5 alternative walks to Mount Lofty

Prefer to get fit without an audience? Check out these lesser-known walks that will still get your heart pumping.

We’ve all been there – battling the crowds in the carpark before heading from Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Summit, only to be elbowed out of the way by enthusiastic runners trying to beat their latest personal best.

Of course the views and the workout are all worth it on this popular Adelaide walk – but it doesn’t mean there aren’t other great options for you to try.

If you’re looking for some peace and quiet on your next walk and want to escape the crowds, here are some alternatives.

1. Main Street Crafers to Mount Lofty trail

The Main Street Crafers to Mount Lofty walking track provides a great off-road route to the summit. This 4.5-kilometre walk will take you approximately the same time as the popular Mt Lofty trail, however the terrain is more undulating than steep. You’ll enjoy making your way through the bushland of Cleland Conservation Park– and you’ll experience the same high when you reach the summit.

2. Measdays Lookout to Mount Lofty Summit

If serenity, views and wildflowers sound like heaven to you, why not give this two-hour, 10 km loop a go. You’ll start from the Measdays Lookout carpark on Old Mount Barker Road and veer right to follow the Chinamans Hut track until you meet the Waterfall Gully trail, where you’ll tackle the last 500 metres with the rest of the ‘Lofty Lovers’.

Insider tip: If you try this track in spring, it’s likely you’ll also enjoy the sound of flowing water from the nearby creek.

3. Chambers Gully to Mount Lofty

Not for the faint-hearted, you’ll need a good four hours to complete this steep and challenging 15 km circuit. Park your car at the small roadside carpark opposite 67 Waterfall Gully Road and walk past the Chambers Gully gate to transport yourself to this cool oasis. The steep tracks that are edged with ferns lead to breathtaking ridge-top views of the city and coast, and you might just spot cockatoos, butterflies and bandicoots along the way.

4. Anstey Hill Loop in Anstey Hill Recreation Park

If you’d like to avoid Mt Lofty altogether, why not try Anstey Hill Recreation Park located 16 km northeast of Adelaide. It features a 7.5 km circuit-style loop, offering a moderate half-day hike with some steep terrain. Take in the views of the Adelaide Plains and see some native flora and fauna while you’re there. Why not bring your dog along too? Canines are most welcome if they remain on paths and on a lead. Shorter hikes are also available if you have less than half a day to spare.

5. Second Falls Gorge Hike in Morialta Conservation Park

If views and cardio are your thing, why not try the Second Falls Gorge Hike in Morialta Conservation Park? A real heart-starter, this trail offers outstanding views of the gorge from First Falls and Second Falls lookouts. Stretch your legs and then head up the steep slope to Deep View Lookout for a magnificent view of the city.

Insider tip: If you prefer an easier gradient, hike in an anti-clockwise direction.

Interested in other walking trails? Check out the Walking SA website or find your nearest park and see what trails it has to offer.

This story was originally posted in September last year and has been refreshed with two new walks.

Main image: Anstey Hill Recreation Park


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