Sanders Reserve: Family Fun
A rare sunny day spurred me into action and I packed-up the mountainbikes and drove over to Sanders Reserve to get the kids out of the house. It took a very convenient 20 minutes door-to-door from my home in Campbells Bay – that’s less time that it takes me loading bikes and children into the car!
Before setting-out I gave the Council a ring to see if the park was officially open. The phonebot eventually put me through to a human-being and we established that yes, the park was open but I couldn’t get anything more out of them. This park should have it’s own page on the Council website, Shore riders are crying-out for information!
So Sanders Reserve is (finally) open, although to my knowledge it’s never been “officially opened” if you know what I mean. After spending all that cash and ruffling so many local feathers I would have fried some snarlers and blown up a few balloons myself, maybe that’s coming when things warm-up a little in Spring?
With this total lack of promotion you’ll have no trouble finding a parking space, the place was virtually deserted on this beautiful if somewhat chilly afternoon. I spotted two other families out on bikes and there were a couple of groups simply walking with their children or dogs around the trails.
My five year old had lost a little confidence as with two months of almost constant rain there hasn’t been much riding lately. She started out very grumpy with Dad and quite tentative on the loose surface but after half an hour of stop/start frustration had found her mojo and was really enjoying the Kids Loop. This section winds around the top of the hill beside the Visitors Centre and a school-age rider should manage the mostly flat terrain without pushing.
While I was stuck up top with little-miss my ten and thirteen year old boys careered-off down the hill in search of adventure. They found it apparently, and it was covered in mud! Take some old towels in the car to sit on if you are coming out in winter. The clay-base cuts-up with a lot of rain and there are also patches of standing water here and there.
The signage needs improvement. It’s not obvious you are going the wrong way at times and this will be dangerous when there are more people about. The trail directions are marked on the large map by the carpark but I saw precious little other signage in the reserve.
So another visit to Sanders and I still didn’t get to ride the completed trails in anger (I’ll leave the five-year-old at home next time). The park shows a lot of promise and I think it will be a success in the long term if they keep the trails in good order. It still has a weird feel about it though. Some of the trails have strange layouts with little “flow” and the place could do with some more trees. You feel like you are riding around a farm at times and not that long ago you would have been, so that is understandable. In fifteen years time there’ll be some respite from the sun and wind if they get planting now.
As it stands it’s still a fun place to visit to stretch those legs and get some fresh air without driving too far out of town. If you live in Albany or the Bays you could even ride there!