Trail Finder

Fill in one or more of the fields below to find matching rail trails.

km km


Rail Trails Australia advises everyone to follow government advice, regulations and travel restrictions.

Join Rail Trails Australia

Become a financial member of Rail Trails Australia and help develop and support Australia's Rail Trails. Click below to Join or Renew.


Guide Banner 4 2015

Copper Rail Trail - Trail Description



Copper Rail Trail

View larger map
Type: Rail trail
Location: 100km north of Adelaide
Start/end: Port Wakefield to Leasingham
Status: Open
Length open: 55km
Surface: Compacted earth, Coarse gravel
Terrain: Flat
Best seasons: Autumn and Spring
Public transport: Coach
Contact Region: South Australia
The trail has several sections that are enclosed by native vegetation
The trail has several sections that are enclosed by native vegetation
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling mountain bikes Suitable for horse riding



  • Bush Track Rail Trail suited to mountain bikes
  • The trail cuts through a dense area of century plant (Agave americana) with 6m high flower stalks
  • Links to Walk the Yorke Walking and cycling trail in Port Wakefield
  • Links to a back-roads trail to the Riesling Trail in the east


The Shamus Liptrot Rail Trail, a distance of 11km from Balaclava to Halbury, forms part of the Copper Rail Trail and is described in more detail in its own webpage on the Rail Trails Australia website.

Start Points

  • Balaklava – good parking is available in Edith Terrace, near shops and amenities, and a short distance from the trail at the junction of Hudson Road and Balaklava Road.
  • Port Wakefield – good parking, cafes and amenities can be found in Port Wakefield. As construction work will commence in the near future on the duplication of the Princess Highway through Port Wakefield it may be worth considering parking near commencement of the path east of the golf course on the Balaklava Road.

The trail could be best described as a bush track rail trail which is suited to mountain bikes. The trail surface varies from rubble /gravel to a formed natural earth surface. It is a trail for the adventurous who enjoy the challenge of riding on a variable surface.

The trail is located between flat, open grain fields. However, thanks to the efforts of the local community who planted the rail reserve with indigenous vegetation 30 years ago, the rail reserve now provides cyclists with protection from the elements and great scenery.

Background Information

A private horse drawn tramway was constructed from Port Wakefield to Balaklava and onto Hoyleton in 1869. It was later taken over by the State Government and converted to steam train. The line closed in 1984.

Up until construction of the horse drawn tramway in 1869 the alignment of the line was used (Balaclava to Port Wakefield) by Bullock teams to transport copper from Burra to Port Wakefield

The Copper trail commences at Port Wakefield and extends 26km to Balaklava and continues another 11km to Halbury (also known as the Shamus Liptrot Rail Trail). From Halbury the copper trail follows a signed route along back roads, over the range to Leasingham which is located on the Riesling Trail. The Copper Rail Trail follows an unused rail reserve from Port Wakefield to Halbury, a distance of 37km.


For any issues with this trail, please contact Wakefield Regional Council (phone 08 8862 1115)

Support Services and Attractions

Information is available from Wakefield Regional Council, Scotland Place, Balaklava (phone 08 8862 1115)

July 2020

To advertise your rail trail support business on this page, please click here.

Contact Us About This Trail

Email or click here:





If you wish to write a comment on this trail, please log in or register a new account.



New Copper Rail Trail Opened in South Australia

(Posted: 18/07/20)

The Wakefield Regional Council in the mid north of South Australia, has opened the 26km Copper Rail Trail from Port Wakefield to Balaklava. This trail will link with the existing 11km Shamus Liptrot Rail Trail and an 18km trail along backroads to Leasingham on the Riesling Rail Trail.