A guide to bushwalks suitable for dogs in Sydney’s north… Focussed on Ku-ring-gai and Sydney’s northern suburbs, this guide also includes a few walks further afield that are worth making the effort to get to. As a general rule, dogs are not permitted in national parks (except for a small number of regional NSW parks) and are allowed in State Forests, while Council reserves are a mixed bag… (Dogs on all bush tracks should be leashed, whether it is signposted or not – the only exception being designated and marked off leash areas.)
KU-RING-GAI: Frog Hollow Loop – 3.3km
A varied and interesting loop through the Wahroonga Reserve, which starts with tall eucalypt forest before descending into Frasers Brook. You can do the entire loop on a wide firetrail (with a short on-road setion to complete the route), or take some of the more challenging bushwalking tracks up to Cilff Oval. (Note that some of the tracks beyond the loop walk go into Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park). These tracks also connect to Lovers Jump Creek in Turramurra.
KU-RING-GAI: Kitchener St to Phillip Road – 3.6km (return)
KU-RING-GAI: Blackbutt Creek – 4km loop
A shaded walk along a firetrail in Gordon, which follows Blackbutt Creek and Falls Creek through Blackbutt Creek Reserve. Return the same way, or form a loop by returning along St Johns Avenue.
Access Point/s: Vale St (Gordon), Lady Game Drive (West Pymble), Pee Wee Park (West Pymble) and St Johns Ave (Gordon)
KU-RING-GAI: Little Digger Track – 4.6km return
A nice bushwalk that follows Moores Creek down to Middle Harbour through several reserves in Lindfield and Roseville, before joining the Two Creeks Track. The Little Digger Track passes some small waterfalls and cascades (including Little Falls and Babbage Falls), and is well shaded.
Access Point/s: from corner of Amarna Pde and Roseville Ave to Two Creeks Track. Access also from end of Carnarvon Road (Lindfield) & Carlyle Road (Lindfield)
KU-RING-GAI: Sheldon Forest – up to 6km
A variety of dog-friendly tracks in Sheldon Forest & Rofe Park in Pymble/Turamurra can be combined to form a bushwalk up to 6.3km long. Although close to suburbia with multiple access points from Pymble and Turramurra, you’re soon deep in the bush on well-shaded tracks. There are some steep sections as you descend into gullies and a long section along Avondale Creek.
Access Point/s: Six locations including 1st Turramurra Scout Hall, Mimosa Oval (Turramurra), Jubilee Ave (Pymble), Kimbarra Rd (Pymble) and Troon Place (Pymble)
KU-RING-GAI: Grosvenor to Gwydir – 6.5km one-way
This is the longest walk you can do, from North Wahroonga to North Turramurra, and is 13km if you return the same way. It combines part of the Lovers Jump and Frog Hollow Loop walks, and is mostly on firetrails as it traverses bushland between Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and the suburbs of Ku-ring-gai. Note: the track crosses briefly into Ku-ring-gai NP at the end of Gwydir Ave.
Access Point/s: From Grosvenor Road (North Wahroonga) to end of Gwydir Ave (North Turramurra). Can also access at Cliff Oval (Wahroonga) & McRae Place
KU-RING-GAI: Lovers Jump Creek – 6.6km loop
KU-RING-GAI: Darri Track – 7km loop
Although the Darri Track in Turramurra is never far from suburbia, it (mostly) feels like you’re deep in the bush. The track follows Cowan Creek fairly closely and is generally cool and well-shaded, and is partly on a firetrail and partly a narrow bushwalking track. There are a few access points, but you need to exit before reaching the Warrimoo Track (which is inside Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park).
Access Point/s: Bedford Ave & Marlborough Place (St Ives), Waipori Place & Timbarra Road (St Ives Chase) and Glengarry Ave (North Turramurra)
KU-RING-GAI: Two Creeks Track – 8km loop
The Two Creeks Track follows Middle Harbour Creek from Echo Point Park in Roseville to the start of Garigal National Park in Lindfield. It crosses some smaller creeks and traverses a few rainforest-like gullies, offering a real bushwalking experience. You can access the Two Creeks Track in multiple spots.
Access Point/s: Echo Point Park (Roseville), Ormonde Road (Roseville Chase), Carlyle Road (Lindfield), Ulmarra Place (Lindfield)
HORNSBY: Bellamy Trail – 1.1km one-way
HORNSBY: Woodcourt Firetrail – 1.7km one-way
NORTHERN BEACHES: Anembo Reserve – 2km loop
NORTHERN BEACHES: Davidson Track – 4.4km return
NORTHERN BEACHES: Slippery Dip Loop – 4.5km loop
NORTHERN BEACHES: Spit to Clontarf – 5.2km return
NORTHERN BEACHES: Manly Dam Circuit – 7.3km loop
A bit more challenging than the Narrabeen Lake loop, this track circles Manly Dam (the largest freshwater lake in Sydney). The Park Circuit Track undulates through bushlands, wetlands, past Aboriginal sites and across the dam wall for a varied walk.
Access Point/s: Paid parking area at end of King St (Allambie Heights) & on-street parking ar various access tracks on Nyrang Road, Monserra Road, Wandella Road (Allambie Heights) & Water Reserve Road (North Balgowlah)
NORTHERN BEACHES: Narrabeen lake loop – 7.4km loop
An easy and level walk around Narrabeen Lake (or Narrabeen Lagoon, as it’s technically a coastal lagoon). The well-marked trail combines bushland, cultural heritage and historical icons and a “suburban” section with a few cafes and restaurants.
Access Point/s: Many access points including four carparks: Jamieson Park (The Esplanade), Narrabeen Park and Ride (Pittwater Road), Bilarong Reserve (Claude’s Carpark), Middle Creek Parking (Wakehurst Parkway)
CENTRAL COAST: Strickland Forest (upper section) – 1.6km-6.5km
Multiple tracks can be done individually or combined into a longer circuit. All the bushwalking tracks traverse a mix of dry eucalypt forest near the ridges, and wet gully rainforest as you drop into the cooler valleys. The most popular loop (Strickland Falls Track) goes to the small but picturesque Strickland Falls.
CENTRAL COAST: Strickland Forest (Arboretum Track) – 2.3km-3.5km
The “lower” section of Strickland Forest is easier than the “upper” section, with both tracks being farly level. The Arboretum Loop Trail goes through Australia’s oldest arboretum, while the Bellbird Trail loops around both sides of Narara Creek. The two trails can be done separately, or joined into a longer loop.
Access point/s: Stoney Creek carpark at end of Strickland Forest Road (Central Coast)
CENTRAL COAST: Five Lands Walk – up to 10km
The Five Lands Walk follows the coast from Terrigal to MacMasters Beach, combining headlands, five beaches and bush along the route. Most of the route is dog-friendly, including off-leash areas along some of the beaches.
Access point/s: Terrigal Surf Life Saving Club, Avoca Beach, MacMasters Beach Surf Life Saving Club (Marine Parade)
UPDATE 20/JAN/21: Rocky Creek (Killara) was previously (incorrectly) included; this trail traverses Garigal National Park and dogs are not permitted. Other shorter bushwalks (included on the map at the top):
- Hornsby – Clarinda trail, between Clarinda Street and Simon Place. 0.5km one-way (firetrail)
- Hornsby – Florence Cotton Reserve. 1.6km through a bushland reserve dominated by Blackbutt, Blue Gum, and Turpentine trees
- Hornsby/Westleigh – Dog Pound Creek Conservation Reserve. 1.2km walk along Dog Point Creek
- Cherrybrook – Daphne and Patricia Fire Trail between Tuscan Way (end Daphne Close) and Patricia Place. 0.5km one-way (firetrail)
- Cherrybrook – Lower Pyes Creek Bushland Reserve – firetrail from end of Timothy Close to Keighran Place
- Pennant Hills – Pennant Hills Park Conservation Reserve (Mambara Track). 1km loop along concrete path
- Thornleigh – Larool Creek Bushland Reserve. 1km trail along Larool Creek.
- Hornsby Heights – Rofe Dog Park. Oval + 1km bushwalking trail
- Berowra Heights – firetrail between Emma Place and end of Warrina St. 1km.
- Berowra Heights – firetrail between Lonsdale Avenue, Wideview Road and Cliffview Road. 1.2km.
- Galston – Carrs Bush Conservation Reserve. 0.5km forest walk located within the precinct of Fagan Park
Although there are not many resources specifically for bushwalking with dogs, these Web sites have soem more detailed information and suggestions on dog-friendly spots:
- Take the Dog – search by postcode for dog-friendly parks around Sydney
- Hornsby Council Leashed Dog Walking areas – PDF document of dog-friendly trails
- Ku-ring-gai Council Off leash dog areas – Ku-ring-gai Council website lists 20 off-leash areas
- Northern Beaches Council Dog Parks
- Sydney Bushwalking Dogs – Facebook group with doggie bushwalks across Sydney.
The AllTrails map and Web site allow you to filter on “dog friendly” walks.
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