Tag Archives: hiking

On the trail

In the stringbark

In the spirit of our bioregional walking tours, Sophie and I recently set out to follow the Pioneer Women’s Trail from Beaumont to Verdun. In the words of the official promotional spiel, “The Pioneer Women’s Trail honours the early European settlers who supplied Adelaide with fresh produce at a time when most foodstuffs had to be imported into South Australia. In 1838 this British colony was barely two years old when Lutheran refugees arrived from Prussia. In the picturesque Onkaparinga River Valley, fifty-four families were the first to establish a farm village which they named Hahndorf after Captain Hahn of the Zebra. The women and girls were the first to supply Adelaide with fresh vegetables and dairy produce from the Mount Barker district. At midnight they left Hahndorf with laden baskets to walk barefoot to Adelaide 35 km distant. They carried stout sticks, fearing outlaws along the forest track.”

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On the trail…

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The Yurrebilla Trail winds through 54 kilometres of the southern Mount Lofty Ranges that mark the eastern boundary of Adelaide. Walking the trail had always appealed to me as a way of exploring the ecology of our home on foot. In the tail-end of a wet winter, Sophie and I (and Emmie for the first day) finally set out, setting aside four days to walk its length. We’d planned the walk for July because we thought that the cold season should have been all rained out by then. As we later discovered it was actually the wettest July for 20 years, and some of the towns we were walking through were preparing for floods.
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