Lower Prospect Canal
21.5 km (2.5 hrs )
The Lower Prospect Canal Reserve is a narrow corridor of bushland that stretches for approximately 7.7 kilometres from Prospect Reservoir to Sydney Water Pipehead at Guildford. The reserve follows the former canal that once supplied water from Prospect Reservoir to Sydney. Built between 1880 and 1888, the canal relied on gravity for water to flow to the Pipehead in Guildford, from where a series of pipes channeled the water to Sydney's water network. The Lower Prospect Canal was decommissioned in 1995 when a new underground pipeline came into service.
The former canal was filled in an a cycle path built over the top, although some sections of the canal were not completely filled in, so as to allow cyclists and pedestrians to pass underneath roads. The Lower Prospect Canal Reserve allows for an off-road cycle from Guildford all the way to Prospect Reservoir. There are numerous information boards along the way, describing the history of the canal and some of its key features, including the sedimentation channel, Boothtown Aqueduct and Gipps Road Bridge. Unfortunately, with the ongoing restrictions due to Covid-19, Prospect Reserve was closed. This meant keeping to the bicycle paths without a chance to explore this historic location.
I decided to take a different way back, following Prospect Creek on another, off-road bicycle trail. Prospect Creek Cycle Path heads to Fairfield, from where a quick ride along the Parramatta-Liverpool Rail Trail (another great off-road bicycle trail) took me back to my starting point.
It was a fantastic morning to be out cycling. Both the Lower Prospect Canal Reserve and the Prospect Creek Cycle Path were level and easy to ride. Both also follow reserves, with lots of bush screening the nearby suburbia. I was even fortunate to see a kangaroo along the way! This is a trail I am already planning to do again, but with an extension to the south through Horsley Park.