Looking for the perfect escape away from the confinement of your home? Why not dust off your bike, lubricate those rusty chains, pump up those two wheels and venture out onto the Westlink M7 shared path.
This amazing active transport infrastructure boasts a 4 metre wide shared path for pedestrians and cyclist, stretching for 40km along the M7 motorway linking Prestons in the South to Baulkham Hills in the North.
This shared path is completely uninterrupted and separate from the road traffic making it very safe and family-friendly. However, the path does get busy in the early mornings on the weekends with many fast serious cyclists passing through, please practice extra caution if you are taking younger children out on the path.
The shared path is well integrated with the natural and built environment offering a continuous flow of changing terrains and scenery. From the suburban reserves to the windy path, through the motorway underpass to rows of suburban backyard fences, huge noise walls running in parallel with the M7 and impressive bridge crossings over wetlands, creeks and roads.
One of the fascinating surprises was seeing a thriving ecosystem amongst all the urban development. I haven't heard a frog croak since childhood and there it was, deep amongst the reeds in the swampy wetlands the frogs were croaking, the heron was out plodding in the water aimlessly, the birds were chirping and sometimes the butterflies come fluttering across your path – it is hard to fathom that this is our backyard and it is free for all to enjoy.
The most captivating urban landscaping feature on the path is the larger than life green noise wall at Hoxton Park, I could ride pass and re-pass and never get bored of admiring the sprawling spread of branches and leaves across the huge mile long wall.
There are various entry and exit points to the Westlink M7 shared path starting at no.1 Old Windsor Rd, Baulkam Hills to no.61 Camden Valley Way, Prestons.
List of entry and exit points on the Westlink
The section we've manage to complete to date is from no.61 Camden Valley Way, Prestons to no.44 Hanover Street, Elizabeth Hills totalling a 22km return journey.
The district views at the top of the reserve at Elizabeth Hills is absolutely breathtaking, the expanse of clear blue sky, luscious green rolling hills with sprouting dandelions adding pops of yellow to the landscape makes for a perfect rest stop.
A full map of the Westlink shared path can be found here
Although, you are outdoors, please remember to protect yourself and others against Covid-19 and follow NSW Health advice recommendations:
• Stay home if you are sick
• Wash hands regularly
• Covering your coughs and sneezes
• Practice physical distancing (1.5m) at all times
• Wearing a mask in indoor settings where physical
distancing is hard to maintain.