Surrounded by suburbia, Lane Cove National Park has over fifty access points, most of them leading to the Great North Walk and Riverside Track which follow the Lane Cove River. So on a nice weekend, you’ll probably find more people here than in your supermarket… which I generally don’t find appealing. This Lane Cove River Loop won’t completely avoid the crowds, but it does use some of the less-popular tracks. It starts at the end of Kissing Point Road, where the Browns Waterhole Track passes behind a row of properties, before descending to Browns Waterhole.
Above Browns Waterhole are emu and kangaroo or wallaby tracks, engraved into a rock platform – they are one of a relatively small number of Aboriginal engraving sites with animal tracks surviving in the Sydney region.
This is one of the busier sections of the loop walk, with the sealed bicycle and walking trail forming part of a regional cycleway that connects the upper North Shore with the rest of northern Sydney. The concrete trail crosses the Great North Walk, before crossing the Lane Cover River just above Browns Waterhole via a causeway. Today the wide, natural pool is fairly dry and stagnant – but after a few days of rain, the water can cover the causeway.
I soon turn off the Browns Waterhole Track, onto Terrys Creek Track, which is a walking-only trail that follows Terrys Creek. A small creek that flows into the Lane Cover River, Terrys Creek was named after the first mayor of Eastwood, Edward Terry. It’s a relatively quiet trail.
It’s quite a pleasant and shaded walk, although I’m amused by the Hornsby Council flyer that describes the trail as passing through “rare unspoiled bushland right next door to suburbia”, and a paragraph later states “much of the original vegetation has been cleared”.
The trail continues another 2.6km to Eastwood, but I only proceed to where the track passes under the M2 motorway, before returning the same way. While it’s not the most exciting walk, the Terrys Creek Track provides access from Eastwood into Lane Cove National Park and to the Great North Walk, and could form part of a longer day-walk from Eastwood station to Pennant Hills or Thornleigh.
Once back on the Browns Waterhole Track, I’m only on the concrete path for a very short time before veering off down the Busaco Trail.
A rough but distinct bushwalking track, it’s a pleasant change from the cycleway, and there’s almost no-one on this trail. Ater a few hundred metres, I reach what is marked on the map as the Busaco Trail Lookout. It’s a nice spot but a rather underwhelming lookout, with filtered views over the valley of a distant electricity pylon…
The Busaco Trail follows the Lane Cove River, but keeps a fair way above the river. It crosses a small creek that flows into the river, which is the only water you see along this section of the Lane Cove River Loop.
Once I reach Busaco Road, the trail ends, but you can continue along a wide, grassy verge behind a row of properties. After a few “false trails” that lead nowhere, I find a track that crosses the river to join with the Great North Walk on the opposite side. (You could also continue along this side of the river to Christie Park.)
The track descends pretty directly and steeply to the river, with an impressive set of steps hewn into the low cliffs at the top of the slope.
The track crosses the Lane Cover River at the bottom of the valley, just below a small concrete weir. It’s a nice spot, with not too much rubbish in the river. With the water level low, it’s easy to cross the river by carefully hopping across the boulders – after heavy rain it might not be so easy. On a warm day, this would be a good post for a break.
Having crossed the river, the trail soon reaches the Great North Walk (this section of the GNW is also called the Lane Cove River Walk). I follow the trail upstream, back towards my starting point.
This would be another relatively busy part of my Lane Cove River Loop, although being late in the afternoon there are not too many people on the narrow bushwalking trail.
After a few hundred metres the bushwalking trail joins a firetrail, and the Great North Walk now continues as a wide trail. It passes two access trails (up to Koombalah Avenue and Bowen Avenue), and crosses a creek that flows into the Lane Cove River.
As it starts to get dark, I reach the Browns Waterhole Track, which takes me back up to my car, at the bottom of Kissing Point Road.
Although this Lane Cove River loop does avoid the most congested tracks, it’s still one that’s best done early or late in the day (or on a weekday). You could also extend the walk by continuing to Christie Park, and then taking the track down from the end of Christie Road across the river. This also connects to the Great North Walk furhter down the river, allowing a slightly longer loop.