Walk 16:- Cowan to Brooklyn (Hawkesbury River) At A Glance
Route Summary:- This is part of The Great North Walk, hence all on signposted track. From Cowan Station it goes for 5 km. along a walking track via Jerusalem Bay to a junction with a service road, then for about 2.6 km. along this service road to a narrow, partly hidden walking track for 0.3 km down to Brooklyn Dam and for another 250 m. on walking track behind the dam wall to re-join the service road and stay on it for the next 1.5 km where there is a choice to go 0.6 km down on walking track to Brooklyn edge or stay on wide service road to reach Brooklyn edge in about 0.8 km.
Highlights:- This is a very popular walk with a gentle descent to pristine Jerusalem Bay followed by a steep climb, partly on steps; interesting rock formations; wildflowers and magnificent views over the Hawkesbury River; Brooklyn Dam camping area and a steep descent to Brooklyn
Negatives:- Approximately minimum 4 km. of this walk is along service roads
Length:- 11.2 km or 10.50 depending on descent track to Brooklyn Station
Grade:- Medium to hard; steep climb after Jerusalem Bay
Weather:_All weather; two minor creek crossings, more difficult after rain
Continuous walking time with a few 3-4 min. stops:- 3 hrs, shorter option
Train Time from Central to Start :-. 0.52 mins. express via Strathfield
Train Time from finish to Central:-. 1 hr 1 min.
Total Climb :- 405 meters
Total Descent :- 595 meters
Water:- Brooklyn and Cowan Stations
Café/Kiosk :- Brooklyn
Published 1:25,000 Map :- Cowan
N.B. The locality of Brooklyn is also called Hawkesbury River
Walk 16 Track Notes Cowan to Brooklyn
Km/hrs.min. Kilometers in bold are shown on map
0.00/0.00 Leave Cowan Station near the middle of the Sydney Bound platform at cream arrowed post; walk down steps and cross two railway siding tracks; turn left and walk along service road to the end of these tracks where there is a large signboard on the right.
0.11/0.02 At signboard:- ‘ Great North Walk’; ’Jerusalem Bay 2.5 km’; ‘Brooklyn 11km’; turn right and cross motorway on pedestrian bridge; continue on wide walking track
0.45/0.07 Prominent creek crossing on sandstone outcrop; creek now on right
2.31/0.34 At Jerusalem Bay; classic view right up the Bay; signboard:- ‘ Great North Walk’ in both directions; track now follows foreshore of Jerusalem Bay to another creek crossing
2.52/0.39 At creek crossing on outcrop; turn right after crossing and follow creek downstream to a smaller creek entering from left.
2.57/0.41 At smaller creek, turn left and follow track steeply up, initially on steps cut into sandstone in creek bed.
3.13/0.57 On rough part of track up:- unusual ironstone alteration of sandstone along joint; may be due to nearby igneous activity.
3.31/1.03 Track junction on top of ridge plateau and signboard:- ‘ Jerusalem Bay’ backtrack and ‘ Brooklyn’ straight on; at this point there are faint tracks to the left and right; right track goes to distant headland known as TaffysRock and Lookout; left track goes past Cambells volcanic crater to motorway; continue straight
3.95/1.15 Interesting tessellated outcrop formed by shrinkage of sandstone
4.04/1.18 Cambells Creek crossing.
5.05/1.41 Track T intersection with service road at signboard:- ‘ Jerusalem Bay 3.5 km’ and ‘Cowan 5 km’ back track;’ Brooklyn 6 km’ ;turn right and walk along service road for several kilometers; ignore any service tracks to left and right-these lead to power poles
7.19/2.07 Excellent view of Hawkesbury River system from prominent sandstone cliff to the left of track; good lunch spot.
7.71/2.14 Track junction; green arrowed post on right and signboard :- ‘ The Great North Walk’ on left of service road; turn hard right here, leaving the service road, and follow initially faint track downhill past a pile of old branches; within about 20 meters this track widens out to a former service road; this track is washed out and rough in places; note ironstone alteration and deep clay weathering along joints in sandstone similar to that noted above.; this is a short cut that cuts out a long section of a boring walk along service road
8.03/2.21 Walking track re-intersects service road with Brooklyn Dam ahead; signboard :- ‘Brooklyn Dam’; turn left here and follow the service road, with dam on right; about 20 meters after passing the dam wall on right at a green arrowed post, turn right off the service trail into a clearing with fire place; follow the walking track past the clearing to a creek crossing below the dam wall
8.17/2.24 At creek crossing downstream of dam wall; after crossing, track emerges at a large campsite on left and Brooklyn dam on right; walk past the campsite to re-join the service road, now on the other side of the dam.
8.27/2.26 At track junction with service road; turn left and follow service road uphill, again ignoring any service track to left and right- all doubtful intersections are marked with arrowed posts
9.67/2.44 Track junction on left and signboard on right:- ‘ Cowan 10.7 km’ back track and ‘Brooklyn Station 1.3 km’ straight on along the main service road.
There is a choice here:-
. The track straight ahead remains a clear service road and finishes with steep sections of concrete corduroy; it is also about 0.5 km longer
. The track to the left follows an old, now disused service track and walking pads down to Brooklyn; it is also 0.5 km shorter.
This walk follows the second option because it is more like proper bushwalking; ie turn left, leaving the main service road; old service road initially veers right to give a direct view of Brooklyn Railway Station straight ahead.
9.83/2.47 Track junction; take walking track on right under power lines to cut off a large loop in the old service road.
9.87/2.48 Walking pad re-joins old service road; turn right and resume on old road; take care with ball bearing pebbles on steep section down
10.12/2.52 Track junction at a kink to the left in power lines; leave the old service road here and take the initially faint walking track on left; within a few meters this track becomes clearer, with made steps etc.
10.27/2.56 Track intersects sealed public vehicular road; turn right and walk along footpath to a major road intersection at ‘The Anglers Rest’ Hotel.
10.43/2.58 At the road intersection, veer left along railway lines to Brooklyn Station
10.51/2.59 At Brooklyn Station
Route Quality Index
On public vehicular road:- 0.24 km/ 2%
On locked service/fire trail:- 4.17 km/ 39%
On walking track:- 6.21 km/ 59%
RQI= 59+20+0= 79