advertising direct to those who may be keen to use your services or goods.

GREAT VALUE! - Join Now!

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