Heysen Trail

The Heysen 64: Secretly Switchbacking

Wednesday, November 09, 2016 – 25.38 km

Today’s hike began with a beautiful walk through Montacute Conservation Park and alongside Sixth Creek. Then came an absurd hill that made me try to remember high school geometry and how to calculate the average angle of ascent. Who would have thought that I would ever need high school geometry for anything? Then I remembered that it’s 2016 and there’s probably an app that can do geometry for me, and also help me cheat on a geometry test in ten different ways. (I later calculated the angle as twenty-two degrees, but that seems too slight, so I’m just going to conclude that math = bad.) The trail is a dirt road that leads straight up, but it’s hard to believe that vehicles can navigate this track without just tumbling down and collapsing in a broken heap. They’re secretly switchbacking, I know it.

80 degrees at least.

After some road walking, I saw a sign saying that I was entering an area infested with Phytophthora – a fungus-like microorganism that kills native Australian flora – and only local traffic was permitted. I didn’t know whether the sign applies to foot traffic, but I couldn’t reroute without knowing the extent of the affected area, so I decided to just make sure to keep to the paved road. Presently the route entered Morialta Conservation Park, which is teeming with boot cleaning stations. I’m not sure whether the fungus is already inside the park or whether they’re trying to prevent it from entering.


Morialta Conservation Park is lovely and a popular place to visit from Adelaide, judging by the number of people. I checked the U.S. election results at a lookout here and… what a stunner.


There are no designated campsites between Grandpas Campsite and the Woodhouse activity centre, so I walked up a maintenance track inside the conservation park and camped off to one side.


By Krista/Bane

Thru-hiker, LASHer and packrafter from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Enjoys walking slowly, seeking out ice cream whenever possible, and just generally being uninspirational.

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