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The Pioneer Women's Trail is designed for walkers mainly following country roads, laneways and bush tracks through a delightful section of the Adelaide Hills with historic homes, deciduous trees and native bushland.
The Pioneer Women's Trail honours the early European settlers from Hahndorf who supplied Adelaide with fresh produce at a time when most foodstuffs had to be imported into South Australia.
From 1838, when the South Australia colony was just two years old, Lutheran refugees from Prussia had settled in the Adelaide Hills forming the village of Hahndorf. Women and girls carrying baskets of vegetables and dairy products on their backs, or on yokes across their shoulders, left the village at midnight to walk the rough bush track to Adelaide 35 km away.
At about 4.00 am the women reached a stream in the foothills near Beaumont which became a favourite place to rest, wash their sore feet and tidy themselves before walking into Adelaide to hawk their wares. Their load on the homeward journey contained sewing thread, needles, sugar, tea, some tobacco for the menfolk and two bricks each for building the new church in Hahndorf. As more villages were established in the hills, their inhabitants also followed the Trail with goods on their backs. This manner of provisioning Adelaide continued until the late 1850s.
In 1980 six members of the Hahndorf Branch of the National Trust of South Australia followed a map produced on 18 June 1841 by surveyor F R Nixon showing this Trail. The first public walk along its full length took place on the 20 April 1980 as part of the National Trust's Silver Jubilee celebrations.
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
The Adelaide Hills is a rugged area east of Adelaide in South Australia. Known for its cool-climate wines, it centres on the mountain and busy city of Mount Barker. Former German settlements include leafy Hahndorf, with its pubs and galleries, and Lobethal, famed for its handicrafts and Christmas lights. Kangaroos and koalas roam the Cleland Wildlife Park, while Gumeracha town is home to the Big Rocking Horse.
Max elevation: 591 m
Min elevation: 203 m
Total climbing: 746 m
Total descent: -879 m
For more information on this hiking trail, please visit Walking SA