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Funding will allow proper signage for Lavender Cycle Trail
Graham Hallandal explains how signage on SA's Lavender Cycling Trail can be completed thanks to a successful grant application to the Office of Recreation, Sport and Racing.
A successful $29,000 grant application by the South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated (SARTI) to the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing will allow signage to be completed across South Australia’s Lavender Cycling Trail.
Five years ago, one of SA’s longest walking trails, the 325km Lavender Federation Trail, was opened.
Commencing on the banks of the Murray River at Murray Bridge, the route meanders through Monarto before heading north along the eastern flanks of the Barossa, past Mt Pleasant and Truro on its way to its eventual destination, Clare.
Increasing in popularity since its completion, the Lavender Federation Trail has become a destination for walking enthusiasts from throughout the country who walk end to end in stages or in one continuous walk that can take up to three weeks.
“In recent years, there has been a big demand from cyclists to do the same trail,” said Helen Dominish, secretary of SARTI, the builders of the trail.
“About 50% of the walking trail traverses private property, with hundreds of stiles over fences, so we had to make a new route for cyclists.
“The Lavender Cycling Trail route was published as a GPX file in 2019.
“Since then, we’ve been applying to get funding to mark the trail so those riders without electronic access can follow the trail”.
Ms Dominish explained what the successful grant money would mean for the Lavender Cycling Trail.
“This grant will enable us to fund the completion of signage on the 300km Lavender Cycling Trail (including signage for wet weather alternative routes) and the upgrading of two trail head information boards,” she said.
“We would like to acknowledge the many businesses, community and progress associations along the trail who supported our application: Many have experienced increased activity in their communities from walkers and cyclists using the trails.
“We have also received critical support from each of the five councils along the trail, as well as funding from the Mid Murray Council and Rural City Of Murray Bridge.”
Along its length, loop and spur trails had been built to nearby towns and points of interest, totalling around 150km.
As well as connecting with the state’s famous Heysen Trail and Clare Valley’s Riesling and Rattler Trails, the Lavender Trails also link with the Mawson Trail and the first stages of the 450km Murray Coorong Trail, which is currently under construction.
“The Lavender Trails are suitable for all well prepared and physically fit walkers and bikers,” Ms Dominish commented.
“So, it’s for people who are looking for something exciting to do and to just get a really different perspective of South Australia.”
The trails go along the eastern side of the Mt Lofty Ranges.
Most people will be pleasantly surprised by the beautiful countryside there and some of the sights and scenery.
Initially following the edge of the Murray past restored paddle boats, the trails offer a unique sight from an Australian trail – giraffes, Mongolian wild horses, bison and African antelope – as they pass the 1500ha Monarto Safari Park.
From Mt Beevor on the walking trail further north towards the Barossa, you can see Mt Lofty, Mt Barker, the Murray River, Coorong and the Southern Ocean in a 360-degree panorama.
One remarkable feature of the Lavender Trails?
They were designed, built and maintained entirely by volunteers.
Giveaway brochures on the Lavender Federation Trails are available from tourist information centres, and both trails have comprehensive details on their websites.
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