Starting at Acron Oval in St Ives, the 11km Rocky Hill loop goes down towards the Cascades, then follows Bare Creek and Heath Tracks climbing up to the Belrose Tower. From the intersection near the Tower, turn right on the service trail before picking up the path to the lovely lookout on Rocky Hill over Garigal Park towards St Ives – a great tea spot. From there, the rocky path heads back down into the valley, to rejoin the service trail and follow the Lower Cambourne Track back up the hill to Acron Oval.
The total climb is about 400m, so add in some short and sharp hill intervals to increase the workout while staying within the 3 hours trek training time frame. A detour to the Cascades and French’s Creek is also pleasant. The creeks and some paths can be a challenge after heavy rain, and you may meet horse riders and mountain bikes on the tracks, so take care. With many possibly confusing trails and junctions on this walk, a map is a good idea to orientate yourself. The STEP maps have helpful detail.
The Cascades loop walk on this site also starts at Acron Oval, but takes a different route. Wildwalks cover parts of the Rocky Hill loop in separate walks, but does not include the rocky path to the lookout and down the hill to rejoin the service trail (consult STEP maps for this):
- The Cascades Track is followed from Acron Oval to the junction with Bare Creek Trail
- Bare Creek Trail from the Cascades Track to Belrose Tower
- The Cambourne Loop covers the Lower Cambourne Track
Below is a map of the route, and an elevation chart. For a flyover animation of the route, have a look at Visualising and Animating GPS tracks.