The launch of the completed Lavender Trail, which stretches from Murray Bridge to Clare, will act as a “drawcard” for the region says tourism development manager for Murray River, Lakes and Coorong Julie Bates ahead of the trail’s May 5 opening in Clare.
The trail will present hikers with the opportunity to traverse 325kilometres of wide rolling hills, rocky gullies and native bushland from Murray Bridge to Clare.
Mrs Bates said the trail will add to the region’s growing reputation for bushwalking and hiking hotspots.
“Nature based tourism is one of the biggest growing markets in South Australia right now and our region already has some of the state’s most beautiful walks, trails and conservation parks,” she said.
“As well as connecting with the state’s famous Heysen Trail and Clare Valley’s Riesling Trail, the Lavender Trail also links with the Kinchina Conservation Park in Murray Bridge and the first stages of the Murray Coorong Trail, which is currently under construction.”
As word of Australia’s newest multi-day hike spreads, Mrs Bates said the trail will lure hikers and bushwalking groups from across Australia, and internationally.
“The trail will be a tremendous attraction for walking groups, multi-day trekkers and those solo hikers who enjoy a challenge while taking in some of the region’s most beautiful countryside,” she said.
Mrs Bates congratulated the original group of volunteers, who came up with the idea for the trail more than two decades ago, and have since dedicated a lot of time and effort to make the trail what it is today.
“The passion that went into this project is incredible and it all started right here in Murray Bridge,” she said.
The group later formed to become South Australian Recreation Trails Incorporated (SARTI) and oversee the trail.
SARTI’s Graham Hallandal described the trail as “an asset to the community.”
“This is an outstanding example of community involvement in a volunteer project and also an example of what can be achieved with the cooperation and assistance of local and State Government authorities working together with volunteers and local people,” he said.
“The trail is designed to highlight these small regional towns and communities and they have been involved in all aspects of design and construction.”
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