Rattler Trail (The): Ron tests his "legs" on this former railway track in the Mid North region of South Australia
Earlier this year, locals from the Clare and Gilbert Valleys embraced the Santos Tour Down Under. Local Mayor Allan Aughey was on hand to send the elite on their way - with the region getting twice the bang for its promotional buck thanks to a touch of excitement and a hair trigger on the starter's gun. But while the highways through this part of South Australia may not be everyone's cup of tea the region's civic leaders have now put the finishing touches on another attraction for the ever growing army of deadly treadlers and it starts right in the heart of Riverton.
The new Rattler Cycling Trail takes in much of the town's history like Sholz Park., the home and workplace of pioneer blacksmith August Sholz.
Allan Aughey, Mayor: "There was a strong German presence in Riverton. The Sholz name was a well known German name. And some of the books in the house are in German text as well."
Old August Sholz built all this in 1872 and his family lived here for 100 years with August and his team doing their bit to keep the locals on the move.
Allan Aughey, Mayor: "A lot of the bullock drays went back and forth through this region and of course he had to keep them going."
Later the bullock dray tracks gave way to those used by steam powered beasts and soon we're off in search of one. A couple kilometres north of the town we head off on what was once the rail line between Riverton and Auburn. At first the trail winds its way through a slight depression where the swamp oaks have certainly taken to this mid-north environment. It's just one of many features on a 20 kilometre track.
The tracks have gone and it's now peddle power rather than steam which powers travelers. The name Rattler Trail might give some the wrong impression. It's a smooth ride and one perfect for mum dad and the kids. Then again you might like to opt for one of the many loop trails that spin off the newly opened Rattler cycle path.
For much of the trail you wind your way through classic farming country. Out here you get into a rhythm and stay in rhythm with the changing seasons. Along the way you come across signs of others who, long ago, enjoyed their own patch mid-north heaven. Roy Blight and his council have pushed this trail and others as a network to be enjoyed by all.
Roy Blight, CEO Clare & Gilbert Valley Council: "It's very much a part of the tourism offering for visitors in our district now. Cycling interest, people's interest in health and lifestyle and fitness - this sort of track appeals to a whole range of people - young families, older people and so on."
Soon we arrive in Auburn where you can link up with the world famous Riesling Trail which goes all the way to Clare.
Bikes can be hired from Cogwebs Bike Hire on Main North Road Auburn. Rattler Trail Map are available at Visitor Information Centres throughout the district. If you have any further questions please email email@example.com
The Rattler Trail
Cogwebs Bike Hire
Main Road Auburn
Ph: 08 8849 3280
The Rattler Trail Riverton to Auburn
Maps available from Visitor Centres
Published 16th May 2010