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Five Of Sydney’s Most Scenic Trail Runs

For dedicated runners, Sydney has an incredible hit list. But if you’re willing to get a little bit further and drive or take the train to outside the city, there are also numerous jaunts for joggers in its many national parks.

Ranking from easy to expert, these trails are ideal for solo runners or for bringing the whole family. Spend a day, or pack some camping gear to stay overnight.

Either way, these fve running trails in Sydney’s outskirts are sure not to disappoint.

Seaforth Oval to Roseville Bridge (17.4km)

This walk through Garigal National Park is an easy-to-moderate track that follows a scenic section of the Harbour to Hawkesbury track and takes about four or five hours.

The walk loops around the Historic Magazines Buildings and Natural Bridge Walk and offers great views of Bantry Bay. Tumble through the peaceful woodland to Flat Rock Beach where you can kick off your shoes for a rest before forging on to the Davison Picnic Area where a birdsong soundtrack is on repeat.

Coastal Classic – Otford to Bundeena (30km)

sydney trail runs

Image: Emu Trekkers / supplied

It’s not exactly a pioneering route. But for runners seeking a change of scenery, the 30km trail from Otford to Bundeena is stunning. Compete in the annual Coastal Classic or go your own way along the trail that passes small empty beaches and wave-eroded headlands.

The track can be done in half a day, which frees runners up to amble along with just a small day pack. Not-for-profit organisation Emu Trekkers hosts a two-day weekend walk along the route with an overnight camp under the stars and all proceeds going toward UNICEF.

Great North Walk – West Pymble to Hunters Hill (17.4km)

There are urban end points on this easy family-friendly route that starts in West Pymble and finishes in Hunter’s Hill (or vice versa). Find Lane Cove on the map and you will see that the trail follows the meandering squiggle of the Lane Cove River.

This is a great trail run for beginners as the clearly marked path negates the need for orienteering skills, and eventually connects West Pymble with Macquarie Park.

Cape Solander to Cronulla (21.9 km)

sydney trail runs

Image: Carla Grossetti

Although you could easily walk this track in half a day, it’s best to start at dawn, when the sky is tickled pink, and the towering sandstone cliffs at Kamay Botany Bay National Park are at their most spectacular.

One of the coolest things about this route is that it’s not super technical or overrun with Lycra-clad mountain men so you can focus your attention on beautiful birdsong and nature. BYO binoculars and look out for whales.

Lyrebird and Middle Harbour Track (14.8km)

This is an out-and-back trail that sees a fair amount of foot traffic and covers enough diverse terrain to ensure your legs will turn to spaghetti, al dente. The track traces the Middle Harbour Creek and passes through grey-green groves of eucalyptus on the edges of East Lindfield and Killara.

Lace up your boots and be prepared to climb, jump and scramble your way along the trail, which includes plenty of climbs up and down stone-hewn steps.

(Lead image: Sydney Coast Walks of Royal National Park)

Published 04 November, 2019