The Cascades, Garigal National Park (Sydney, Australia)

Australia, NSW, Sydney.  Garigal National Park.
Public transport:
Bus connections from Gordon and St. Ives to Acron Rd.
There is a train station at Gordon.
Circuit.  National park.
Distance: A couple of kilometres down, a couple of kilometres for the loop, and an optional few kilometres for each spur.
Fire trail.  Rough dirt track, very rocky in parts, with some short sections paved.
Entry track rises down to the creek, and is very steep at one point, if you take the direct route down.
If you take the loop down (turn left / northward during descent), then there is less of a gradient, and a more rocky path.
The tracks around the creek-area at the bottom of the valley undulate depending upon distance from the water.

Wildlife: There are often frilly-necked lizards and large goannas to be seen.  If you get lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a snake, lyrebird or miniature marsupial.  You are most likely to find any of these animals in somewhere with proximity to the water.
This track is very popular with walkers and local mountain bikers.  There are occasional horses, and a significant number of locals illegally bring their dogs inside the national park (tell them off if you find them!).  There is an illegal track that someone has made running south from the main access road - it looks dangerously steep, and I do not recommend you support its makers' actions by riding it.

Though you can access the park from other entry points, I prefer the St. Ives access via the back of Acron Oval, which is on the corner of Acron Rd. and Douglas St (1).  There is car parking available here.  Ride straight down the dirt - once you reach the second major trail off the left (not Lower Cambourne Track (2), but the next one (3)), you can turn northward for a more interesting and prolonged descent.  You have to get off your bike to ford the creek (4), but after this its all smooth riding until a hilltop junction (5).  Turn left for a lengthy spur, with much less traffic than other parts of the park, or turn right for the regular circuit.  This will bring you around to the creek again (6), which you can ride across if you're feeling lucky.  The track then rejoins the original fire trail heading southeast, crosses the creek again, and then emerges at the Cascades (7).  This area has another optional spur running east, uphill to an alternate park entry point.

The Cascades (7) is an area where two streams meet whilst flowing down stepped rocks - hence the name.  There is an old dam and the base of an old diving board, which according to the inscription dates back to the early twentieth century.  Unfortunately, the water is quite polluted with urban runoff these days, so I don't recommend swimming.  It is a popular spot for picnics.

To return, double-back to where you met the main track (6), then continue to the left to complete the circuit and climb back up the hill.  There is a very-steep spot just below the start of the circuit (3), which you can try riding up if you still have the energy.

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