This is a great trail for families paddling around the scenic Warren Reservoir. There’s easy parking and launching your kayak or canoe is easy too. Here you have the option of a longer (9km) or a shorter (3+km) paddle into the South Para river.
Launch site Eastern Launch: GPS 34.705 S 138.9351 E (Launch Point 2)
Northern Launch (with toilets): GPS S 34.6987 S 138.9204 E (Launch Point 1)
Coming from Williamstown on Warren Road the first designated launch site (Launch Point 1) has car parking and toilets.
However, the second launch site (travel further south east down Warren Road) has a larger parking area and is a better starting point – both the long and short loop paddles start from here.
- Longer loop: Start at the launch point by the old bridge at Launch Point 2 (GPS 7053 S; 138.9351 E ) and paddle under the road bridge and head north west up the reservoir following the eastern shore.
At the northern point, there is a car park and toilets at Launch Point 1 (GPS 34.6987 S; 138.9204 E). This is a good spot for a rest.
This stretch is often paddling into a northerly wind so once you reach Launch Point 1 you have completed the hardest part of paddling.
Heading back down the reservoir to the south and following the Western shoreline you will arrive at the ‘no access’ area marked by a line of buoys. Follow the buoys across to the point and continue paddling south.
There are plenty of spots to pull in and have a picnic, for example at Point A (GPS 34.7090 S; 138.9268 E).
Continue to follow the shoreline south and either head back under the road bridge towards your starting point or continue south to explore the inlet and bays.
Following the shoreline will bring you round the very bottom of the reservoir and you will now paddle north back under the bridge and around the corner to your start point.
- Shorter loop: This loop begins at the original launch site and heads into the north eastern corner of the reservoir to arrive at the South Para River. This shorter loop is 3.8 km South Para River loop paddle (the yellow route on the map).
Follow the shoreline around either clockwise or anti-clockwise and you will arrive at the entrance to the South Para River Point B (GPS 34.7013 S; 138.9370 E) This is a great little section of meandering river with tree-lined banks to glide past, and lots of fallen trees to create obstacles to navigate past.
Depending on your appetite for exploration several submerged tree trunks can be paddled/slid over before the route eventually becomes impassable. Paddle back the way you came and back under the old bridge to your starting point.
CAUTION Always check weather and wind conditions before setting out (link to Meteye)’
NOTE that reservoirs are closed on Total Fire Ban Days
Stay close to the shoreline on windy days
Paddling under the old bridge can be hazardous. If the water level is high and you cannot comfortably paddle underneath the arches do not proceed, however, most of the time it should be easy enough to duck down and glide through.
ALERT: As you paddle through watch out for a metal spike protruding from underneath one of the arches (first or second arch from the bank)
Toilets are located at the Northern car park off Warren Road.
The shoreline of Warren Reservoir is generally shallow and sandy and there are plenty of great spots for a picnic.
Accommodation at Williamstown Caravan Park is only a 5-minute drive from both Warren and South Para Reservoirs
|Facts and figures about the Warren Reservoir
SA Government Reservoirs site – Warren Reservoir
SA Water Site – Facts and Figures for Warren Reservoir
Warren and South Para reservoirs are close to each other and are linked by several walking trails.
There are three campsites in the vicinity – these and the various cycling and walking trails can be seen on the Southern Trails map and the Northern Trails map. These are from the Warren Reservoir website