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Fastrack to Fitness Adelaide’s Top Running Trails

Fastrack to Fitness: Adelaide’s Top Running Trails

Adelaide’s running trails, like the scenic Kookaburra Rock and the beachside Coastal Park Trail, are nature’s playgrounds that’ll turn your daily jog into an exhilarating adventure.

Ready to transform your routine jog into an epic journey? This article has all the fun info you need!

Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty Summit Hike

– From FreeStateEsPy

Address: Waterfall Gully Rd, Waterfall Gully, SA 5066

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Starting Point: Waterfall Gully Carpark

Difficulty: Moderate


With a total climb of around 475 meters, the Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty Summit Hike is ideal for runners with knees of steel and cardio for days.

This steep and scenic 7.5-kilometer trail boasts a smooth concrete path. Additionally, the trail is open no matter the season or weather, but spring is the best option due to its mild temperatures and dry days.

Unfortunately, furry pals aren’t allowed. What makes up for this restriction are the magical sights of waterfalls and Adelaide’s plains unfolding at Mt Lofty’s zenith.

You can grab some post-hike munchies at the summit’s cafe.

Arrive early during the weekends to secure a spot at the car park.

The descent can be tricky during rainy days. Wear running shoes with great traction.

Black Hill Summit Nature Trail

– From emily.j.gray

Address: Black Hill Conservation Park, Athelstone, SA 5076

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Difficulty: Hard

Starting Point: Black Hill Conservation Park

The 4.3-kilometer loop of the Black Hill Summit Nature Trail isn’t for noob runners. We usually hit this trail in an anti-clockwise direction, tackling the steep part upfront.

If you do the easier clockwise route, you’ll face a less steep but very slippery path, particularly on the trail’s downward rocky sections—and boy, there are quite a few.

The reward is epic views of Adelaide Hills and the city sprawl. But remember, no canine companions are allowed on this journey. 

Run on the trail between March and November.  

Black Hill Summit Nature Trail isn’t too shady, so visit during months with favorable weather conditions.

Bring lots of water. The trail has no store or cafe that can save you from dehydration. 

Coast Park Trail

Coast Park Trail

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Starting Point: North Haven

Difficulty: Moderately easy


The one-way Coast Park Trail is beautiful and flat—perfect for beach lovers and novice runners. This trail stretches to a whopping 70 kilometers and passes through Adelaide’s serene beach esplanades and seaside suburbs.

If you can’t complete the distance (like most of us), simply finish what you can and go for a beach-to-beach route that suits your fitness. Our team’s newbie runners typically go for the 2-kilometer Glenelg to Henley Square route. 

Those with better conditioning tackle the 7.2-kilometer North Haven to Semaphore path or the 7.5-kilometer Henley Square to Glenelg route.

Exercise caution on the trail’s less-developed sections. These include the rough pathways between Semaphore and Grange and the extremely sandy portions of Port Noarlunga. 

Patawalonga Lake

– From janetfoster7172

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Starting Point: Patawalonga Creek

Difficulty: Very easy

The 3.7-kilometer Patawonga Lake loop (commonly known as ‘Pat’) starts north of Glenelg Beach, boasting lush riverbanks and killer views of Glenelg and the marina.

It runs alongside the coast, from Glenelg to West Beach. We use the retractable walkway at Wigley Reserve to get across the lake in a clockwise direction.

For a faster way to get to the starting point, you can use the pedestrian cross-bridge a stone’s throw from the skate park.

There are certain spots with less-than-pleasant odor, thanks to a cocktail of factors like stormwater pollution. 

Bring a sweet-smelling hanky to counter the stench, or if you can, wear a mask if the stench gets too hard to handle.

Belair Waterfall Hike Circuit

– From Rama Gemo

Address: Upper Sturt Rd, Belair, SA 5052

Operating Hours: Daily – 8 am to 7 pm

Difficulty: Easy

Starting Point: Pines Carpark


The 6.5-kilometer Belair Waterfall Hike Circuit offers nature’s best while still making runners break a sweat. 

The payoff is sweet if you complete it—views of the rocky upper and lower waterfalls, typically flexing their glory after some heavy winter showers. Plus, you’ll jog through the dark Echo Tunnel, adding a dash of thrill and mystery to this cardio quest. 

You’ll run into some fuzzy koalas and curious echidnas along the way too. However, the real prize is spotting the super elusive southern brown bandicoot.

Bring your four-legged friends. This trail is dog-friendly.

Be careful at the waterfalls, as the escarpments don’t have fences. The edge can also be slippery.

There’s a dedicated running path for runners and hikers here. However, parts of Queen Jubilee Drive’s lower end are shared with cyclists, so stay alert.

Seaview Loop

– From kayleywatkins

Address: Ayliffes Rd, Saint Marys, SA 5042

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Starting Point: Viaduct Track

The Seaview Loop offers 2.2 kilometers of slightly steep greenery leading to unobstructed panoramas of Adelaide Plains and Gulf St Vincent.

Most sections are on a vast fire track, ensuring you’ll have plenty of space for light jogs or sprints. 

Dogs are also allowed, but ensure you bring a leash to control them. The trail is popular among tourists, cyclists, and hikers, and you don’t want your dog to chase them.

You can reach this trail via public transport. Hop on the Adelaide Metro bus from Bus Stop 25 Ayliffes Rd, St Marys.

For an extra 1.5 kilometers of running, go to the vintage railway viaduct and the historic railway tunnel. 

Chambers Gully Loop

– From Holly Candy

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Difficulty: Hard

Starting Point: Chambers Gully Car Park

The 9.6-kilometer Chambers Gully Loop isn’t your average jog through the park. This is a sanctuary where you’ll rub shoulders with chatty cockatoos, graceful butterflies, and rare bandicoots. 

Moreover, the track is lined with lush ferns, and after a bit of a sweat-inducing ascent, you’ll be treated to killer views of the cityscape and the Gulf St Vincent coastline. The total elevation is over 400 meters, though, so take breaks.

It’s open year-round, so you can enjoy it whenever your heart desires. However, it gets really hot during summer, despite the abundance of eucalyptus trees.

Leave your puppers at home, as dogs aren’t allowed here. 

Kuitpo Forest’s Tinjella Trail

Kuitpo Forest’s Tinjella Trail

Address: 94 Black Nursery Rd, Kuitpo, SA 5201

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Starting Point:  Gate KU2 on Brookman Rd


You’re going to experience it all at Kuitpo Forest’s 12.1-kilometer Tinjella Trail. From easy-breezy sections to some real “brace yourself” steep portions, this loop packs a punch. 

You should expect plenty of switchbacks on this circuit, with a max elevation of 380 meters. The descent can get muddy and tricky during rainy days, so run slower or just walk on your way down when the heavens pour.

Some parts of the trail also don’t have shade due to deforestation, so a cap would come in handy during scorching hot days (or if you’re a madman running on a sunny high noon).

Keep an eye out for mountain bikers and horse riders, and be alert when crossing dirt roads.

You can bring dogs, but ensure they’re leashed.

Adelaide Park Lands Trail

– From RAAofSA

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Starting Point: Any park along the trail


The 18-kilometer Adelaide Park Lands Trail is the best way for runners to explore the CBD’s finest public parks—if their cardio holds up.

You can typically start the action by following the map, then take your pick of the northern or southern loops and cruise back via the River Torrens if you want a different view other than the parks. You can skip some parts of the trail if you want to.

But here’s the real treat: this trail isn’t just about the run. You have playgrounds, parks, lakes, picnicking spots, and kiosks along the way.

The Adelaide Park Lands Trail offers various loops and paths, from parks to the riverside. Choose one that suits your preferences.

Most parts are paved, so it’s also smooth sailing for wheelchairs, prams, and bikes.

Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. This trail isn’t shady.

Newbies should cover shorter distances. We suggest the 375-kilometer path from Park 14 to 13 or the 500-meter trail from Park 24 to 23.

West Lakes Loop

West Lakes Loop

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Difficulty: Very easy

Starting Point: Westfield Lakes

The 6.6-kilometer West Lakes Loop is a slice of serenity. This tranquil journey circles the picturesque Westfield Lakes, with flat pavement guiding you around the shores. 

You’ll also breeze by suburbs like Midcourse, Coxswain, and Towpath Reserve. If you have little runners, these reserves’ playgrounds are the perfect pit spots.

The route offers plenty of benches where you can kick back and soak up the scene. You can also spot kayakers, rowers, and laid-back pelicans doing their thing.

The West Lakes Loop can get quite warm, especially in the summer. Be sure to carry enough water to stay hydrated during your hike or run.

Wear sunscreen or clothing protecting you from the sun. There’s little shade here.

River Torrens Linear Park Trail

– From Medo’s walks

Address: Henley Beach to Athelstone, Henley Beach, SA 5022

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 Hrs

Starting Point: Athelstone

Difficulty: Easy to hard 


The 30-kilometer River Torrens Linear Park Trail commences at the River Torrens’s emergence from the Adelaide Hills at Athelstone. 

It then passes through Adelaide’s heart and lands you in the West Beach/Henley Beach area. River red gums and reed beds line the trail, making it an urban oasis where city and nature shake hands. 

It’s also not just for runners; it has something for everyone. Playground pit stops, picnic spots, and even prime duck-feeding areas are spread across this long but flat trail.

Most parts are smooth as butter, but watch out for the gravel sections, especially the underbridge passages.

Study the trail’s detailed map by WalkingSA if you’re planning to complete it.

Morialta Gorge Three Falls Hike

– From Endurance Swimmer Australia

Address: Morialta Falls Rd, Woodforde, SA 5072

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Starting Point: Morialta Conservation Park


The 7.3-kilometer Morialta Gorge Three Falls Hike is your ticket to witnessing all three epic waterfalls of Morialta Conservation Park: First Falls, Second Falls, and Third Falls. 

As you jog on the gorge, you’ll score some breathtaking views of towering cliffs and plains. The path is wide, but you still must be careful since the gorge isn’t fenced. 

You can kick things off from the upper car park or dive in from the lower one on Stradbroke Road, darting along the Fourth Creek Walk. 

Be mindful of the rugged terrain, especially when navigating the rock-embedded sections. 

Go clockwise if you want an extra challenge. This option is steep at the start but gets more accessible at the 5-to-7-kilometer mark.

Wine Shanty Hike

– From maaikeb66

Address: Cleland Conservation Park, Cleland, SA 5152

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Difficulty: Hard

Starting Point: Gate 5, Pillbox Track


Wine Shanty Hike is a solid 10-kilometer bushwhacking through the heart of Cleland National Park. 

This one is a rugged adventure through stringybark forest, featuring both lung-busting ascents and chill descents. The total elevation is around 600 meters, so prepare your legs.

As you run, be on the lookout for Keirs Ruin, a rickety 1900s farmhouse with no inhabitants. You might also spot kangaroos, echidnas, and lorikeets.

Going for a clockwise route makes the path more accessible, as it’s mostly downward from the start, except at the 8-to-10-kilometer mark.

Aside from Gate 5, Pillbox Track, you may start at Bus Stop 18 on Greenhill Rd or Yerrang Track’s Gate 3.

Waite Conservation Reserve Loop

– From 71blue

Address: Waite Rd, Urrbrae, SA 5064

Operating Hours: Daily – 6 am to 8 pm

Difficulty: Moderate

Starting Point: Eastern end of Hartley Grove


The 4.2-kilometer Waite Conservation Reserve Loop is a wild and undulating ride through the hilly haven of Adelaide. There are no concrete pathways here, but the vast grasslands can provide a bit of traction for those planning to go full-speed.

This trail’s peak promises city views while providing runners and hikers ample shade through grey box trees.

Some animals you’ll spot here include echidnas, kangaroos, and the highly acrobatic and overly energetic gray fantail.

Stay hydrated by carrying an adequate water supply. There are no shops here that can sell you water.

Southern Loop, Happy Valley Reservoir

– From tazza023

Operating Hours: Daily – 24 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Starting Point: Happy Valley Reservoir Car Park


The slightly undulating 2-kilometer Southern Loop is Happy Valley Reservoir’s shortest and most newbie-friendly trail. 

If you feel winded or hungry, there are picnic shelters and BBQs at your service. You can also run past a creek crossing here during drier months.

For those afraid of getting lost, simply follow the purple trail markers. They’ll give you all the directional info you need for this loop.

The grassy shores are perfect spots for resting here, but be careful, as some parts aren’t fenced.

Hit this spot early in the morning if you prefer running in a less crowded area.
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