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When I first started thinking about Sydney trails, my head was filled with thoughts of steep hills, cars and faded white pictures of bikes on green patches on the road. After a much exploring, I can now positively say that Sydney has 500km of great scenic recreational bike trails which are definitely worth exploring.
For example its great on the Parramatta River, Olympic Park is really easy, you can cruise down the Cooks River, trundle at Brighton Le Sands, explore the mangroves, teach your kids about roads, or ride forever down the M7.
You can view Sydney bike trail locations on Google maps here. On a phone, you need to collapse the menu using the three dots at the top. Eastern Suburbs zoom in here or
If you are riding a hire bike in Sydney, it is best that you stick to Non-Road rides, especially if you are used to traffic on the RHS of the road. I recommend the following rides
•Darling Harbour Apart from a few hundred metres near Barrangaroo Pt, you can ride slowly from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Pyrmont and beyond. Lots of cheap Mobile Phone App bikes can be found in this area so you won't need to go both ways.
•Olympic park is the best place to ride and you can get there by ferry or train
•Manly - North Head Really nice, you can take your bike on the large ferries or hire there. Just follow my maps carefully to avoid going on roads.
•Centennial Park Great if you need a work out as you can circle around and around without stopping.
If you want to go for a ride with the kids and top it off with playground equipment, here are some suggestions
•Sydney Park is very central and has a great traffic light park to learn on
•Olympic Park is just super with two great play areas and lots of safe riding
•Doonside has two great parks, Bungarribee Park and Narragingy Reserve and Lizard Log is not far away
•Manly Lagoon at the north end of Manly beach is a super place to learn to ride
Teenagers need to get out on bikes and despite the groans and moans will appreciate it if you go somewhere interesting. The tricky thing about teens is they don't always go in a straight line and they don't always concentrate. Bearing this in mind, keep them away from roads and even the sides of busy roads. Even simple things to watch for is to go anti-clockwise on loop trails so that the bikes are farther away from the road and get to tracks early than the dog walkers. So here are my picks ...
•Botany has no roads and is a good gallop at about 6km
•Olympic Park is perfect and there is a pump track that is fun and will tire them out.
•Doonside has two great parks, Bungarribee Park and Narragingy Reserve but the best bit for teens is the area near corner of the Great Western Highway and the M7. Its all flat mind you. I recommend travelling by train and getting off at Doonside. Don't always do car trips.
•Cook Bridge to Brighton is car free but can become busy after 8am around Brighton so start near the bridge
•Narrabeen - Dee Why is terrific but it can get busy around the lake
•Guildford to Canley Vale is the track to take them on if they need 30km of workout. Catch the train back to the car.
Places Like Centennial Park
There are so many people who head to Centennial Park every weekend to do laps and meet with friends. But are there alternatives ?
Heffron park If you need to just work out and want to get away from the crowds, Heffron Park offers up a few kms of track with few distractions and some small hills. This is also a good place to take teens who don’t always go in a straight line. There are track meets sometimes and then you can just head off to La Perouse for a road ride or ride on the shared path.
Oatley Park A wonderful 2.5km trail in the bush high above the Georges River. Get there by hopping on the train on the Eastern Suburbs line and you should get there with your bike without changing trains. It’s a couple of kms to the park and you can also head down to the Como Railway Bridge for a bit of sightseeing. There is a lower speed limit in the park than Centennial and there are a lot less cars. Walkers share the road.
Lane Cove Park Possibly the best unencumbered riding in Sydney. No cars are allowed in the park before 9am any day. Its not a loop but by the time you have ridden nearly 6 kms, you will never know the difference and it’s a full sized road. You can drive there down the M2 in less than 30 minutes from Coogee if you go early. For parking, its 8$ inside the park. The road next to the cemetery has some parking and it’s a 70m drop down to the cycling road from there.
Parramatta Park With the recent train timetable changes, there are lots of express trains to Parramatta from Redfern that take less than 25 minutes. The park is popular with cyclists and is about 3kms around. When you get bored, ride down the Parramatta River to Rhodes station and get the train back to the city. Perfect day out.
Pools Next To Bike Trails
I like using trains to get to and from the rides. This pdf page will tell you if the tracks are closed and buses are running