Bushwalking with Kids at Mount George Conservation Park
Mount George Conservation Park is nestled in between Bridgewater and Piccadilly in the Adelaide Hills, only 10 minutes up the South Eastern freeway.
Mount George walking trails can be accessed from Mount George Picnic Grounds where there is plenty of car parking space and some picnic tables if you are looking for a pleasant place to stop for a bite to eat.
There are several trails (as described by on-site signage) to explore, varying in difficulty and steepness:
- Heysen Trail – approximately 1 hr return. An easy walk with short, steep sections. Cross Tiersman Bridge to start the walk.
- Ridge Trail – 1.5 hours return. Steep in places. This trail features a rocky outcrop with panoramic views of Mt Lofty and the valley. Access this trail via gate 6.
- Cascade Trail – 30 mins return. Difficult walk.
- Golflinks Rd – 1 hr return. Easy walk. Take Heysen Trail to rock outcrops, Timber Cutters Track to Leah Fire Track then head west to Golflinks Rd.
We followed the Heysen Trail which is slightly undulating in sections and is slightly narrow in parts. However, it is great for kids and suitable for younger walkers because there are no dangerous cliff edges to negotiate or anything too steep or difficult. It really could be classified as an easy walk.
This is a very picturesque walk through a secluded gully surrounded by towering gums, beautiful native plants and scenic views of Mount George. The area also features some quite impressive rocks jutting out from the hill.
The land at Mount George was initially cleared by early European settlers in the 1840s but now the conservation park has been regenerated with native plants such as correas and native orchids. The area is also now home to a variety of mammals (keep a lookout for koalas) and birds such as superb blue wrens, red-browed finches, white-throated tree creepers and scarlet robins.
Cox Creek is a pretty creek which winds its way through the area. There are several clearly marked bridges to cross along the way and older kids can play in sections of the creek where there are large rocks. Please remember to keep an eye on children around the water.
The tracks are well-marked and although it feels isolated, the area is very close to the freeway and only 5 minutes drive from Stirling if you need something to eat and drink.
After walking for about 30 minutes, the trail opens up and branches off into three different tracks: one track heads back towards Bridgewater; the second track, the Foremans Track, heads North up the hill; the Heysen Trail continues west towards Old Carey Gully Road.
Younger walkers may be keen to turn back at this point, however, we decided to join the intersecting trail from Bridgewater which cuts through the Stirling Golf Course. Please be aware of stray golf balls and golf buggies in this area!
The Heysen Trail continues across Old Carey Gully Road to Woodhouse Activity Centre.
The walking trail is clearly marked with signposts, so it is easy to follow. However, please remember to keep to the trail, as this is parcel of land is owned by Woodhouse Activity Centre.
As you keep walking, the scenery changes and there are some amazing ornamental trees to admire, open green space and a lovely creek to cross. On the other side of the creek, heading towards the reception area of Woodhouse Activity Centre, you can find a quiet spot to sit and enjoy a little snack here.
You can continue to follow the Heysen Trail all the way to Mount Lofty or even visit the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens. We took the trail back to Mount George Picnic Grounds and headed back to Stirling for a giant donut from the Lobethal Bakery.
Things we Love About the Walk
- It is the perfect walk for kids of all ages with easy walking tracks
- It is a very tranquil location surrounded by beautiful native trees, plants and birds
- Stirling is a 5 minute drive away for food and amenities
Things to Consider
- During winter, some of the tracks are muddy and slippery. There may even be tracks closed during periods of high rainfall.
- Also, during winter, check the Mount Lofty forecast (on average 7 degrees C colder than Adelaide). If it is looking to be around the 10 degrees or below make sure you pack or wear extra warm clothes.
- During the fire danger season, please check the current fire danger rating by checking the Fire Ban District map on the CFS website and check the CFS website or call the CFS Bushfire Information Hotline 1800 362 361.
- Keep your dog on a lead at all times and check if there are areas of the park where dogs are not allowed.
- There are no toilets on site. Public toilets are available at Steamroller Park Playground, Stirling.
Food and Attractions Nearby
- Red Cacao at Stirling for great coffee, chocolates and the best hot chocolates.
- Lobethal Bakery, Stirling for a giant donut.
- Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens
- Piccadilly Kitchen for delicious homemade meals
- Mount Lofty Adventure Hub
- Cleland Wildlife Park
For more information and all enquiries visit the National Parks and Wildlife Service website.
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
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