This page is about the trails in the Iron Cove and Cooks River trail area of Sydney. That includes great trails around Canada Bay, Balmain, Earlwood and more. Read about the Cooks river trail further down the page
Head on down to Iron Cove in the inner west of Sydney for 15km of different connected bike trails.. I promise you won’t be disappointed, its so picturesque. Its flat, the tracks are wide but if its sunny and after 8am and the weekend, it will be very busy. Runners and walkers call the 7km loop “the Bay Run” but you can easily add twice that distance.
If you have kiddies who cannot hold a line, keep them to the south side as there are no adjacent roads.
See the best of the ride in the video (Anti Clockwise from King George Park).
Starting from Summer Hill: At the station, ride down Grosvenor Cres to the railway bridge. Look for a little trail on the left. Ride a few hundred meters till you reach Parramatta Rd. Under the station you will find a lift, go up, across the road on the bridge and down the lift on the other side. The trail starts on the river. Ride down to the bay and then ride around it anti-clockwise to stay away from the road. Return to Parramatta Rd and go back to the station. Its about an hour, you will be there longer as you will probably do it twice.
From Cooks River: The easiest way is to catch a tram from Dullwich Hill, use the much maligned Greenway or use Kermits way
Parking: King George Park is easy most times and Hawthorne Pde could work. ”
A Bit More: To earn your coffee and cake, go sightseeing around historic Callan Park which can be found on the south side near the Leichhardt Rowing Club. There are a couple of great cafes up near Orange Grove Plaza.
Here is a map of the area and a collage of the various trail surfaces….
The technique seemingly used by road bikes is to loop in an anti-clockwise direction using the paths on the Rozelle side and the road on the Russell Lea north side.
There is no skirting the issue, northern Balmain is hilly and it has great buildings and views. But on an eBike or if you actually like hills it is generally quiet to ride around and signage for bikes is quite good. Drummoyne on the other hand is a popular place for the bike commuters but its probably only worth riding around the once. Head to the green path on this map but make sure you are heading north as the most interesting road is St George Cres and its one way.
Summer Hill to Five Dock
A decent enough ride along council roads through Ashfield park and then across to a crossing of Parramatta Rd. Finishes at the netball courts where you have to ride across to the path to Canada Bay
See grey line on map through Ashfield Here are the photos >>
See also in the area …
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.
Whites Creek Lane
One of the more interesting ways to cross from Iron Cove to the Strathfield Railway line is to ride from Roselle Park to Stanmore Railway Station using Whites Creek Lane. Here is the Strava for a short loop and here is a story on a longer loop.
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. Note: Currently in a state of flux due to the work on the Metro to Bankstown. There are detours in place and they are on the Sydney map or Photos here
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.
Inner West Council has a cycling routes page here