This ride rolls along through meadows and parklands around the Prospect Reservoir for 27km. In all that time you only pass through about ten roads on well-designed crossings. Its a cyclists dream. Near Guildford you pass across the historic Greystaynes Aquaduct and travel along really consistent pretty flat wide concrete track for 7km. Its this end where you should start if you are not a great rider.
I will now tell you how you should do this trail. Arrive by train at Guildford station. Then navigate the circuit to Canley Vale where Vietnamese steamed pork buns or a bakery or even a restaurant awaits you. Now hop on the train and head home.
If you drive, you can use the 7km trail from Canley Vale back to Guildford that sort of follows the rail line and passes through Fairfield. Its easy enough riding but is not much to get excited about. For road bike riders, head as far as Camsley Hill City Farm, then return back whence you came for 40km of work. The ride to Canley Vale from there is on shared footpaths and not so suited to road bikes.
For kids, I suggest a trial run by arriving at Lizard Log Park where there is a kids loop or ride from Guildford to Prospect Dam with the older ones.
Downers: Unfortunately, you don’t get a great view of Prospect dam but I could have missed a turn off to a lookout. I suggest not doing this trail when its hot.
Notes: From Guildford look for bike signs to Cecil Park. Once you get to the metal cow at Camsley Hill Farm, head down the creek following signs which say either Canley Vale, Fairfield, or Cabramatta. When you see Canley Vale village, you head off the trail for 500m to the shops.
The trail from Guildford to Canley Vale via Prospect Dam.
Canley Vale to Guildford
The trail that leaves from just north of Canley Vale back to Guildford is rideable but not as pleasant as the rest of the trail. There is a lot of rubbish on the side of the path and a few factories to ride past. Here are pictures of the good bits. Personally, I would catch the train back to my car if it was back at Guildford. Its called the Liverpool Trail.
Its a great achievement to ride across a big city like Sydney and the Liverpool Rail Trail lets think you have done just that. Thus it was on a mild winters day that I finally decided to do the big Sydney triangle by catching the express train to Parammatta from Redfern and as usual I arrived at the station with 3 minutes till the train arrived. I rushed down the stairs and ended up on the wrong platform. Lucky that platform had a train was going to Granville so I decided that I would start my ride from there. The plan was to return train from Glenfield back to either Green Square or Redfern after riding down the Liverpool rail trail. This trail meets some of the requirements for a rail trail in that the gradients are basically flat, its quite straight and it follows the train line which has lots of trains. All up this trail is 25km but I did 30 with my connections to Redfern Station. It takes 3 hours to do the loop with the train connections and the mandatory meal stops. Here are my notes.
I would recommend riding this trail from north to south starting at Merrylands, the signage seems better and the sun will not be in your face unless its summer and early or late. Its a reasonable ride on mainly concrete shared paths but quite urban.
If you want to ride a reasonable clean trail start at Merrylands or Holroyd Gardens. I rode from Granville Station to do all the rail trail but its not pleasant getting to the M4 cycleway. Parramatta Station to the M4 Cycleway is also is an ordinary experience.
Just after Guildford (see Guildford to Canley Vale) you cross the railway line and ride on the western side of the railway to Fairfield where you go under some original brick rail bridges your way across the bridge. Around Fairfield you will pass through two car parks and the trail is not quite so obvious but if the railway is to the west you will be fine.
I like to stop at Canley Vale for sweet pork buns or salad in a roll Vietnamese style, you do this by passing under the old bridge and heading up to the shops. Just after Canley Vale you have to balance your bike around an ordinary bridge crossing where you will soon arrive at Cabramatta. At Cabramatta, there is a lot pedestrian traffic so take it easy and soon after you come to a U-shaped road crossing where you need to be very careful. You cross a creek and then enter a wasteland at which time you swing under a bridge and start riding up a closed road for a km to Warwick Farm.
When you pass Warwich Farm station you will soon arrive at the Liverpool hospital. Keep near the railway line all the way to the Liverpool station as you pass through the hospital. No track markings at all. After Liverpool station, pass under the bridge by going on a narrow footpath under Newbridge Rd and then ride the bumpy shared path through the new buildings until the path is out in the open to the left of Powerhouse Rd.
From now the ride to Glenfield is a decent ride and around the last two stations, Casula and Glenfield is a great trail even for teens. At Casula, use the railway bridge to cross the track to the western side and have a coffee at the wonderful Powerhouse.
You can catch a train back from whatever station you choose along the trail including Glenfield. I completed my giant city triangle using the train to the city.
Merrylands to Parramatta
This is a ride can be summarised as as rubbish Urban but you have no choice if you want to make it to Parramatta.
After Merrylands, all seems good until you turn the corner and arrive at Boomerang street. At this point you should behave like a boomerang and ride back to Merrylands station but if you want to ride on, turn down Boomerang then Wallace and ride a short bit of unsatisfactory footpath under the railway bridge. Now follow a loop around and cross to end up at high street just off the M4 cycleway.
Finally you see good signpost and you helter skelter down High St and Raymond street to the eastern side of the railway line. Now a mixture of footpaths and roads takes you into Parramatta. The only good thing I can say about this part of the journey is that at 7:30 am on a Saturday, Parramatta wasn’t busy. I doubt that will be the case during the week.
External Link: Here is a brochure map for this trail not including Casula >> and on Rail Trails of Australia
This 20 km one way trip near Liverpool in Sydney is a good clean rolling ride through the trees along smooth paths. The trail start in the nice suburb of East Hills and within a few 100 meters you are on separated trail for most of the next 16km. First I suggest a diversion towards the Bankstown University because the tarred path is so pleasing to roll on. Return to the edge of Henry Lawson drive. Make your way up and over the M5 carefully and turn left when the trail crosses the road into Millperra. Ride along between the Georges River and Henry Lawson until you cross under the very busy Newberry Road. On the other side of the tunnel head 20m towards the road to see the wonderful optical illusion house.
Now you can cycle all the way to Carramar. Take your time crossing the Hume Highway (its well organised) and if you are doing an up back, this is good place to turn around or just before where there are three good little hills.
At Carramar ride your bike down the not busy Waterside Cresent to the station. To get to Fairfield Station, continue under the Carramar station and head north for Haughton St, Carramar. From there the trail starts again and soon you will be in a good teenagers play park called Fairfield Adventure Park.
If you are arriving by car, I recommend Kelso Park, East Hills as a good place to start just off the M5.
Older kids will enjoy this ride and people who like 20km hitouts like me, using the two train lines is a good adventure in itself. It certainly wasn’t busy on the three weekdays at 9 am that I have riden it.
East Hills Station to Fairfield Station
You can extend this trail easily by starting at East Hills Station and riding through to Fairfield Station. Here are the pictures from the bike of that 18km one way good ride with few road crossings.
External Links: Georges River Art Works Optical Illusion
If you like some fog, the Georges river has lots for you if you arrive early
If you ride 300m west from East Hills Station you will find a great pedestrian bridge over the Georges River to Voyager Point. There you will find a small park with a lake and a nice little bike track that loops around half of the suburb. There is no thru traffic and the buildings are pretty smart, if you have some energy left, go for a ride around.
Voyager Point viewed from East Hills
If you need to connect to Padstow Heights and Salt Pan Creek, you can ride up Horsley Rd or Marco Avenue to Revesby. The roads section can be reduced a little by using the trail to the Western Suburbs University Campus and then jumping onto Horsley Rd from Killara Reserve. Its about 3.5km from East Hills Station to Revesby See the map for more
For two years I have wondered what the trail was like in Lansvale just the other side of the Georges River from Chipping Norton. So I ventured down the Hume Highway from the great Carramar track to the trail. Then I zoomed along seeing almost no-one for 12km. This is both a good thing and slightly eerie when you are so near the Hume Highway and other monster roads. Look for Lansvale next to the Hume Highway on the Western Parklands map >>
This 16 km return trip from Liverpool Station is a great park ride. The trail starts at Lake Moore, jumps on a road for 2km and then follows the Georges River through parklands until the official version of the trail comes to an end. The ride is a bitumen surface with the odd tree root undulating the surface every now and again.
You can take your kids to any section of this ride and they will enjoy it. If you come from Liverpool station you need to manoeuvre yourself across a bridge and through some warehouses before you come to the start of the trail at Lake Moore. I especially recommend it if there is going to be mist on the lakes because it was quite spectacular at 8am on a sunny day in May. Riding in
Notes: Whilst it looks tempting to ride on through to the Carramar trail using Arthur St, this road is closed and very isolated. Riding along the north side of Newbridge Road is next to the very busy road but it has been improved in part with a shared path in 2018. As there are so few coffee shops on offer, I suggest the one in Alfred St, Chipping Norton.
Chipping Norton trail in blue
Glenfield Station to Liverpool Station.
This is a 7km good shared path once you have travelled about 1km from Liverpool. It passes the super Casula Powerhouse which has a good cafe and art on display. Glenfield is a good station because it connects to the Wolli Creek and the Airport line and Salt Pan Creek and Carramar to East Hills.
Glenfield Station to Macarthur Station via Narellan
The shared path from the M7 Cycleway to Macarthur Station is 98% shared path cycleway. It follows Narellan Rd and then the Camden Valley Way. On Narellan use the south side with a little back roads near the swimming complex. On Camden Valley its all on the western side, take care on the road crossings. At the northern end of Camden Valley Way, use the north side and watch out you dont follow the cycleway all the way to Leppington. If you are happy with 30kms riding, head to Glenfield Station down the Glenfield Rd and return by the train.
A number of road cyclist were on the Camden Valley Way and not on the cycleway. It looked smooth but I was happy with the path. Add this trail to the M7 Cycleway for a monster ride.