Published Author, magazine and newspaper article writer. Healthy foodie trekker traveller sailor skier and scuba diver and golf lover. Wellness Coach by day (wellnesswoman.com.au) and writer reviewer in my spare time.
Fancy a good walk up hill and down dale? Not all of us have access to stroll along the beaches or saunter into parks, especially after dark, but if you live in the North Sydney area and surrounds and need a good workout any time of day or night, this may be the one for you. Alternatively, grab a friend and do the walk with a difference on a weekend and stop off at the shops midway for a treat, lunch or just a window browsing session.
This walk is a good work out as it comprises about 50/50 uphill and downhill landscape. Great for working the gluteus muscles (bottom). It would probably score as medium difficultly but has no difficult terrain to conquer. The route is all pathway and in most cases alongside well lit roads. During peak hours you can of course expect more traffic, however it is moving fairly swiftly so fumes from braking/starting cars should not be an issue.
Well, let's get started. I take a Run Keeper app with me which covers pace, distance altitude etc, even calories burned but I am always rather sceptical of that. You may like to start this walk at Shirley Road, Wollstonecraft, where there is plenty of parking, but you can choose where ever you wish to join the circuit. Turn left into River Road. There is a long downhill stint past Greenwich Hospital and Lane Cove Golf course. You may have to cross the road from time to time during the walk to keep on the paved side of the road.
One of my favourite things about this walk is the aromas from all the beautiful wild flowers and trees growing along the way. Fresh autumn smells wafting in the air. Passing the golf course the road starts to rise and brings you to the junction of River Road to the left and Lonqueville Road to the right. Choose the right fork. A nice flat kilometre or so brings you to Lane Cove Shopping Centre. This is Burns Bay Road; cross the road with the crossing on your left to a wide paved area. If you have bought a back pack you can shop at Coles, Thomas Dux, Woollies and a bunch of other stores besides. If you have company you can grab a tea or coffee in the many cafes with street seats. Congratulate yourself at this point because you have already completed 5 kilometres.
Heading straight through the array of shops and keeping to the left follow Burns Bay Road along. Once again a nice flat area where you might wish to pick up the pace to a run. If you wish to cut a couple kilometres off the walk you can turn left into Ross Smith Road and come out at the top of Penrose St, where you turn left and head up the hill. If you stick to the 12k route you will pass a couple of shops and a Pizzeria on the left. The road bends slowly around to the left. There is a Caltex Petrol station across the road if you need to answer the calls of nature. Turn left into Penrose Street where there is a large second hand furniture store on the corner. Land marked by a huge wooden Indian Chief figure. Continue uphill towards Bridge Street and then turn right into River Road West which eventually joins back with River Road where you branched off to the right previously.
You will go downhill to the golf course and back up hill to junction of Greenwich Road where you may be relieved to stop at the crossing to catch your breath. 1 last kilometre on almost flat road and you have arrived back at Shirley Road, Wollstonecraft.
This circuit is an awesome training ground for the City to Surf with lots of uphill and downhill. When running downhill remember to place your heel on the ground first followed by the ball of your foot to prevent shin splints. A painful condition in the shin bones.
Take water and a good pair of running/walking shoes and perhaps a light raincoat, just in case. Allow yourself at least 2 hours for general paced walking, less for running and more for stopping and shopping .