Turning around at the North East corner of Prospect Reservoir (making this an out and back trip, rather than a loop) would improve this to 5.5-6/10. I will not ride with kids around Ferrers Rd again.
Star Rating For Difficulty (out of 5):
4 star because it’s hillier than expected and because of the stress in the “bike lane” on Ferrers Rd.
It would drop to a 2&1/2 star ride if it was simply an out and back ride from Plough and Harrow to the North East corner of Prospect Reservoir.
Notable Sites, Cafés, and Playgrounds Along the Way:
We start this ride at a good (but busy) playground at Plough and Harrow. It’s large with plenty of equipment. It’s also possible to park close to the playground so that kids can be supervised while getting bikes off the car. It’s worth lingering here at the start, as this ride only has two good playgrounds (not a criticism, just a contrast to what we’ve discovered elsewhere), so let them really enjoy it.
Next on the route, we have a short stop for the swings at Kingston Park playground Edensor Park (quite a small playground) and then stop for a little longer at the playground on the Western side of Stockdale Crescent Reserve.
The journey then goes through some quiet back streets and little connector bike lanes to Calmsley Hill City Farm. We usually stop to have a look in for the animals. After the hill to The Dairy (don’t expect to see cattle) the roll down to Lizard Log Nature Playground is perhaps the nicest and most scenic riding portion of this ride. Having ridden once up to the “hilltop lookout” the kids haven’t repeated it since, it’s probably not worth it for little legs. Lizard Log Nature Playground has plenty of natural shade under the eucalypts and is definitely a place to stop for a packed sandwich or other substantive snacks. As a playground, it’s a little different to other playgrounds (less modern climbing equipment), but still good fun, and my kids can’t get enough of the water pump. This is perhaps a Winter ride, as this whole route can get rather hot, so we top up our water bottles to full capacity here.
The bike path then follows the water channel to Prospect Reservoir. In our experience, this is one of the least populated cycle paths in Sydney, so it frees up the opportunity to chat as a family without constantly weaving around people. We continue on to the North Eastern part of Prospect Reservoir. This actually links in with our ride from Parramatta Park along Prospect Pipeline and Prospect Creek.
We should have chucked a u-turn and simply re-traced our tracks and we would have been content with our day. We saw a bike path on Reservoir Rd and rode along it, but it abruptly ended. We then followed the “bike lane” / wide shoulder after that, and got some respite through a quiet industrial area (on a weekend) on good quality footpaths, BUT then we came to Ferrers Rd. It does have a bike lane (and no footpath), but I will never ever ride this road again with kids. This 4.5km section to Chandos Rd was unpleasant with some drivers honking for no reason and it’s best avoided.
From here we went along Chandos Rd (a quiet semi-rural road) to the M7 bike path, up the hill, down the hill (more substantial than you notice when flying along the M7 in the car) and back to Plough and Harrow playground. Although we got there just after they closed, our plans were to go to Amoreti’s for pizza and gelato to wrap up the ride. If and when we return here, we definitely intend to have a meal here.
If this ride were ridden as an out and back to the North East Corner of Prospect Reservoir it would have been more pleasant and almost exclusively on bike paths.
Parking & Toilets
Plough and Harrow, near Amoretti’s restaurant
- Plough and Harrow
- Lizard Log Nature Playground.
- I think there were some at Prospect Reservoir