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Walk of the Month: Adelaide Road Linear Park, Murray Bridge
Instead of driving past, Graham Hallandal invites you to take a stroll along the main road into the city.
We are fortunate in the Murraylands that most nights during summer are much cooler than Adelaide.
If you are an early riser, mornings are an excellent time for a walk before starting the days formal activities.
Not a regular walker but have promised yourself to undertake some exercise?
Here are some helpful hints from the Walking SA website:
Everyone knows how to walk. It’s one of the easiest ways in the world to be physically active and you can do it virtually anywhere with just a comfortable pair of shoes. But in case you need some more motivation to get out there and give it a go, here’s a few reasons why you should walk.
You don’t have to do a lot to reap the rewards from walking. Just 30 minutes a day can keep you healthy and reduce the risk of illness such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Walking is the most versatile form of travelling and can be enjoyed at the same time as listening to music, looking at wildlife or having a chat with friends. Walking with a group is a great way to meet new people and discover new walks in and around your local area. Step your way to a happy, healthy lifestyle.
Walking won’t leave a carbon footprint, just your own. It’s the original zero emission transport.
The opening walk for 2023 is the Adelaide Road Linear Park, a two-kilometre people-friendly area from Zerna Avenue to Maurice Road.
Located between Adelaide Road and the service road, the terrain is predominantly flat.
Two meandering curved paths cross each other, making it ideal if starting from and returning to one location to use both paths.
The area caters for many activities – relaxing, reading, a barbecue, coffee or just relaxing – and all fitness levels.
Suitable for walking, jogging, and bikes of all sizes, the main three-metre-wide track easily accommodates prams, strollers, and wheelchairs.
Dog bag waste dispensers and rubbish bins alongside the tracks encourage taking the dog with you for a walk.
Solar lights give the option of walking in the cool of the evening after a hot day.
You can choose how far you want to walk, perhaps increasing distances walked over time as you lift your fitness level.
What can I see?
Certainly, much more than is apparent driving past.
At the western end of the linear park, near Zerna Avenue, is the trailhead for the commencement of the Callington Spur Trail.
For fit walkers and mountain bikers, this is a 27-kilometre linear trail, initially through a treed area planted by Mobilong Rotary Club decades ago, crossing Adelaide Road and into Kinchina Conservation Park, past Monarto Safari Park and on to Callington.
A free brochure of this trail is available from the Murray Bridge Visitor Information Centre on South Terrace.
Public toilets, the only ones along the length of park, are nearby.
Standing close to Adelaide Road is a new high-tech video sign welcoming visitors to Murray Bridge with constantly changing features advising of upcoming events.
Next, the White Hill Truck Drivers’ Memorial.
Built by volunteers and opened in 2013, the memorial commemorates professional truck drivers and those in the transport industry who have lost their lives.
A free electric barbecue and adjacent seats and tables are close by, under-utilised.
Maybe this could be somewhere to visit for a family barbecue on a pleasant evening, especially considering the Sturt Reserve barbecues are not currently accessible due to flooding.
At Progress Drive, the numbers “1, 2, 3” embossed in the path celebrate the gold, silver and bronze medals won at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 by Murray Bridge Paralympian Katrina Webb.
An adjacent metal plaque details her achievements.
Close by is the “Fairy Tree”.
There’s an enchanted spot near the corner of Progress Drive. Photos: Graham Hallandal.
Children will love this community-created feature that, over time, has increased in popularity, and now has its own Facebook page.
Adults will have to be patient as children discover new objects, characters, and sayings around the base of the tree and up into the tree canopy.
It’s a great location to revisit regularly as the attraction grows in size.
Shelters featuring metal art are located at regular intervals.
There are three different panels in the series, titled Treeline, Riverbank and Wetland, part of the Wish You Were Here project in 2021.
The laser-cut repurposed street signs have individual description plaques on the benches located under each of the shelters.
These shelters and the many seats and benches, some located in the shade of trees, some in the open, are ideal for a break.
Surrounding lawns create an environment for parents and grandparents to supervise children in view while they take a breather.
Adjacent to Cromwell Road sits an imposing sandstone and limestone sculpture entitled Water’a’Plenty, described on the plaque as “a monument to the joy felt by all the inhabitants and co-habitants of the River Murray catchment area when, after each drought, life-giving waters again flow freely toward the sea”.
Unveiled in November 2015 by Murray Bridge Mayor Brenton Lewis, the sculpture by local artist Goran Yakas was a joint project of the Rotary Club of Mobilong and the Rural City of Murray Bridge.
The sculpture is floodlit at night.
The water-saving design of the linear park includes gardens designed to capture rainfall and recycle local stormwater run-off.
Water is stored at Gifford Hill and pumped back via irrigation infrastructure to keep the self-sustaining avenue cool and green.
The council website notes that “the ingenious water-saving design both protects our most precious river resource and keeps maintenance costs to a minimum for residents”.
The final section, a single track, runs between Lorraine Street and Maurice Road behind a section of native vegetation passing Tyndale Christian School, and the vacant original Bunnings store.
Tyndale is a co-educational school for 300 students from reception to year 12 set on 3.2 hectares.
The Adelaide Road Linear Park was officially opened on July 5, 2021 by South Australian Deputy Premier, Attorney-General and Minister for Planning and Local Government Vickie Chapman.
Come to the Walking SA Hiking Expo this April
Interested in knowing more about walking?
Maybe joining a walking group could interest you or finding new places to walk?
Put the Hiking Expo 2023 into your diary.
The Belair National Park will be the place to head on Sunday, April 2.
Entry will be free to the expo of walking tours, walking destinations, outdoor retailers and walking clubs.
There will be guided hikes from 45 minutes’ duration, including child-friendly, dog-friendly and accessible options.
More information: www.walkingsa.org.au.
More walks of the month
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