Browns Forest loop trail

Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve

Overview

An easy walk in unspoilt blue gum forest, Browns Forest loop trail, in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve, St Ives, offers great birdwatching and is a great walk for kids.

Where
Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve
Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Distance
1.3km loop
Time suggested
30min - 1hr
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go birdwatching
  • It’s a good idea to wear insect repellent and long-sleeved clothing, as ticks are known to be present in the area.

If you’ve ever wondered what Sydney looked like before the city took over, then head to Browns Forest loop trail, in the North Sydney suburb of St Ives. Immerse yourself in unspoilt bushland within Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve by taking advantage of its short and easy walking track. Just 30 minutes north of the CBD, it’s ideal for birdwatching enthusiasts, nature-lovers and botanists, and is a great walk for kids.

You’ll enter a forest of majestic blue gums and magnificent blackbutts that hark back to pre-colonial times with a lush understorey of ferns. Following the clearly signposted path, the kids will enjoy the self-guided series of interpretation signs.

In the spring, the ground cover of native flowers, such as the blue flax lily and pastel flower, burst into a colourful display. Any time of year, you’ll hear the chatter of birds such as rainbow lorikeets, crimson rosellas and king parrots echoing through the bush.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/browns-forest-loop-trail/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Browns Forest loop trail.

Track grading

Grade 3

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    30min - 1hr

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    1.3km loop

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Browns Forest loop trail is in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. To get there from Sydney:

    • Drive north from the CBD along Pacific Highway, turn right onto Mona Vale Road, just past Gordon, and continue for 2km.
    • Turn right onto Rosedale Road, just north of St Ives shopping centre, and drive for 1km.
    • Look for the sign to the reserve, park at the southern end and walk in.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is available along Rosedale Road, and at a small carpark off Mona Vale Road.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you in Dalrymple-Hay National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

    Autumn

    Autumn is a great time of year to view the abundant birdlife such as pardalotes, lorikeets and silver-eyes.

    Spring

    A great time for a walking through the forest as native flowers, such as the blue flax lily and a range of orchids, burst with colour.

    Summer

    On a hot Sydney afternoon, retreat to the cool forest with an understorey of lush ferns.

    Winter

    A brisk early morning walk along the short steep track is a great way to get your heart pumping and ward off the winter chill.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    17.5°C and 25.9°C

    Highest recorded

    45.8°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    8°C and 17.8°C

    Lowest recorded

    2.1°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    June

    Driest month

    September

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    327.6mm

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Bushwalking safety

    If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    Accessibility

    Disability access level - no wheelchair access

    Prohibited

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Parramatta (35 km)

    Parramatta offers a fascinating insight into early colonial life in Australia. Don't miss a visit to Old Government House, now one of 11 Australian Convict Sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

    www.sydney.com

    Sydney City Centre (28 km)

    No trip to Sydney is complete without spending some time in the city’s beautiful parks. Whether it’s in central areas like Hyde Park or the Royal Botanic Gardens or further out in Centennial Parklands, there’s plenty of green space to go out and enjoy.

    www.sydney.com

    Wahroonga (20 km)

    Located on Sydney's upper north shore, Wahroonga is within short driving distance of Lane Cove National Park, Berowra Valley Regional Park, and the heritage-listed Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Australia's second-oldest national park, Ku-ring-gai Chase offers a range of recreational activities, as well as cafes and picnic areas.

    www.kmc.nsw.gov.au

    Learn more

    Browns Forest loop trail is in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Aboriginal lands

    Lush bushland, Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    The reserve is part of the traditional lands of Aboriginal people whose Country stretched from the northern shores of Sydney Harbour to Broken Bay in the north. This fertile bushland would have supported large numbers of grazing animals such as wallabies, making it an important hunting ground.

    Best practice bush care

    Browns Forest loop trail, Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    Dalrymple is a showpiece for best practice bush regeneration in blue gum forest. So if you enjoy getting your hands dirty, and want to help preserve this precious tract of bushland, join the regular bush regeneration workings bees. For more information on their regular gatherings, email the Bushcare coordinator or phone (02) 9410 3998.

    • Browns Forest loop trail An easy walk in unspoilt blue gum forest, Browns Forest loop trail, in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve, St Ives, offers great birdwatching and is a great walk for kids.

    Botanists ahead

    Ferns (Cyathea cooperi), Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    This natural bushland has remained largely untouched since colonisation. This forest is an important breeding ground for a range of animals that hunt and feed at night. Here, you'll find nocturnal species such as possums, sugar gliders as well as both powerful and boobook owls. It's not just a haven for animals and birdlife. Due to its largely undisturbed state, nature enthusiasts, botanists and researchers flock to the area to study this special patch of forest.

    • Browns Forest loop trail An easy walk in unspoilt blue gum forest, Browns Forest loop trail, in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve, St Ives, offers great birdwatching and is a great walk for kids.

    Pristine bushland

     Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    Named after Richard Dalrymple-Hay, the first Commissioner for forests, he acquired the tract of largely uncleared land for a demonstration forest. When it was discovered, the land was not large enough to log economically, so it was left untouched. Luckily for us, it's preserved for future generations to enjoy.

    • Browns Forest loop trail An easy walk in unspoilt blue gum forest, Browns Forest loop trail, in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve, St Ives, offers great birdwatching and is a great walk for kids.

    Education resources (1)

    Brown Forest loop trail, Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer