This loops through Garigal National Park around the suburb of Davidson. Park in Ferguson Rd and then head down the trail alongside Carroll Creek. Join Governor Philip Track walking up Middle Harbour past Bungaroo and on to Cascades, which makes a good rest break at the 7km mark. Follow the Cascades Track up to Stone Parade in Davidson, then use suburban roads to cross to John Oxley Drive on the other side of the Davidson ridge. Following the John Oxley Trail through the bush brings you to a lovely rock platform at the end of Farrer Pl, from where it is possible to head down the hill to cross Carroll Creek and return to your car parked in Ferguson Rd. A consistent fast pace is needed to complete in a 3 hour training session.
The walk along Carroll Creek that borders Davidson is lovely, with rock overhangs and mangroves on the tidal shores. About 1km from the start at Ferguson Rd, the creek crosses a rocky section where you can easily step across to the path that climbs the hill on the other side – you will rejoin here later.
The track along Middle Harbour is easy to follow, but is not quite as flat and easy as you might expect! Along the way you’l l pass the stepping stones that mark the current extent of the tidal reach, and the place where Governor Philip and his crew camped in 1788.
Davidson experienced a bush fire in October 2013. The rock platforms at the end of Farrer Place are home to some lovely grass trees (Xanthorrhoea), which were responding to the fire with some flowering abundantly and others already fruiting when we visited. From this rock platform, the STEP maps show a route back down to Carroll Creek, but it appears to have been lost in the fire. Using my GPS, it was possible to navigate back down to the Carroll Creek crossing – but care needs to be taken if you are not an experienced navigator or do not have maps and compass. Besides risks of injury and getting lost, off track walking causes damage to the environment.
Nearby walks include the Forestville circuit, and from Acron Oval, the Cascades Loop. The STEP maps clearly show the routes around Davidson. Wildwalks does not have track notes for this full 12.5km circuit, but covers parts of the route in Davidson Exploration (Cascades and Middle Harbour returning up Davidson Track).