There are lots of shared walking and bike tracks around Brisbane. I recently discovered one close to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital. It is good to go for a walk while waiting for someone who has a hospital outpatient appointment. I usually park at the end of Fagan Street, off Butterfield Street and walk across the bridge onto the shared bike and walking track.
This track is the Ashgrove to Herston (Ithaca Creek and Enoggera Creek Bikeways track). The Enoggera Creek Bikeway is a paved, shared-use trail that goes through the northern suburbs of Windsor, Wilston, Newmarket and even extends further west for 4 km to The Gap on Bennet Rd. The total distance from The Gap to Windsor is 13 km one-way.
After crossing the bridge near Fagan Street, the track to the right leads past Downey Park to Northey Street Gardens. The Northey Street City Farm is a community garden based on the principles of permaculture. It was started in 1994. More than 1500 exotic and native fruit trees, bush food plants, shrubs and ground covers have been planted on the four-hectare farm site since it was started. I have met people who have worked off community service orders there for unpaid fines and really enjoyed the experience.
By turning left, the track leads to Ashgrove, Red Hill and Newmarket. You can also get to Bank Street Reserve.
The pathways also provide access to three sports clubs including Spencer Park, Finsbury Park and Downey Park. I just like to wander along with my dog looking at the wildlife. There are thousands of flying foxes and Ibises roosting in trees along the creek bank.
I was lucky one day to capture some photos of a bat and Ibis in flight near the bridge. I've also seen sleeping brush-tailed possums under the bridge and an awake ring-tailed possum in the bush at the side of the track.
The track is popular with cyclists, joggers and walkers. There are playgrounds, picnic tables and barbecue facilities along the way. There are also soccer fields, netball courts, public toilets and water bowls for dogs.
There is a large dog park near Downey Park and an interesting Aboriginal walkway with sculptures close by.
People have mixed feeling about the noisy, bat colonies which include Black Flying Foxes, Little Red Flying Foxes and the endangered Grey Headed Flying Fox, but they are very beautiful creatures. They play a vital role in our eco-system by fertilising native Hardwood trees, such as Lillipillies, Figs, Palms and Quandongs. These trees only produce fresh pollen at night, so the bats help the survival of our native trees.
You shouldn't touch bats because of the risk of catching Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV), which is rare but deadly similar to rabies. Only three cases of human infection with ABLV have been recorded since the virus was first identified in 1996. All three cases were in Queensland and all died as a result of ABLV infection after being bitten or scratched by bats. Bat carers can get vaccinated against ABLV. If you do get a bite or scratch from a bat, you should seek medical help urgently.
If you are riding, you are probably going to miss seeing a lot of wildlife. I think it is better to walk slowly.
We are so lucky in Brisbane to have all these great wildlife corridors so close to the city.