HILLS COUNCIL: Their 85km plus bike paths network!
Hills Council compiled a comprehensive plan for road cycling in 2009. In 2019, they continue to 'future-proof' their shire, and deliver on the plan. With the latest development of North Kellyville along Cattai Creek and thousands of new homes being built throughout the Hills, residents and businesses need alternative, efficient transport options to events, shopping centres, schools, work and NW Metro transit hubs.
KELLYVILLE-CASTLE HILL: Safe cycle paths that are completely separated from congested Showground and Windsor Roads have been completed, delivering cycle commuters straight into the heart of Castle Hill, Norwest & Victoria Rd. business parks. (Ironically, the safest, quickest way into Norwest business centre on a bicycle is currently a short cut straight past the front door of Hills Council chambers and out onto Columbia Way). All paths have been planned for users to safely and easily access the NW Metro on a bicycle, instead of a private car.
BELLA VISTA: For recreation and major Community Events, Bella Vista Farm can be quickly accessed on a bicycle, via the subway under Norwest Boulevard. The path to this subway currently goes from the heart of Mac Mansion land in Brighton Drive, up past Hilltop Park and then down into the subway off Waterfall Crescent . Around Bella Vista Farm, there is a short, but very scenic hilltop path to enjoy, with lovely views west and the historic farm homestead to admire. The farm path takes you to Bella Vista Oval and into labyrinthine, beige suburbia.
SMALLS CREEK-WINDSOR VIA ROUSE HILL: For a longer ride that is both scenic, peaceful and includes Heritage properties, start at Wrights Road Community Centre and explore the very pretty, shared bushland pathway that runs parallel to Smalls Creek.
Unfortunately, it is as yet unmarked for navigation, so you may take several wrong turns while exploring the full 12km route to Rouse Hill Regional Park. Expect to be slightly delayed by traffic crossing President and Withers Roads- crossing Samantha Riley, however, is outright dangerous due to ongoing major construction works. These path vs. road crossings have yet to be resolved by Hills Council & the RMS. Continue along Smalls Creek and bear left along Caddies Creek Lake to the bridge on Withers Road. Turn right and cross Withers Road to enjoy a cruisy, tree-lined ride via Aberdoon Park to Connie Lowe Reserve.
There is a subway under the A2 here, joining the noisy, but very extensive A2 cycle path taking you the next 12km to Windsor in perfect safety from heavy traffic. This subway is conveniently situated at Rouse Hill Regional Park, where the very helpful ladies at the Visitor Centre will send you on an informed stroll around the historic Rouse Hill Homestead & environs.
Although the A2 bike path/road intersections can be frustrating, there is heavy vehicular traffic moving in six different directions- so relax & keep pressing the button for your little green bicycle, rather than risking a dangerous (and illegal) red bicycle crossing. It is most disappointing that this great cycle way, enjoyed by thousands of cyclists for over a decade, has become very neglected.* There is often broken glass strewn across it, uneven surfaces, overgrown vegetation, poor path markings and non-existent navigational signage. If drivers are angered by some cyclists riding in traffic on the A2 when there is a bike path- this is why.
(*NOTE: The A2 path is not within the jurisdiction of Hills Council)
COFFEE: Café at Hills Council Chambers. Lifestyle & Leisure Bike Shop is on the A2 bike path in Vineyard. Pop in for coffee, pastries and the latest cycling gossip and gear. There are numerous quirky cafes to choose from in Windsor.
THUMBS DOWN: Dogs off leash on the shared path between Wrights Road and Caddies Creek. If cycling here you may encounter some pedestrians and dog owners who behave aggressively when you ring your bell or call out to alert them you intend to pass.
Currently no navigational signs or maps on pathways.
No updated cycle routes maps available from councils or any of the visitor centres.
No network of mountain bicycle trails to link and appreciate Hills Shire bushland reserves were included in the 2009 Hills Council Bike Plan.
THUMBS UP: Hills Council having the foresight to build one of the most extensive cycle paths networks (85km so far) in Sydney over the last decade. Leave your car at home and use it!
A local council facilitating safe, convenient access via active transport options to suburban parks, Historic homesteads with cycling links right out to Windsor and Marsden Park.
This article covers the longest cycle paths that are currently open. More cycle paths will be linked and opened as major infrastructure works are completed.