There is lots to ride in the Lane Cove area and the best is Lane Cove National Park which consists of very quiet roads and lots of bush. There are two good trails for commuting/scenery, the 17km long Epping Rd Cycleway and the shorter Shrimptons Creek cycleway to Ryde. But if you really want to see some great harbour scenery, head to Greenwich and Balls Head.
Lane Cove Park
When you go to the Lane Cove Cove National Park, you are going to ride on a road. This was never appealing to me as I try to stay away from cars as often as I can. Then as I finally got around to riding around the park on a rather cool morning in May, I asked one of my fellow riders what the cars are like in the park. She informed that the gates don’t open till 9am. I then asked others and they said the cars later on in the day are OK anyway.
So if you don’t mind a hill or two, this is the smoothest place to ride a bike in Sydney and certainly the widest trails. And its a really nice bush setting. If you traverse the park from one end to the other and back its about 10km. I did 15km by going “up and down” the exit roads. You can also ride on the north side of the Lane Cove River but this is more of a car zone.
So how do you get there ? More than likely you will arrive by car unless you come in from Epping Rd or Lindfield. If you park in the park, you will need to pay for parking at about $8. Around the park there are some options but most of them involve going down a decent hill to get to the park. There is a train station at West Ryde that you can use (sometime in 2020) and you can also come in on the bike path from Macquarie Park at the western end.
Its great riding and you will find that the hills are on the roads that exit the park so you can climb them if you like.
Cammeray to Epping Station – 17 kms One Way
There is a pretty decent separated cycle track that starts near the Long Gully bridge in Cammeray and runs along side the Gore Hill Fwy and down Epping road. I jumped on it at Bicentential Reserve in Willoughby because there is good parking and a decent cafe in that park. In the google map link, you will see the start of the trail in Hamilton Lane.
Along the trail which is generally not for kids, you have to concentrate on the following.
- 15+ road crossings (do not jump the lights on these as cars turn at a good pace into these roads
- You need to watch the line markings on the 4m wide trail because the markings are mixed. sometimes for walkers on the left and sometimes its on the right.
- When you pass Delhi road, there are a number of driveways and as the trail is still good quality, you may be seduced into traveling too fast. I just missed T boning a car that just popped out and I was going slow as always.
- At Longueville Rd there are some good cafes
The trail passes Lane Cove road and continues on new concrete shared path all the way to Epping Boys High There the trail deviates through some streets and then on a rollers coaster of paths to Epping. I needed my ebike for these hills.
Getting to North Ryde
If you working in the North Ryde area, see if you can work out a way to ride to work some days rather than driving all the way up the M2 from the city. Experiment by going really early with your bike on the train and then work out a plan after that.
The nearest stations are Artarmon and North Ryde. Crossing Epping Rd to get to North Ryde station requires patience. Lane Cove National Park can be reached by going past North Ryde station and riding down the quiet road on the side of the cemetery. The trails in the national park at this end are shared roads only.
At North Ryde, you can head past the Maquarie Park Cemetary to the gates of Lane Cove national park. You will find road riding and fire trails in the park. Read more on the wonderful Lane Cove National Park >>
Extensions to This Trail
Its hilly and tough to work out which road or path to go down to get from the Harbour Bridge to Greenwich Ferry Terminal. But the views are FANTASTIC. Best Sydney Harbour Bridge views, great Opera House views, views of Balmain and even the Anzac bridge. And then there are a few really nice parks that you can casually ride through and quite a number of coffee shops on the trail.
I think its better to ride the back roads and little paths between Waverton and Greenwich Wharf and do Milsons Point as part of bridge Darling Harbour combo. I have put the Greenwich section on my map in pretty good purple >>>
There are a number of stations nearby including St Leonards, the super positioned Wollstonecraft with its cute little coffee shop for humans and dogs next door, Waverton and Milsons Point.
Greenwich to Balls Head
Challenge: Cycle from Greenwich to Woolwich
The purpose of this trail is to do a loop from Greenwich to Woolwhich and use the ferry to return. Check your Ferry times before you start to make sure its available. On weekends its once an hour. The next criteria is to stay off River Rd because its one of the worst roads to ride on in Sydney. No verge, steep hills, fast commuters.
So the trail as mapped in thin black has about 400m of walking your bike including steps or rocks on forest paths. Maybe 100 steps in total. It was hard with the eBike in walk mode.
Alternatives. Join the northern side of River Rd at St Vincents rd and ride the footpath. You could skip tamborine park which is easy walking on a bush trail and go up River Rd West
This is not a trail for teenagers, anyone with fear of roads or anyone who has a poor back or any day the ferry isn’t working.
Distance: 15km one way
Rated: Hilly and technical with roads
You can to ride from Epping Rd near the Maquarie University down to Ryde on a safe shared path. If you have your rail pass or strong legs you can head down to Rhodes station as per the map. Its quite steep so getting up is a challenge and the train stations are not well positioned UNLESS you came from St Leonards on Epping Rd as the Rhodes line goes though St Leonards and Artarmon and its express to the city.
Pictures of the Ryde from Epping Rd across to Ryde and then down to Meadowbank and across to Rhodes Station.
Pictures from Epping Rd around to Macquarie University and past the shopping centre as per the map.
See more here on the Shrimptons Beat the Bus report
Trail from Artarmon Reserve to Chatswood Station
Another series of OK bike trails is just west of the Princess Highway which run parallel to the highway. They are quite flat as they follow the highway but head down some significant hills around the Lane Cove River. Fun on an eBike but you may not like it on a normal bike. Look for the green commuter trails around the Chatswood Golf Club >>
Getting from Chatswood to Epping Station
Riding from Chatswood to Epping is quite possible. The hill down from Chatswood station is very steep but well setup for bike riders. Lane Cove National Park is so good and the ride through Macquarie Park to Epping is mostly off road or well protected from cars. Hilly though.
North Ryde Station
Plus these pages …
and the soon to be improved Pittwater Rd journey