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If you are looking for a bushwalk that is close to Richmond or Windsor you may be scratching your head for ideas. But within 15 minutes drive of each town centre you'll be able to find an easy bushwalk through Windsor Downs Nature Reserve.
This bushwalk is ideal as a family walk and although there are no dramatic views or features it's a great walk to stretch your legs, look for eastern grey kangaroos and enjoy the bush. And coming up to spring the wildflowers and birdlife will start to feature more.
Also as it's flat and all on well maintained firetrails we can recommend doing this circuit walk as a mountain bike ride as well.
And even though this is not a National Park but a Nature Reserve no dogs are allowed.
Many locals know that Windsor Downs Nature Reserve exists but don't really know much else.
Driving east along the Blacktown/Richmond Road many people would be aware of a vast eucalypt forest and bushland to the north but probably have taken little notice of it. This 364 hectare Nature Reserve is in fact is one of the best preserved examples of Cumberland woodland left in the Sydney basin. It protects a number of endangered bird and plant communities such as the broad-leafed ironbark, grey box, scribbly gum, narrow-leafed angophora, pea flowers and a species of geebung.
Another significant aspect of Windsor Downs Nature Reserve is it's importance to the local Aboriginal Dharug people. There are known aboriginal campsites scattered through the reserve and a number of stone tools have been found.
The land was occupied by the Riverstone Meatworks for over 100 years, during which time it was cleared and used for grazing cattle. Many of the structures from this period, including the old raised water tower (pictured here) and concrete water troughs are still there and you will pass by them on your bushwalk.
In the late 1980s, just before their closure, the Meatworks sold the land to New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife, who opened the reserve as a state park in 1990.
Duration: allow 2-3 hours
Length of walk: 8km circuit return
Access: Turn off the Richmond Road into Sanctuary Drive at Windsor Downs. Follow Sanctuary Drive through the first roundabout and after 100metres leave your car near the signposted National Parks trail on the left. At the end of the walk you’ll have a 1.3km road walk back along Sanctuary Drive.
For a useful map that shows the walk click here.
This walk features in our Best Bushwalks Around the Hawkesbury Volume 2 (RRP $6). If you like this walk why not purchase the book which details another 10 local walks. During the current lockdown you can purchase by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and provide us with your name and contact number. A member of staff will contact you within a few days to take payment and postage details.
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