M7 Cycleway – North and South

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.

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.

Banks Rd and Green Valley Creek

You probably want to ride down Banks Road as an alternative to Cowpasture. It follows the bus express road and does not actually go near any roads except on the odd crossing. Its main downfall is bumps between the large sheets of concrete. Green Valley Creek is fine as a path but petters out after Elizabeth drive. The Buddist temple near Elizabeth Drive is a highlight. I highlight it in commuter green becuause its functional more than scenic. Distance: 22km

Trail in commuter green starting at Prestons at the bottom of the map here >>

External Links: Road Depart Page M7 Instagram Photos Official Map and Sign Up For M7 Alerts, especially if its been raining a lot as they sometimes close sections M7 Brochure in PDF

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