Do you ever feel like getting on your bike and just riding and riding, without interruption, crossings, or walkers, along an endless cycleway? The M7 is a bit like that: a great riding path with enough scenic diversions to break up the 43 km stretch of purpose-built cycleway.
You can vary the M7 route by taking different exits and re-entering to explore a new suburb or two. I usually park at Edna Place, Kings Langley, which is very close to the start of the path. It runs all the way to Preston near Liverpool and is well-separated along its entire length from the M7 motorway. You need to be OK with constant background traffic noise, but it’s totally safe, wide, well-marked, and has varied scenery.
For this ride, I exited at Richmond Road to enter the Western Sydney Parklands, a natural oasis in the middle of the vast Sydney urban sprawl. It has several charming bridges and creeks as well as a wide variety of vegetation.
The Parkland’s path stretches for about 12 kms; keep heading south-west and you will find the beautiful International Gardens.
It is so unexpected to find a lake set amidst a well-kept landscape of varied garden architecture and landforms, all close to a major motorway. A café situated right on the lake makes it easy to spend an hour or so here.
I returned to the M7 cycleway for a few kilometres then took the Fairfield exit to find the Prospect Reservoir bike path. It is also part of the 30km Orphan Creek Trail which I will leave to another day.
By now, I’ve been in the saddle for two and a half hours so it’s time for the return trip. I rode a short way beyond the Prospect Reservoir to see what’s around. The cultural mix of Wet ’n Wild not far from a mosque is so typically Sydney. This is a great ride, but make sure you have the battery power to last the distance.