A freelance writer with an interest in just about everything.
Published April 7th 2013
Bushland reserve with something for everyone
Castle Hill's Fred Caterson Recreation Reserve is 58 hectares of outdoor recreational goodness. With sporting fields, bushwalking trails, a BMX track and a remote-control-car track, this place really does have a whole lot of stuff to see and do.
The area that Fred Caterson Reserve now covers was actually given to the people of NSW for public recreation back in 1895, but it remained largely undeveloped until the mid-1960s. Today, much of the bush in the local area has been replaced by suburbia, but Fred Caterson Reserve is the largest of a series of bush remnants that serve as a reminder of how the region used to look.
Unsurprisingly, the best way to explore the reserve is to get out and explore the bush. Two lovely bushwalking tracks are maintained by council - the 1.5km Blue Wren Trail and the 3.5km Geebung Trail - while a network of other minor tracks wind their way through the scrub. As well as bushwalkers, these trails are popular haunts for local mountain bikers to explore.
From big, mature Scribbly Gums to beautiful wildflowers on the banks of Cattai Creek, the reserve is chock-full of native flora. It's also home to plenty of wildlife, from sugar gliders and bats to water dragons and echindas. This fantastic PDF brochure about the bushland of Fred Caterson Reserve goes into great detail about the plants and wildlife in the area, as well as ongoing bush regeneration efforts.
But there's also a whole lot else to explore throughout the reserve. A 2.5km cycleway wraps its way around the park, offering a nice flat surface for youngsters to hurl their pushbikes around. There's also an impressive BMX track with dirt jumps - this is free for the public to use except during club events.
Sticking with the dirt racing theme, the reserve is also home to a remote-control-car track. This is such an awesome addition to any recreational space and is something I certainly wish I had close by when I was a little kid.
If you're looking for some open space to run around, six playing fields have got you covered. They cater for cricket, soccer and baseball at various times of the year, while there's also an indoor sports stadium located on site. Throw Caterson Tennis Centre into the mix and it becomes clear the reserve offers up a sporting smorgasbord.
Kids' playground equipment is available near the tennis courts and near the main playing field area, while picnic tables and timber barbecues are also available. Dogs are allowed in the reserve but must be kept on a leash at all times.
To find out more about all the facilities available at Fred Caterson Reserve, head to the Hills Shire Council website.