It may have an exotic sounding name, but the Field of Mars Reserve is actually nestled between the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers in the Sydney suburb of East Ryde. A quick Wikipedia search reveals that there's a bit of conjecture surrounding the origin of the reserve's name, with some arguing it's a direct reference to the Roman god of war.
History aside, this 50-odd hectare pocket of remnant bushland is a great spot to retreat away from the busy suburbs for a serene bushwalk. And with five trails to choose from, the reserve has plenty of spaces to explore.
The shortest is the 0.6 kilometre Boardwalk Loop, featuring a raised boardwalk that follows the meandering Buffalo Creek. The 1.9 kilometre Sand Track and 1.9 kilometre Warada Loop take in plenty of natural scenery, while the 1.2 kilometre Doyle Loop takes you past caves, gullies, and impressive rock outcrops. The longest walk is the 5.2 kilometre Kunzea Track, which takes a little over an hour to complete. It starts at Ryde Park and continues to the Field of Mars Wildlife Refuge where it links up with the Great North Walk.
[ADVERT]There's plenty of scenery to look at on all of the walks, including plenty of wildlife from frogs to long-necked turtles, not to mention native fauna like Banksias, Angophoras and soaring Blue Gums. In fact, the reserve is home to more than 300 species of plant. This brochure from Ryde City Council details the different trails and also includes a map.