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Fred Caterson Reserve, Castle Hill

Fred Caterson Reserve known as FredCat to locals is 58 hectares of outdoor recreational goodness in the heart of Castle Hill. The reserve is under the care, control and management of Baulkham Hills Shire Council with various committees assisting with the management of the facilities provided. The reserve caters for a large range of sporting facilities, and depending on the time of the year is used for sporting events as well as gatherings. Not only is it famous for its sports arenas but also for its bushwalking tracks.

If like to take leisurely walks around anything to do with nature then Fred Caterson Reserve is one of those places that you need to visit. At FredCat there are numerous sets of trails weaving through the bush that surrounds the playing fields, Castle Hill Cemetary, Castle Hill Pony Club and the Water Treatment Plant. The are two main bushwalking routes, one being the Blue Wren Trail which is 1.5km long and takes about 40 mins. Then there is the Geebung Trail, known to locals as the Yellow Wattle Track is 3.5 km long and takes about 75 mins. So that you won’t get lost while trekking, there are some small posts with directions, but not many so make sure you pay attention to them otherwise you may sidetrack into pathways rarely used.

Fred Caterson Reserve is the largest of a series of bush remnants that serve as a reminder of how the region used to look. The reserve is full of native flora and fauna, so you will be able to see some of the wildlife living within. Dogs are allowed into Fred Caterson Reserve as long as it is always on a leash and most of the trails are shared with bikers so be wary.

Facilities at the park include :
Bushwalking tracks with sections of rocky and uneven grounds
BMX Track with dirt jumps
Cycleway – the 2.5 km Mario Vargas Way which is mostly flat but has some steep, uneven sectons
Picnic facilities with tables and timber BBQ
Children’s playground
Remote control car track
6 playing fields for soccer, baseball and cricket with cricket nets
Hills Sports Stadium for basketball
Caterson Tennis Center
Public toilets – opened 8:00-5:00 weekdays and 8:00-9:00 on weekends

Pros and Cons
As the reserve is not very hilly and shared with bikers you can choose from either slowly walking the tracks at your pace or decide to bike around it. Not all parts of the track is allowed for bikers which may be a bit of a drawback. There is plenty of parking so you could stay for the whole day and when not used for events the entire reserve is yours to explore. As the tracks are shared, that could be one disadvantage as you need to look out for those that do ride their bikes on the trails.

Overall Experience
If you are a sporty family, this is a great place to visit as it has lots of amenities for a BBQ lunch or dinner in the summer as well as toilets. However, if you are like me and love more of a mountain feel trekking FredCat may not be your cup of tea. Though if you want to just have nice slow walks, this is definitely the place for you.

Reference Links

The Hills Shire Council

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