Mitcham's Shared Use Trail Network
The City of Mitcham is setting a South Australian benchmark for purpose built, sustainable trail development in local government reserves. Open Space within metropolitan areas is limited and reserves in peri urban areas are often used for recreation. The growing community trend towards unstructured recreation has influenced the development of Council’s shared use trail network. The social and environment impacts of horse riding, walking and mountain bike riding through Mitcham’s reserves will always be greater than in remote areas. Mitcham Council acknowledges this and therefore in the mid 2000s endorsed a trails strategy to implement and manage a Shared Use Trail Network.
The trail network has been defined as a ‘shared use’ network to highlight that there are opportunities for different identified user groups within the trail network. The trail network includes trails designated as walk only, bike only, walk/bike, walk/horse and walk/bike/horse.
The trail Strategy identified that reserves are not used in isolation but rather ‘areas’ or ‘zones.’ Four Zones were created for management purposes throughout the Mitcham hills which are located in the following reserves:
- Zone 1 – Randell Park Trails
- Zone 2 – Lynton Reserve Trails
- Zone 3 – O’Deas Reserve, Saddle Hill Reserve and Ashby Reserve Trails
- Zone 4 – Blackwood Hill Reserve
The City of Mitcham manages other trails in the area. Click on the below links for more details.
Along with Council managed reserves there are many other parks and reserves in the City of Mitcham managed by State bodies including the Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources and National Trust of SA. All of the following reserves provide a variety of trail experiences for the public.
Trail Difficulty Rating System
Many of Councils trails are shed use for multiple user groups. Please familiarise yourself with the trail classifications and the degree of difficulty you can expect on the Councils trail network.
Your safety is our concern, but your responsibility.
Responsible Trail Use
Trail Riding, walking and horse riding are permitted only in approved and open trails in reserves.
Please be patient and continue to support Council’s trail strategy by being responsible and use only the designated (approved and open) trails. The Code of Practice and Terms and Conditions of Use are detailed on all trail head signs and listed below.
Code of Practice
Plan your ride or walk.
- Obey "Walking Only" and "Bike Only" signs.
- Ride or Walk only on formed trails.
- Do not take short cuts or form new trails.
- Share the trail - bikes must give way to walkers.
- Respect the rights of others.
- Avoid riding in wet, muddy conditions.
- Tread / Ride lightly and leave no trace or rubbish.
- Control your bike and walk, run, ride within your limits.
- Do not disturb plants and animals.
- Clean your bike and/or shoes, don't spread weeds or plant diseases.
- Tell other people about this code.
- Report hazards and other issues to the City of Mitcham on 8372 8888.
Terms and Conditions of Use
- No entry to Reserve on Total Fire Ban Days, SEVERE, EXTREME, CATASTROPHIC call the CFS hotline for confirmation 1300 362 361.
- Cyclists and other users of these trails do so at their own risk.
- This trail network is only open to the public in daylight hours.
- Recreational trail use of the City of Mitcham Reserves is a privilege, not a right and trail users must respect the local residents, fellow trail users and the trail network facilities.
- Obey all signs. Follow the recommendations and guidelines of all trail network signage regarding trail use and direction of use.
- Bikes must give way to walkers on shared use trails.
- Take caution as management vehicles will use access tracks to conduct various tasks.
- Trail users must adhere to the "Code of Practice".
- Cyclists are responsible for the condition and quality of their bicycles. Only well maintained, off road bicycles are to be used on designated mountain bike trails.
- Modifying existing trail or building new trails without authorisation is not permitted.
- Walking or riding off trails, is not permitted
All trail users do so at their own risk. Mountain bike riding, horse riding and bush walking involve risks and should be undertaken with care and regard for the riding and walking conditions at all times. The trails are subject to natural forces, varying weather and trail conditions. The track surface and obstacles may vary over time and may make trail use more challenging.
For horse riding an approved helmet to Australian Standards (AS NZS 3838:2006) is mandatory. For cyclists, a helmet approved to Australian Standards (AS 2063) is mandatory and protective equipment including gloves and glasses are highly recommended when riding Black diamond and double black diamond trails. Black diamond and double black diamond trails are designed for suspension bikes and full face helmets and body armour are recommended. Access tracks (fire tracks) are regular used by reserve management vehicles and caution is required at all times while using these tracks.
City of Mitcham: 8372 8888
Out of Hours Service: 8366 0622
CFS: 1300 362 361
Protecting our Bushland Reserves
Please consider how you use the Hills Face Zone reserves and assist in preventing the spread of disease. By cleaning your bike and/or shoes you can limit the spread of weeds or plant diseases. Management strategies involve adapting human behaviour to minimise the spread of Phytophthora.
Cinnamon Fungus (Phytophthora cinnamomi) and other species of Phytophthora are introduced plant pathogens that cause disease and death in a range of native plant species. Phytophthora is recognised by the Australian Government as a key threat to the survival of our native plants and animals and has developed a National Threat Abatement Plan (Environment Australia, 2001).
What is Phytophthora?
Phytophthora is a microscopic, soil and water borne organism that attacks the roots and basal stem tissue of living plants. It is often referred to as a 'fungus'.
Phytophthora prevents the uptake of water and nutrients by the plant, causing dieback of native and introduced plants including ornamentals, vines, fruit and vegetables.
Phytophthora dieback occurs in native bushlands such as open forests, woodlands and heath lands, farmlands, nurseries and gardens. It is a major threat to some of Australia's threatened native species (both animal and plant) and ecological communities.
The risk of Phytophthora becoming established is highest in areas with:
- greater than 400mm average annual rainfall
- warm, moist conditions (optimum temperature = 15-30°C)
- neutral to acid soils, low in nutrients and organic matter, open textured with few micro-organisms
- poor drainage
- plants that are susceptible to infection
Areas within South Australia, which receive 400mm or more average annual rainfall include:
- The Mount Lofty Ranges (City of Mitcham Hill Face Zone)
- Fleurieu Peninsula
- Kangaroo Island
- Lower Eyre Peninsula
We can prevent the spread of Phytophthora by:
- modifying activities within reserves
- controlling access to reserves
- adopting hygiene procedures before entering reserves
The best way to control the fungus is to prevent the transfer of infested soil and plant material by avoiding activities in an area when the soils are wet and sticky. Brushing soil off footwear and tools before and after each visit to a bush land will limit the spread of Phytphthora see 'Hygiene Procedures' below.
For further information download a copy of the Phytophthora Management Guidelines.
Summary of Hygiene Procedures
Reference: Phytophthora Management Guidelines 2006 second edition (Phytophthora Technical Group, Government of South Australia)
Disinfectant / Rate
Vehicles, machinery, large equipment
Phytoclean- 1 part to 50 parts water OR Sodium Hypo chloride ( pool Chlorine) 1 part to 1500 parts water
Small equipment, Hand tools, footwear
Household Bleach 1 part to 4 parts water OR Methylated Spirits ( 70- 100%)
Phytoclean- 1 part to 50 parts water OR Household Bleach 1 part to 4 parts water
From Mountain Bike Strategy to Shared Use Trail Network
Mountain Biking like many other forms of unstructured recreation activities has become increasingly popular in recent years. Due to the terrain, topography, accessibility and proximity to the centre of a metropolitan area, the reserves in the City of Mitcham are already a popular location for bike riding. As the activity has been occurring without authorisation on trails not specifically designed for the purpose, impacts on the social and natural environments have been high, and conflicts have occurred with other reserves user in Mitcham.
Unless Council nominates to prohibit bicycle riding in particular reserves under the direction of By Law 3, riding in reserves within Mitcham is permitted. In 2005 Council endorsed a strategy which confirms that mountain bike riding is and will continue to be a popular activity within the City of Mitcham and that the issue therefore lies in the management and not the prohibition of the activity. Council has acknowledged this, and continues to manage where this activity is permissible within Council’s reserves.
The City of Mitcham’ s Trail Strategy (formally endorsed as Mountain Bike Strategy), developed through extensive community consultation, assessed the suitability of nine Council reserves and identified appropriate locations for sustainable and legal trails. This Strategy sets out Council's direction for providing a network of trails across Council reserves in the Mitcham Hills. You can download a copy of the endorsed strategy by clicking on the link below:
The strategy, endorsed by Council in December 2005, sets out a number of initiatives and management practices to ensure the trails provide enjoyable experiences whilst minimising environmental or social impacts upon the reserves, other users of the reserves and nearby residents.
Shared Use Recreational Trail Network
Although the Mountain Bike Strategy was initiated to address the impacts of mountain bike riding, the strategy provides a management approach that considers a range of trail user groups including walking and horse riding. The mix of user groups results in the strategy becoming a ‘shared use’ network rather than mountain bike specific network.
Council employs a Trails Officer, to coordinate the staged implementation of the Strategy and Trails Plans. To contact the Trails Officer email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Council on 8372 8888.
Council's Mountain Bike Policy
Council has confirmed its position on mountain biking in a policy statement. The purpose of this policy is to confirm Councils position on:
- The disciplines of mountain biking
- The validity of MTB riding as a healthy recreational activity
- The environment in which MTB riding takes place
- The potential social and environmental conflicts
- The implications of unsociable behaviour and inappropriate MTB riding within Council reserves
- Trail Classifications that indicate trail difficulty, required skills and fitness levels
- A Code of Practice for MTB riding
- MTB Trail Design Standards
In this policy Council recognises and acknowledges that:
- MTB riding is a valued and popular activity that brings many social and economic benefits to participants and the community
- MTB riding is a suitable activity to occur on selected trails in selected Council reserves subject to appropriate social and environmental conditions
- Council will retain its ability to apply and enforce By-laws to prevent inappropriate and unauthorised MTB riding outside of areas and trails that are set aside for riding
- Approval of recreational uses including MTB riding in Council reserves is contingent upon the activity having minimal impact upon other users, residents and the environment including the sensitive natural vegetation and biodiversity within Council reserves
- Council's recreational trail network will be designed to contain a range of trail types to provide both shared and single use trails to provide for walking, cycling and horse riding
- Council's recreational trails form part of a larger network of trails across a range of public and private land. Council will aim to integrate and coordinate its trail initiatives with those of other land managers
- Existing trails in Council reserves which are not sustainability designed and constructed and maintained will require modification and/or closure
A copy of the complete policy can be downloaded here - City of Mitcham Mountain Bike Policy(32 kb)