The Cooks River trail is the only decent cycling shared path connection from the west of Sydney to the east (20 km). From it you can ride to Iron Cove and Newtown via Kermit’s way and there is a trail to Salt Pan Creek as well thru Earlwood. At the eastern end is the airport connection and the trail to Brighton le Sands and beyond. To the west is Rookwood and a poor path thru to the fab Olympic Park.
Cooks River Trail
An express train at 7:30 am to Strathfield from Central will take barely 20 minutes. Getting off the platform at Strathfield is easy, finding the Cooks River track involves going down 2 roads as per map below. Those roads are Redmyre Rd and Ada Avenue. The track starts at the golf course and heads east. Its downhill to the airport and the section near Strathfield is the best. 20km from Strathfield Station to Mascot Station.
The other alternative is to ride both ways and just go as far as you want. We like parking at the Tempe Recreational Reserve where there is always parking somewhere and riding till we know its time to quit. . Coffee shops are a little hard to find, there is one near Canterbury Station, the Chocolate shop in Earlwood (not sunday), and one just before the golf course on Cave Rd. Others are off the track.
Notes on trail: Good for all bike styles, there are 10 road crossings. Please take care as only 2 of them are actual pedestrian crossings. Halt in the middle of the island. The station at Strathfield has ramps and is perfect for getting off. When leaving Strathfield station, go slow on footpaths till you leave the heavy traffic behind after 1km.
Tempe station pictured has lots of stairs and on the weekend a train every half hour. An alternative is Wolli Creek station which also has trains to Central, lifts and there are coffee shops in the precinct. 16km to Temp Station and 20km to Mascot Station. If you want to get off in the middle of the trail, Canterbury Station is 100m from the trail on Canterbury Road. You need to carry your bike down the small stairs if you are heading to the city. Ramp on the side from the city.
This is a surprisingly good connection between the Cooks River and Summerhill Station. The highlight is Park Lane which is blocked at both ends. I was passed by less than 10 cars the whole way. When near Summerhill you can ride through the shops or go through the park past the Skateboard park. When I get to Summerhill, I pass under the station and use the lift. Saves the crossing down near the tram line. Read more >>
The Greenway to Iron Cove: I am no fan of this trail but here is information on the link from Iron Cove to Cook River A track (not so safe) from the airport to the city
Coward St in Mascot through to Kendrick Park in Tempe is 3.5km. It is all separated pathway. This runs past the airport and connects with the Cooks River trail to the west and to Cronulla to the south. This is great to know if you live in the East and there is a great free carpark at Tempe Recreational Reserve.
Notes: On the weekend there are plenty of car parks in Coward St, Mascot but not during the week. All bikes can go on this path. If you want to put your bike on the train at Mascot, take two lifts down, or get out at Mascot and start riding.
Marrickville Station Trail
A collection of mini paths and back roads along the railway line past Dulwich Station and Marrickville Stations and heading to Sydneham Station and Enmore Park.
A not so obvious path is the little trek (3.5km) up through the parks of Earlwood from the Cooks River. This trail is fairly narrow and a bit bumpy at times but is great to ride. You don’t notice the climb so much. At the end of the trail in Earlwood, you can travel another 2km through some back streets that are marked with white bicycles and end up at the M5 cycleway. This then gives you the opportunity to ride up to Salt Pan Creek and on to Oatley or even Sutherland.
I really like the Earlwood section of the trail and it becomes a good place to turn around and ride back to Wolli Creek or wherever home is.
Canterbury to Bankstown by the railway
Turn west near Cantebury using one of three bridges and you can get to Campsie. From there its a nice ride along the railway side to Punchbowl. After that you can carefully use roads to get to Bankstown.