One of my favourite rides with the kids is now a loop, thanks to the new bridge across Bennelong bay.
As always you can start anywhere you like, but easy places to park are along hill road, or in or near Bicentennial park off George st North Strathfield. There is train access from Rhodes and Concord west and Sydney Olympic park at a stretch. Ferry access also at Homebush and Meadowbank.
The loop goes through some great bird watching spots, past some great reminders of Homebush bays industrial past and through the new developments that line the foreshore.
Im going to start from bicentennial park, there are many tracks here that cross, so its worth finding one of the many maps to have a look at where you are.
From the playground in bicentennial park find the small bike path that heads north, its not the main route to Rhodes. After 100m this crosses another path.
Go straight ahead 400m and you will get to a tower which gives you a great view of the bay. The last bit of trail here is not asphalt, so if you want to keep the wheels rolling and the morale high maybe skip this, but the view is good.
Returning to the last interesction head right over the bridge and right again. This 2km section takes you along the edge of the bay through mangroves and past some great spots for birdwatching.
There is another tower at the northern end and beyond it a side trip to see another shipwreck. Take your time, there is plenty to see in here.
The trail then crosses Bennelong parkway.
Caution! There is reasonable visibility in both directions but it is becoming a busy road. Head straight ahead for the curly whirly mountain (tm;-) or right to continue, cross the creek, pass the archery (public toilets)to the end of Bennelong parkway and another difficult crossing awaits. At this point (early 2018) there is no alternative to these road crossings.
If you look at the map and the Maps image, I offer two alternatives to crossing Hill road at the end of the Bennelong Parkway.
- Follow the red line, cross at the archery, go out to the bay and see the best shipwreck in the bay, the SS Ayrfield. You can follw footpath to recross Hill road or follow the bay (wonky red dotted line). The bay will not take you to the bridge yet. Perhaps by 2020. It is still better to ride the path on the west side of Hill road.
- Follow the green line, up past the archery, BMX to P5 and cross Hill rd then continue North. This is probably better for trailers.
I have been told a pedestrian bridge will be built across Hill rd, but it cant come soon enough.
[UPDATE] I have added a ride with GPS map which only shows the crossing to P5 and through the archery. I doesnt add much distance to the trail but makes the hill road crossing slightly safer as there is a island in the centre of the road. The hugely increased population of Wentworth point has meant road traffic at the intersection is very busy, especially on weekends..
Its an easy flat loop suitable for trailers, half bikes even balance bikes total distance about 7 km and shows some of the best scenery in the Olympic park.
Hopefully the Wentworth point foreshore will be completed in the next few years and the loop can be done without the road crossings.
If you want to extend it... so many options are available, have a look at the maps and let you imagination guide you.
Head straight across to the carpark on hill road and continue north through the trees paralell to hill road, which brings you to the Ferry at Homebush. There are now some cafes here, but Im not sure if there are toilets.
Backtracking 100m up the path on hill road, you will be opposite footbridge boulevard. You can also ride the footpath back to the Boulevard, a short climb to the bridge and a long easy roll wil take you across the bay to Rhodes.
Personally I ride with the older kids on the busway as the pedestrian/bikepath is always quite crowded . Busses are infrequent here, but for younger kids take the safer option.
Hooking around at the end off the bridge you have 2 cafes, convenience store, public toilets and the rhodes waterfront to explore.
It is worth heading right and riding out to the point and checking out the trail of statues that show a young girl doing a cartwheel over the 2km distance.
From the south end of the Rhodes foreshore follow the trail around and along to Bicentennial park another kilometre away.