The Cascades is a pretty place in Garigal National Park where French’s Creek meets Middle Harbour Creek. It has little waterfalls, rock pools and sunny rock platforms to sit on and enjoy your morning tea. It also has some interesting local history.
The Cascades was frequently used as a campsite by the Scouts in the 1930s, and as a “jungle training” site during WWII (oral history , Ku-ring-Gai Library) . A public pool was built at the site of the Cascades during the depression era. Local resident Joe Lipson has a great blog post, showing the 1934 photo from the National Library, as well as up to date snapshots showing the remains of the pool, including a lovely rock inscription “LADIES”.
Joe also includes a lovely quote from the Sydney Morning Herald of 1935, when the capabilities of motor vehicles were tested on the public road from Douglas St, St Ives, to the Cascades pool. Next time you are climbing up that hill, spare a thought for the 1935 motoring journalist!
“On the freak hill at Bungaroo swimming pool, near St. Ives, the car gave a good demonstration of its ability to climb, without wheel-spin, as nasty a slope as any motorist might encounter.” – Motoring, SMH Dec 24th, 1935
Garigal Loop Walk to Cascades
Acron Oval provides parking and easy access to this leafy Garigal walk, which loops around on an undulating mix of service trails and walking tracks, with a few creek crossings. The total distance is 11km, with about 400m of ascent and plenty of places for short hill intervals to add to the climbing. The route can be easily shortened for a 2 hour workout.
The STEP map of Middle Harbour is a good detailed map of the tracks in this area. This loop includes a short stretch on suburban roads (from Acron Oval to Kitchener Rd). The road section can be reduced slightly by using the Lower Cambourne Track.