As early as 1947 it was advocated that a series of walking trails be developed in the Mount Lofty Ranges. Over the next few decades meetings were convened to discuss access to the Ranges. At a meeting in 1969, Mr C Warren Bonython proposed the concept of a long distance walking trail from Cape Jervis on the southern tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula to the Northern Flinders Ranges.
Archive film from 1986
Terry Kreig reflects on the impact of Warren Bonython on the Heysen Trail
Obituary of C Warren Bonython AO, The Advertiser, 26/5/2012
The Heysen Trail is recognised internationally as one of the world's great long distance walks. As a South Australian achievement, its success must go to the people of South Australia who have continued to support the trail with enthusiasm.
The trail is named after German born Sir Hans Heysen (1877-1968), a well-known Australian artist, particularly recognised for his watercolours of the Australian bush and his strong associations with both the Mount Lofty and Flinders Ranges. His house, "The Cedars", is located on the trail near Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills.
In 2005 the Heysen Trail was awarded a place amongst BankSA's Heritage Icons.
Further reading about aspects of the history of the Heysen Trail are available: