Riesling Trail, looking to the north, near Leasingham
|Length||35 kilometres (22 miles)|
The Riesling Trail is a 35 kilometres (22 miles) long walking and cycling track located in the Clare Valley, South Australia. Established for recreational purposes, it runs between Auburn and Clare, passing through several towns and villages along the way, including Leasingham, Watervale, Penwortham and Sevenhill. The trail is named after Riesling, the most important white grape variety in the Clare Valley wine region.
A recent extension now extends 8 kilometres (5.0 miles) north of Clare to the area known as Barinia. Interpretative signage exists at many spots along the trail, there are picnic tables and seats at several places, and at Watervale a small shelter and rainwater tank provides for the needs for trail users.
The Riesling Trail originally utilised part of the Spalding railway line branch line which ran between Riverton in the south to a northern terminus at Spalding. The section of railway from Riverton to Clare was opened in 1918. Railway stations and sidings along the section of line between Auburn and Spalding were: Rhynie, Undalya, Auburn, Mulkirri, Watervale, Penwortham, Tatkana, Sevenhill, Clare, Kooramo, Barinia, Hilltown, Andrews, and Spalding.
Rail services ceased after the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires burnt through the valley and damaged a lot of the trackwork. In 1989 the rails and steel bridges were removed and in 1993, this part of the route was converted into its present use as a walking and cycle trail.
Today the Riesling Trail is recognised as one of the premier[according to whom?] scenic walking/cycling trails in Australia, passing through beautiful vineyard and farming country. There are various side loops as well as access to delightful[according to whom?] coffee shops and quaint pubs. Bike hire is available at several locations including Auburn, Clare and the Clare Caravan Park, with quality[according to whom?] bikes and tandems available to suit all sizes and ages. It is possible to hire bikes and ride one-way with pick-up at the other end. The trail has a gentle up-grade from Auburn to just north of Penwortham, from where it gradually descends into Clare. The Riesling Trail is the perfect[according to whom?] way to experience the best of the Clare Valley. Many B&Bs are available to accommodate trail users in close proximity to the trail.
- "Clare Valley Riesling Trail" (Web). Trail Description. Railtrails Australia, Inc. Retrieved 2007-06-03.
- Carolyne Jasinski, On a Clare day, you can ride your bike forever, The Courier Mail, 4 April 2008. Accessed 3 October 2009
- Milestones for walking trails, The Advertiser, 14 November 2003.
- "Rattler Trail". South Australian Tourism Commission. Retrieved 14 April 2014.