AT A GLANCE
Total distance: 50km each way
Estimated duration: 1 hour each way (with stops)
Nicknamed the "Corkscrew" this run has several tight and twisty sections. Being a tight mountain run means that space is a premium, and the road does narrow in places with the guardrail running along the edge of the road on one side and, and a rock face on the other. Mess up here, and you're almost guaranteed to hit something. It also has steep sections that can easily suck you into a corner entry a tad too fast. The road surface is smooth making for an enjoyable run, but can also be slippery when wet.
The Hungry Jacks restaurant at Glen Osmond, at the intersection of the M1 and A3, is a perfect place to meet and prepare for a ride into the Adelaide Hills. Numerous routes can be taken to Mount Lofty; our preference is to take the M1 for nine kilometres straight through to the Mount Lofty Summit Road turn off. It's here that the climb into the hills commences.
The seven kilometre (10 minutes) run from the Mount Lofty Summit Road turnoff to Summertown at Greenhill Road is an enjoyable way to get things started. Open and flowing as you ascend towards the lookout, it begins to tighten on the downward run. Along the way, the cafe and lookout at the top of Mount Lofty provide spectacular panoramic views across Adelaide's city skyline and out to the coast. The Arthurs Seat Historical sight is also worth a look.
From Summertown, the ride meanders along Ridge, Roney Rise and Monomeith Roads through the valley area of Ashton, past gorgeous farm properties until you reach the Marble Hill Road intersection where you make a right-hand turn. Then there is a short run to the historic sight of Marble Hill, with some great corners just before reaching the turnoff for the former Vice-Regal summer residence for the Governor of South Australia.
From Marble Hill, the 23km (30 minutes) run to Chain of Ponds turn off takes in the thoroughly enjoyable Montacute and Gorge Roads which are joined by the aptly-named Corkscrew Road. This four-kilometre run includes a series of steep tight and twisting switchbacks known as The Corkscrew. It may be short on distance, but it's big on enjoyment.
Turning right at the end of Corkscrew Road will put you onto Gorge Road heading towards Chain of Ponds. At the 13km mark look for the left-hand turn onto North East Road, for a run along the shoreline of Milbrook Reservoir for six kilometres until you reach the Paracombe Road intersection. At this point, you can either turn around and retrace your steps or turn left and head back towards Gorge Road for another run through the twisty section. Another option is to head back to the Corkscrew.