A popular course for those training for Six Foot Track Marathon, Quarry Rd fire trail drops from the Hornsby Plateau into the Berowra Valley, then climbs up and out to Galston.
Usually run as an out and back. Indicative range of 70-90 minutes for each lap.
6.45km one way. 12.9km as an out and back.
Surface is a mixture of hard packed dirt road, sandy dirt road, and a few small sections that have bitumen.
No water access. Runners usually drop bottles at one end of the trail when doing multiple repeats.
None at the trail head, but Hornsby is a mile away from the start. Plenty of shops, train station etc. There is a new bush loo at the Tunks Ridge camping ground.
Run Route Details
Technically, you can start at either end of the run, Hornsby or Dural. Generally it's run as an out and back to make it easier to finish where your car is. Most people start at the Hornsby end though. There is reasonable parking at the start, but no water or toilets.
Starts at the end of Stewart Ave, Hornsby, 170m Above Sea Level (ASL). Pass the gate and follow the fire trail as it undulates then drops steeply into the valley. After a hard left hand turn the steel bridge that spans Berowra Creek comes up on the right. This is the bottom of the valley, 20m ASL, 1.9km from the gate. On the left here is a rough singletrack which is actually the Great North Walk, and it is signposted to "Fishponds". Ignore this, cross the bridge and start climbing.
After several steep pitches the firetrail reaches the Tunks Ridge camping ground. The firetrail continues ahead and is signposted as the Great North Walk continuing to Galston Gorge and Crosslands. Ignore this and take either of the two left hand turns that are close together. This other firetrail keeps climbing until it tops out at 210m ASL.
From there the firetrail becomes sandier and is relatively flat until it reaches the gate at the end of Quarry Rd, Galston, 6.45km from the end of Stewart Ave.
Turn around and retrace your steps.
If you need sustenance, it is exactly 4.0km from the Quarry Road gates up a mild general incline to the Shell/McDonalds at the top of Quarry Rd where it joins Old Northern Road at Dural.
Stewart Ave, Hornsby is UBD 133 E11. Quarry Rd, Galston trailhead is at UBD L14.
This profile reflects two laps from the Quarry Road gates entrance. Total length approximately 26km: note the flat first section.
More from CoolRunning
Many people on CoolRunning run on Quarry Rd - see some of the threads here: