Little Para Trails 2

Cycle Adelaide, Sightseeing Ride, Little Para Trails 2

This ride is predominantly through wide parks and reserves. Again, there’s one road crossing, and a short side road stretch at 1.7, but from there it’s traffic-free to the ride end. Along the way, visit the Pioneer Park Water Wheel Museum, the National Trust listed Picnic Tree near Harry Bowey Reserve, and Sans Souci and Carisbrooke House near Carisbrooke reserve.

For such a small waterway, the Little Para River has had a major influence on the history and settlement of the Salisbury area. A seasonal freshwater stream flowing from the hills escarpment to the plains, it meanders through the suburbs and town centre, passing historical and significant sites on the way. Each tells part of the region’s early story, and of the agricultural boom which brought wealth and development to the area. 

Established in 1837, Salisbury was one of the state’s first major settlements. The river plains along the Little Para offered fertile farming land and a dependable water supply which, together with the Mediterranean climate, provided ideal conditions for citrus growing. By the 1850s huge orange and lemon groves were established along the banks and the citrus industry was on a roll.

These rides follow the Little Para Trails along the river between Carisbrooke Reserve and Kings Road. They’re easy, off-road rides through linear parklands dotted with picnic areas and playgrounds and are almost traffic-free, making them ideal family excursions. Despite the Level 2 rating, which relates mainly to the unsealed surface, there’s very little climbing or effort needed, so they’re easily managed by riders of all ages and abilities.

The rides also provide the chance for a car-free day, starting from the Salisbury railway station. Catch a train to Salisbury, then head off west on the Ride 1 loop or east on Ride 2’s linear return route. At around 8km each, why not do one in the morning and the other after lunch?


Catch the train with your bike to the start/finish at Salisbury Station.

Food and Drink

Shops, cafes and takeaways in Salisbury and at Parabanks.

Side trip

Spend a few hours putting around the Salisbury Greens Par 3 Golf Course. The nine- hole course is family-friendly, with children very welcome. There are BBQ facilities, a club café and clubs for hire, so you can go straight from your ride.

Ride Log

  • 0.0 From the Salisbury Railway Station platform, cross the railway lines and turn right into Paternoster Rd.
  • 0.2 Continue through barriers onto the path.
  • 0.4 Across the footbridge, turn right and continue towards the creek.
  • 0.5 Turn right and go under the railway bridge.
  • 0.7 Turn right and go under a road bridge, then carefully around a locked boom gate onto a marked bike/walking path under Salisbury Highway. Do the same on the other side, then veer left onto the path between the creek and Parabanks Shopping Centre.
  • 1.0 Ignore the bridge to the left, continuing along the right bank of the creek.
  • 1.1 Carefully cross the carpark to barriers near the roadway. Turn left onto the footpath and cross the creek, then carefully cross the road to Pioneer Park and the Waterwheel Museum. Continue on the path to the right of the museum, cross a bridge and veer left onto the main track alongside the creek.
  • 1.7 At a roadway and the top of a little climb, carefully cross the road and continue along Brian St.
  • 1.9 At a T-junction with a bikeway sign on the right, cross onto the right kerb and continue along the paved footpath trail. Follow the footpath around, walk through the motorbike restriction barrier and continue on the dirt path. Shortly after the path is paved on a steep descent: take care, especially with small children. Cross a bridge at the bottom, then take the left fork back alongside the creek.
  • 2.4 At the junction of a number of paths, take the path left and ahead over a wooden bridge and through Henry Bowey Reserve. Soon after a track comes in from the left and behind. Veer right and continue, then cross another bridge to a Little Para Trails sign and a track coming in from the right. Continue straight on, veering left along the main trail to follow the creek.
  • 3.1 Take the right fork away from the creek.
  • 3.2 Turn left and continue along the path.
  • 3.7 At a T-junction, turn left, ignoring a track coming in from the left soon after.
  • 4.0 Take the right fork.
  • 4.1 At the Carisbrooke Park playground and recreation area, the ride ends. To return, retrace the route to the station.
  • Trail map

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    8.709 km / 5.411 mi

    Total Distance

    62 m / 203 ft

    Total Ascent

    62 m / 203 ft

    Total Descent

    49 m / 162 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
    Ride Duration: <1 hr
    Fitness Level: Medium
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    Estimated Distance: 8.7
    Elevation Gain: 77
    First Aid
    Bike hire
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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