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Horsnell Gully and Giles Conservation Parks...
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Hike into Horsnell Gully and Giles Conservation Park to explore the Giles Ruins, and spot koalas along the way.
Charles Giles and John Horsnell settled the area in the 1840s, building three stone cottages here. The cottages were build from local stone with stone lined floors, and named 'Hope', 'Faith' and 'Charity'. At the junction of the two creeks they established The Reedbeds, an area cultivated by three gardeners and their families who lived in the cottages. A slate-lined channel helped direct waters from the creek into The Reedbeds. Hornsell established a nursey and home called 'Grove Hill' nearby at Norton Summit.
Throughout the valley are scattered ruins. Two of the cottages are easily identifiable and fairly complete, although both are fragile. The Reedbeds are not easily identifiable, although some of the slate channels can be found, and there are plenty of European trees which mark the cultivated area.
There are plenty of koalas to be seen and heard near the ruins, and walking down into the valley.
There are four ways to do this hike:
This is the route shown in the Google Map above. It is 8.7km return (4.3km one-way).
Parking is available at the end of the road. View parking location in Google Maps.
Extend the Main Valley and Rockdale Hill Hike by following the Heysen Trail to the ruins.
This route begins at the other end of Coach Road, near Summertown in the hills. Parking is available at the end of the road. View parking location in Google Maps.
This route begins from Woods Hill Road, near Ashton in the hills. Roadside parking is available here. View parking location in Google Maps.
GPX file courtesy of Walking SA. File may not contain elevation data and may only represent half the length on return hikes.
About the region
Take a bushwalk through the steep gullies in the picturesque Adelaide Hills to discover the history of Horsnell Gully and Giles Conservation Parks. Both the Heysen and Yurrebilla trails wind their way through these parks, offering stunning views of the surrounding region.
Named after the state Governor's coachmen, John Horsnell, relics and reminders of the Horsnell family property still remain. Along the signposted walking trails, you will find the remains of a large homestead, including the coaching sheds, stable and cowsheds. The original garden of the Horsnell property is located at the start of the walking trail, marked by elm trees, plum trees and orange trees.
There is an extensive network of trails within both parks, with two main hiking loops in Horsnell Gully Conservation Park.
Max elevation: 562 m
Min elevation: 353 m
Total climbing: 103 m
Total descent: -74 m
For more information on this hiking trail, please visit Walking SA