By Margaret Bouttell
We had the most beautiful spring day for our monthly Camino training walk on Sat 27th May. A group of 16 of us left Emu Plains station walking to the Yandhai pedestrian bridge to cross over the Nepean River. Aside from it’s recreational value, the Nepean River is a major water supply resource for Sydneysiders. FYI – it’s source is near Robertsons in the South Highwland and after 178km flows into the Hawksbury River, near Kurrajong.
After a pause to take in the beauty of both the river and the Yandhi bridge, we set off along the recreational path forming the popular and picturesque Great River walk. There is still evidence of the major floods which occurred last year (March and July 2022) with tree debris lining the north bank. There is a major upgrade of the parks on both sides of the river – it will be an even better walk when it’s all completed!
The ”café con-leche” stop at the café precint was a rather extended stop due to it being very popular on a Saturday morning. Once refueled we crossed the Nepean River (M4 bridge) and headed through the suburb streets towards the Leonay oval.
We then entered the bush reserve with it’s rocky tracks walking through the sqaure tunnel under the M4 to enter the Knapsack reserve. The Knapsack Viaduct trail was definitely the highlight of the day. The Knapsack Bridge is a huge impressive sandstone arch viaduct built in 1865 to carry the Zig Zag rail line – that’s over 150 years ago !!
FYI – after the rail line was closed this viadact trail the Great Western Highway route for all traffic until 1993 when the M4 was opened. What a fascinating history beneath our feet!
A steep diversion took us to Marge’s lookout with impressive views over the Penrith valley. Then it was a drop down to the suburb streets of Emu Plains passing some of the early settlers historic buildings along the way back to the station.
A very pleasant 14km walk and good training for those planning to walk a Camino later in the year.
Thank you Ann Panitz for leading the walk and Terry Panitz for the recc’ing in preparation.
Emu Plains Easy Walk, May 2023
We welcomed four new walkers on the easy route in May. All ten of us headed off over the Yandhai bridge and down to Penrith Weir, with the force of recent flooding still visible on the banks of the river. Returning to the bridge we walked on through Tench Reserve and over the M4 Highway Bridge. After stopping for morning tea at Lewers Gallery cafe, we took in historic landmarks around Emu Plains including the Uniting Church on Emerald Street, built 1863 and St Paul’s Anglican Church on Nixon St, built in 1848. We finished the walk at O’Donaghues Irish pub for lunch and our Camino meetup. Thanks to Rima for her photos below.