The Cooks river cycleway....
This is absolute classic Sydney ride, from the river to the bay, it takes you through many microcosms of Sydney, from used car yards to market gardens, mangroves to ice creams.
To do the complete cooks river ride, river to the bay, you need to start at Rhodes.
From Rhodes train station cross to the western side (elevators) and head down Mary St to the foreshore. Head left and follow the canal up to Pomeroy st. This is a very enjoyable ride through mangroves, but there are many junctions so follow the signs carefully.
The canal near pomeroy st has been landscaped so it is not just a concrete ditch any more. This is a great improvement.
Once on Pomeroy st head south through the traffic lights, up and over the M4, then dogleg left then right to Parramatta rd.
This section is the least pleasant but stick with it.
Cross Parramatta rd and head up bridge St either on the road or footpath, cross the railway line, (homebush station is 300m east of here) then turn right/west onto The Crescent and down to Bates St and the park.
The left turn into the park comes just when you are flying happily down the hill, so watch out for it. If you overshoot you can head in through the playground to rejoin it.
From here the path is fairly well signposted and follows mostly parks with a few quiet suburban st.
The one major hill is not far away, it isnt steep but a slow grind up a quiet street for about 500m.
Once you top out, it is a long long pleasant cruise.
There are a few major roads to cross, but bicycle crossing points have been built to make it safer. They really only fit one bicycle so watch out for riders coming the other way!
As always allow plenty of time to stop and look around. One of my favourites is the Concordia club near Tempe station, 20km or so from the start. German beer, sausages and Oompa bands. You may never leave!
There are also markets some weekends on Holbeach ave at Tempe.
A short ride up Beamish st will take you to Campsie for a feast of Dumplings.
From Tempe it is still 5km or so to the bay, so this is the best spot to escape if little legs are flagging.
Just past the Tempe train station the path passes underneath the railway line, this section can go under water at high tide, no sharks have been reported to date, but keep an eye out.
As you cross the Princess Hwy turn right over the new bridge and follow the widened path around the marsh st. Another short section of noisy footpath takes you to an underpass turning left away from the m5 tunnel portal winding away toward the bay.
The last section cruises past market gardens and the Cooks river estuary before passing under general holmes drive and out to the bay.
Brighton le Sand and ice creams are only a short distance away!
The public toilets I know of are
Bicentennial park- about 2km from Rhodes- also Bubblers
South Strathfield Parks near Homebush rd- 7kmish
Bubblers are near the road crossings further on
Sporting fields after crossing Brighton Ave near Campsie
Sporting fiels after crossing Wardell rd
Steel Park Marrickville- also bubblers
There is public toilets and fish and chips about 150m south along the path in Botany bay and the ice cream shops in Brighton Le Sands are another 2km further.
To catch a train out, I would probably ride back to Tempe, although mostly I just ride back to Rhodes. It makes for a 55km or so day. The climb back up to South Strathfield is never strenuous or steep and the roll down on the Northern side is great.
If you haven't done this ride you should, check out what's happening and make a day of it.