A great long loop in western sydney, following a lot of the Sydney water infrastructure and almost completely on separate cycle paths.
Total length is 33km and there is a fair bit of climbing and descending. Some areas require a bit of navigation skill at least keeping your wits about you, as signs can be a bit sparse.
I rode it counter clockwise, there is no reason it cant be done the other way as well. The two places I recommend starting would be at Guildford train station or the park at Prospect resevoir. I will describe it from Guildford.
On the western side of the station, the huge water pipes are unmissable, the path sets offalong them, well signposted and easy to ride.
Apart from a few road crossings, the pipeline track is an easy and gentle climb up to Prospect Reservoir. This is the last spot for public toilets and water bottle filling for a while so take advantage.
The climb that follows is the hardest part of the ride, a steady grind in the sun up to the top of the dam and then climbs further. There is a great spot at the top of the hill to enjoy the view. Then cross the road and roll smoothly south through the Western Sydney Parklands. This section is a bit shadier than the dam but you ares till in the sun a bit.
Navigation here isn't a problem, follow the path through rolling green hills, straight on past 2 intersections until you arrive at the gates of Calmsley hill city farm. You can start dropping down the hill through Abbortsbury taking laneways behind the houses, following signs to Stockdale park , keep left and wind your way down the creek for the next 5km or so. This is beautiful scenery and a very enjoyable ride.
Keep following the creek. There can be some side paths but the main path is mostly easy to follow. If you are heading too far away from the creek, backtrack. Pass Fairfield showgrounds and then back into the sunshine along Esperance reserve. Around here I started to wonder if I was going in the right direction, you feel a long way away from the start and heading further away.
There are plenty of parks to stop and rest and some bubblers, although I did not see any more public toilets. Many of the sports fields you pass would undoubtedly have some if you look.
The last section is a little confusing. There is a point where the path splits and you are offered 2 routes to Fairfield. I went right and it was the right decision. Shortly after, the path ends on Sackville st. Head right and take the 2nd street on the left. I took the first street on the left and that led me into a cul de sac which I rode around with a slightly furrowed brow. I got out via a laneway and rejoined the path, circling around under the railway track and onto East parade. You now run parallel to the railway on the Eastern side. If you wanted to escape, Canley Vale station is only 100m south of the point you pass under the tracks. This is the same line as Guildford, 3 stations further south.
This last section is a uninspiring but flat and easy roll back along the lines to the start point. You pass through Fairfield where you can grab a celebratory cup of tea. Cross under the lines and along between heavy industry and the railway back to Guildford.
Due the nature of the ride along the creek, I would avoid this after heavy rain as flood levels seemed to be higher the path at a few points and there are flood depth indicators in other areas.
I took 1.5hrs to scoot around it by myself, I would allow twice that to bring the family too. Take plenty of food and water and sunscreen, it can be exposed in parts.
Suitable for trailers, but a halfbike might be better.
A range of varied terrain and scenery with lots of water infrastructure equipment to look at.
Photography by John Domeney