Walking Trails


West Ward, and Willoughby, has a plethora of walking trails, especially through our bushland. There are a variety of trails to choose from where you can start from either end; loop trails and trails that provide a gateway to the Great North Walk.

Please refer to published walking guides for track distance, duration and fitness level required.


The trail is in three sections: :Chatties – Ferndale and Bogle-Chandler.

The walk follows the Swaines Creek valley mainly through bushland. Starting at Chatswood Station and passing through Kenneth Slessor Park (celebrating the renowned poet) the walk follows the trail where Charlotte Hayes Harnett (Chattie) used to walk to paint in the gullies. It continues on to the Ferndale track then further along Swaines Creek at the edge of Chatswood Golf Club, through the Bogle-Chandler murder site to Fullers Bridge.


Charlotte, the wife of infamous property developer Richard Hayes-Harnett lived in a cottage in Orchard Rd near Chatswood Station. In his poem ‘Chatswood‘ Henry Lawson envisioned her walking into the nearby wood to paint – hence the name ‘Chatswood’ was born. Local residents recall Charlotte walking down the top of the Swaines River valley into the gullies along the creek. Henry’s poem is a wonderful fantasy. Unfortunately, the name Chatswood was first used (probably by Harnett) for property he was selling near the Gore Hill oval in Artarmon.

On the way you will pass Bartels Park (Greg Bartels was a Mayor of Willoughby). The park is opposite a home once occupied by Poet Laurette Les Murray and family. Les had an autistic son whom he would take to play at the park. The West Ward Progress Association one day hopes to cel;ebrate Les’ association with the area.

Swaines (north east)

A delightful walk along the creek in a rainforest setting passing along the northern side of Chatswood Golf Club..

Watch out for flooding in the creek when it ia raining.


The final portion of the track passes below OH Reid Oval then along a riverside track where Dr. Bogle & Mrs. Chandler were found dead. There are many stories about this mystery availble on the Internet).


The River Walk (Mowbray) follows the bank of the Lane Cove River between Fullers Bridge and the Epping Rd Bridge. There are three segments of the trail: 100 ft Reservation – Mowbray Park – Garadi

100ft reservation

Continue from the end of Mowbray trails along the eastern bank of the Lane Cove River within the 100 ft reservation. This is a historic attempt to preserve access along the river from Fullers Bridge to the end of Mowbray Rd West. After considerable effort by Willoughby Council the track has been reopened.

BEWARE: The track runs alongside Chatswood Golf Club. Watch out for golf balls.

Mowbray Park

The walk follows the eastern bank of the Lane Cove River to join up with Garadi Tracks

Garadi (Black Cockatoo)

Start on the southern side of the Lane Cove River. A short walk celebrating Aboriginal culture. There are many track up to the ridge. A truly delightful area. On the ridge you can view the vegetation regrowth since the devestating 1994 bushfires.


Starting at Chatswood Railway Station, the trail follows the Rail to River Walk until it meets Swaines Creek (south-east). Proceed up Swaines Creek. There are exit tracks to either Eddy Rd, Beresford Ave or Dalrymple Ave. The


There are two segments to this trail: Rifle Range & Powerful Owl.

Rifle Range

Starting in Lady Game Drive near Fullers Bridge the trail ramble behind the old Acoustics Laboratories past the remnants of the 1930s Rifle Range. For a shorter walk take the track toward the old Acoustics Laboratory or Range St. Note: As the Acoustics property is under new ownership, at the end of these tracks there are button operated gates to allow you to exit. There is also an intercom should you require assostanc. Otherwise continue on until the the track to the Greville St Oval. or continue further to emerge at the end of Greville St.

Powerful Owl

The above walk exits at Greville St, along Kooba Avenue then down to the Scout Hall on Blue Gum Creek. The trail continues up the Creek to Dulwich Rd.

There is quite a variety of fauna in the Blue Gum Creek valley including wallabies and the Powerful Own. Keep your eyes peeled.


Start at Fullers Bridge (Ryde side). Walk along river road to Quebec Rd to join the track. Following the track along the northern side of the Lane Cove River passing the former Fairyland Pleasure Ground to Epping Rd.

There are numerous walking guides available on the Internet for this Track. Just type in “Fairyland” in your preferred search engine


You can join the Great North Walk at the Epping Rd Bridge or in the Lane Cove National Park near Fullers Bridge.


Choose from a variety of trails in other parts of Willoughby