Richard Murden Reserve is an inviting thoroughfare that makes up part of the Greenway and leads directly onto the Bay Run at Iron Cove. It is big enough to be a park in its own right - and for all the intents and purposes of the outdoor recreation-loving public, it is.
The very fact that it is such a narrow but long reserve - with only a fraction of it visible from the main road - makes it a hidden gem to all but the locals. But in spite of that, getting there couldn't be easier with two Light Rail Stations located along the reserve - Marion Station and Hawthorn Station.
Richard Murden Reserve sits on the bank of the Hawthorne Canal
Within the Inner West, it is a commonly overlooked spot for a picnic but it really has everything you could need to have a very pleasant family lunch. There are different styles of picnic table spread over the space, many of which are sheltered and you will find places to eat near the barbeques - or you can retreat to quieter spots along the reserve.
There are two toilet blocks on site, which is always handy - and more than can be said for most places of this kind. If you bring the dog along you can take a visit to the Cafe Bones dog-friendly cafe and the off-leash dog park on the opposite bank - which your furry friend will surely appreciate.
The most popular part of the reserve is likely the cute family area created towards the middle of the space. There is plenty of seating for parents supervising their kids during playtime on the equipment. There is a bubbler nearby and space to tie up bicycles. One of the available toilet facilities is also located conveniently close to the play area. As for parking, there is plenty along Hawthorne Parade beside the reserve.
This is also one of the best places for a tennis match. The courts are free to use and when it is not busy, you can just walk in and get playing. It does get busy at popular times though, so there is a quota of one hour designated for each group, and a handy board provided which you can use to book your group's slot.
For the casual walker, the value of Richard Murden Reserve is that it links the Greenway with the Bay Run and also provides a nice spot to rest or have some lunch before continuing on to explore Iron Cove.
Take a moment to read the informative plaques along the way that draw your attention to the species of flora and fauna that call the Greenway home. They remind us how important such natural spaces are for all the inhabitants of the Inner West - not just the human ones.
There are a surprising amount of amenities at Richard Murden Reserve, especially when compared to other strips of land that are similar in size. It really sets a great example for other councils looking to develop narrow parcels of land and gives some idea of what is possible.