There is quite a lot of good riding to be had in the Western Sydney Parklands and a lot of it seems to be very little known about. Considering the amount of traffic I see when I have been there, Id say hardly anyone knows about it.
I started to write this the other day and realised I couldn't remember enough about it to write a proper post so.. there was only one thing to do go and ride it.
Here is the map from the parklands site:
If you look at the red line here from Dean park...
You can follow it all the way down to the Great Western highway.
I dont think Ive ridden all the way down there- but. The section at the top is great for smaller kids. There are a few entrances off Quakers Hill Parkway, (but nowhere to park) There is parking on Richmond road. The path that heads north is very quiet, flat and has some side paths to explore and a bridge over a creek. Good for a very little one or a learner looking for a quiet place to practice, but nothing to hold the attention too long.
You can cross Richmond road at two locations East or west of the carpark, both have traffic lights. The path splits and goes to both corners. The riding is similar fom Richmond road to Powers Road, flat with some pleasant winding through light bush. On a pleasant warm spring afternoon we saw a total of 6 people and a dog in the 12km return. A very quiet location.
Powers road is crossed without lights, but has a safety barrier in the middle to allow a two stage crossing.
After Powers road the track becomes gravel some compact some loose. I tested the 6 year old on her 16 inch out on it. She struggled a bit but made it. The gravel section is about 1500m long and leads to Nurragingy reserve.
The gravel Path Between Powers road and Nurragingy reserve.
The first time I rode through here I saw the little water park and though that was it. The water park would make a fantastic stop on a hot day. There are bubblers and toilets on the Parklands track through the reserve. (These are absent in the previous Kms back to Richmond rd.)
Nurragingy reserve is actually pretty amazing, there is a huge amout of paths, gardens and water features to enjoy. You could quite easily spend a few hours here exploring, climbing trees, doing the little bushwalks, watching the ducks and eels in the ponds and getting some hot food from the kiosk.
For older riders you can make a loop out of it by going southwest along the M7 path from the northern end. Exit the M7 onto Eastern rd at The Rooty Hill and roll down the wide footpath Blacktown sports centre to rejoin the path into Nurragingy.
The M7 is a busy path with a lot of very fast riders, so exercise caution there.
And to finish off.. I went back today to ride the last section between Eastern road and the Great Western Highway. There isnt much there to write home about. Its flat, half of it runs through a huge empty paddock, but the second half is more pleasant, winding through some trees.
The whole of the northern section is pretty bland, with only the gem of Nurragingy standing out. It would be good for junior riders wanting to do a few continuous kilometres without being distracted by other riders or hills.
A loop with the M7 would also be good for older kids wanting a faster ride with a bit of scenery chucked in.
From the Great Western Highway, the parklands path joins the M7 and travels down to The Horsley drive. The paths there are quite hilly.
I will go down there shortly and do a few loops.