Branching off the Perimeter Trail near its western end in Duffys Forest, the Long Trail (or Long Track) is popular with mountain bikers – but is also a very pleasant bushwalking track.
It’s generally fairly sandy and flat, with the occasional rocky section, as it heads north along the ridge.
Not long after the junction with the Cowan Track (which goes to another lookout and a signposted Aboriginal engraving site), I veer off the track and into some thick bush to find the Roach Trig (TS3914 ROACH). There’s not much left of this trig point, which was “unpiled” (destroyed) most likely in the 1970s, other than a two circles of stones.
Unmarked and also off the track on the western side, a bit further down the Long Trail, a broad rock platform features some Aboriginal engravings. The Aboriginal engraving site includes nine shields and what seems to be a wallaby or kangaroo.
On the eastern side of the track and even further off-track, some determined bush-bashing through often head-high undergrowth takes me to another Aboriginal engraving site. There are at least three distinct sites here including a significant depiction of Baiame amongst others, which were documented by W. D. Campbell in 1899.
There’s also two engravings for which I can find no reference in Campbell’s book: a weathered and partly damaged shark, and what seems to be a large dingo.
There are many more engravings that are either very faint and weathered – or that I’ve missed on the long rock platform. After negotiating the thick scrub back to the main track, I continue down the Long Trail. Around the middle of the trail is another huge open section of sandstone, which slopes steeply downhill and has the appearance of a series of rock waves.
The Long Trail follows the edge of the ridge fairly closely, with some sweeping views to the west, toward Mt Ku-ring-gai and down to Cowan Creek.
The next section has some nice sandstone rock formations and overhangs, which are especially nice in the late afternoon sun.
There’s a last, short uphill section before the end of the track. Just visible from the track is the Long trig station (TS2882 LONG), my last trig station of the day.
After nother 800m, the track finishes at the “Peach Trees” lookout (I can’t find any reference as to how it got this name). From this rocky outcrop there are spectacular views of Cowan Creek.
Almost directly below is Cowan Creek, perhaps more appropriately referred to here as Cowan Waters, as it’s a little big for a creek…
…looking north-east down Cowan Waters, you can see almost as far as the point where it reaches the Hawkesbury River.
On the way back, the top of one of the rock outcrops provides the perfect vantage point to catch the sun setting over the distant ridge.
0.0km Perimeter Trail at end of Cullamine Road (Terrey Hill) 0.8km Turn onto with Long Trail 1.8km Junction with Cowan Track 5.2km Peach Trees (lookout) and end of trail 10.4km End of Perimeter Trail
More information on the Long Trail
You can access the Long Trail from either end of the Perimeter Trail (Cullamine Road or Durumbil Road). It’s a popular mountain-biking track, so look out for bikes if walking, especially on weekends. While the Perimeter trail is a relatively easy MTB track and ideal for younger kids, the Long Trail has some pretty steep sections with loose rocks and is of medium difficulty.
The end of the the Long Track (Peaches Lookout) is a great spot for sunset, but bring a headtorch for the walk back.
For more bushwalking suggestions, have a look at the Guide to Ku-ring-gai Chase, which lists all the official and informal routes in the park. Other bushwalks you can do from the Perimeter Trail are the Cowan Track, Wilkins Track, Smiths Creek Loop and Mount Murray Anderson.