M7 Cycleway and Prospect Reservoir

This page covers the M7 cycleway, North and South. Liverpool Railtrail and Prospect Reservoir

M7 Cycleway – South

Imagine a world where bikes had their own roads and cars didn’t exist. Well this is the M7 cycleway on the edge of the M7 freeway in western Sydney. I travelled about half of the freeway this morning and crossed one road. The M7 is 40km long and you generally will have a few kilometers getting on and off it to the railway stations. Lets discuss the southern half.  This long trail passes through Liverpool area and borders Emu Plains and Windsor and Prospect Reservoir area

See Western Parklands Map >>

If you start the M7 bike run from Edmondson Park station, its 1km road dash to Camden Valley Way. From there its easy riding on the northern side to the start of the M7. And you are on your way. If you are finishing or starting this journey, good old McDonald’s and a Petrol station are on Camden Valley way and this is the last drink break till you leave the M7 cycleway. In other words a long time so stock up and toilet break.

Here are the bike trails around the M7 region >>

So I then rode for 30km and turned off at the very easy to find Rooty Hill Station just after a gigantic Rooty Hill sign. To get your bearings, the mid point is around the M4 and the Great Western Highway.

Riding the M7 is a breeze as the photos will show but I did encounter a closed section at near Kesley St in Middleton Grange. This was due to flooding and I guess the bike trail went low under the M7 itself and was flooded. Instructions for going around that section were on the closed gates.

Notes: For less drama on the M7 Cycleway

  • You should be able to change a inner tube or fix a puncture. Unless its the weekend, help is a distance away in some places and no one is coming to pick you up because they can’t. There are a few places to get off the trail, so you could lock you bike somewhere and get help after walking a bit.
  • If you have a fast, thin wheeled bike in the garage, take that over the mountain bike. Its a smooth trail and you need speed to get up the hills. Otherwise, make sure you are running on full recommended pressure.
  • It shows elevation changes of about 130m but into the wind, it seemed harder than that. OK I am not getting a Tour de France jersey any time soon.
  • Work out the wind direction, you may as well put the spinnaker up.
  • Watch the sun direction, I was heading towards it though much of the trail is sheltered.
  • Take water and drink before you head off. There was a bubbler around the intersection with the M4. You could miss it.
  • No easy public toilets that I noticed. Maccas at the beginning. Light bike lock ??
  • Rooty Hill station didnt have a lift and it was a good carry to the top and down again.
  • Lycra will be out in force on the weekend so if your teenagers wiggle from side to side on the bike trail, watch out. I am sure this is a Strava Super highway from first light and so it should be, its terrific.
  • The M7 motorway send out warning emails when something is closed on the M7. It happens after big rains usually. Sign up here >>

On the way you pass turnoffs to Cecil Park, Elizabeth Dr and Lizard Log park for the kids is only a couple of kms away if you want to park you car nearby. Avoid Horsley Park Road, its dangerous on the footpath.

M7 North – Doonside

Both my boys were running in a Cross Country carnival at Eastern Creek raceway near the crossing of the M4 and and M7. They ran well. After that my wife was happy to take me to my hastily selected Bungarribee Park in Western Sydney Parklands. It turned out to be a really good park and the boys had some fun in the park whilst I got ready.

Just north and east of the M4 and M7 Junction

I then rode off through some nice parkland, I nearly got a great shot of an eagle taking off from the edge of the trail. I headed to Doonside Station which was almost all double lane bike trail except for the last 500 metres to the station. Parents, you consider Bungarribee Park to Doonside Station a kids track.

See northern end of Western Parklands Map >>

Cross the railway using the ramps at the station and arrive at Cross St. There was a couple of coffee shops and some other shops. This station would be a good place to bring the kids to ride around this area as the parks are interesting and fun.

Now I headed down Cross St to Narragingy Reserve. This nice park has good wide trails and is home to the Chang Lai Yuan Chinese Gardens. These are impressive.

Head across a small bridge and join a wide track heading North. Follow the trail to Woodstock Ave and follow that up to the M7. Join the M7 on the far side. There was a dirt track heading further up Eastern Creek section but it looked pretty wet, so I stayed on the concrete.

You are now in Plumpton, not far south is Rooty Hills station, I went north and soon after the M7 goes east. I followed the M7 for another 20km or so until the Seven Hills turnoff. The M7 trail north of Rooty Hill is maybe even better than the trail on the south side. I thought I was flying but my speed was as slow as ever as I had to pump my tires twice for a slow leak {Hint: Carry a pump}.

The trail from M7 to Seven Hills is really easy and downhill except for the last 2 km which is not great but passable. I just went slowly along the footpath, passed over the railway line on the Prospect Highway and then went under the highway and ended up at the shops. I ate some nice Sri Lankan takeaway.

Getting to the train station is easy up a ramp and there are lifts.

For this ride I was dropped at Bungarribee Park, ride to Doonside Station, then to the M7 and all the way east to Seven Hills Station

Northern End of the Western Park Cycleway

North of the Narragingy Reserve is a rough dirt track. You cannot cycle down this on racing wheels but anything should be fine. If you like the first 100 metres, keep going for a kms until you get to a road. Cross that and the rest of the Western Park Cycle way is a very nice cycle way through a mixture of farmland and bush. My only caveat is that you may want to ride in groups as there are very few people on these paths. You can find both rides up the north of the Google map here >>

Nearby is Quakers Hill and Windsor and the Richmond Lowlands >>

External Links: Bungarribee Park on KidBucketList

 

Another post you may wish to read

Ride the M7 on the hot days at the end of 2018

 

Prospect Reservoir – Guildford to Canley Vale

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.

See trail on the Western Parklands Map >>

​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.

​How to see the reservoir: At Walder Park, you need to ride a 100m to the north to William Lawson Drive. There you will get a wonderful photo of the reservoir.

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.

See the trail in Google Maps here >>

External Links: Lizard Log Park ~ Greystaynes Syphon Bridge History Railtrail notes on Canley Vale to Parramatta

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 can be some rubbish on the side of the path and a few factories to ride past.  Personally, I would catch the train back to my car if it was back at Guildford. Its called the Liverpool Trail.

Pemulwuy

Turn north near the Prospect Reservoir and discover a suburb with some decent bike paths >> 

See more photos
Pemulwuy

Liverpool Rail 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.

Link to Google Map for Granville to Glenfield >>>

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.

Here are a few photos from the ride >>

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 (the direct route)

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

Read about the Liverpool Area here >>

See purple line just below near Prospect Reservoir for the main trail

Duck Creek Path

An old path that will get you from Merrylands to Berala   See on Map >>   See photos >>