Got to a ride this afternoon Ive had on my radar for a while. Salt Pan Creek in Padstow/ Riverwood. Salt Pan creek is a tributary of the Georges river and has a short but scenic loop that can be done by itself or on an exploration of the M5 cycleway.
I would recommend starting at the Riverwood comunity centre or the Morris Iemma sports cetre off Belmore road. There is usually plenty of parking, public toilets and a playgound right there. Head west along the path following the M5 after a few hundred metres keep right then drop under the freeway. If you want an extra challenge you can go left and loop the oval, but its an extra km of gravel trail with nothing scenic to see.
After the noisy trip under the highway head up the carpark and take the wooden trail west into the mangrove. Keep turning left along the Northern side of the freeway until you head back underneath and things get much less industrial and a bit more scenic.
For the next kilometre the track alternates between boardwalk and cement path. According to the slightly unreadable council signs you should walk you bike on the boardwalk. We only realised this halfway though, but its the most interesting part, so take your time.
Eventually you come to the railway line and head across the creek- more trail heads south, but for the loop go across the wooden bridge and left.
This trail finishes rather oddly on the side of Riverwood park sports fields- (public toilets) and its only a couple of blocks of quiet back streets up to Washington ave and the carpark to finish.
If you head right and continue down the creek, its a nice rough rocky trail through the bush along the river with a few sets of stairs thrown in for good measure. This will take you to Henry Lawson drive. There is not a path on the east side of the creek, so if you wanted to make a loop, its a slow navigate back through the streets.