Hidden from the busy highway and suburbs is this amazing natural getaway that has everything from lovely picnic and bbq areas to trails and challenging high-rope courses. The Cumberland State Forest is located in West Pennant Hills, wedged in between the Hills Shire and Hornsby Shire. West Pennant Hills is also home to the Koala Park and consists of both residential homes, schools, small shops and shopping complexes.
I loved my visit to the state forest since it was super close from my house and really had everything for us to enjoy our mid-week getaway. With plenty of things to do for all ages – this Cumberland State Forest is a must visit place if you live nearby.
Location and Amenities
There are four different things to do at the Cumberland State Forest.
- Trails: I only had time to finish the Forestry Trail which took us around 45 minutes to complete. Note we took many photos on the way so it probably takes a little less than 45 minutes. The walk was lovely and had a moderate difficulty level. It had some inclines and steps which might be difficult for some people. There were also two other tracks – the Palm Gully trail and the Sensory trail.
- Treetops: Within the Cumberland State forest, there is an amazing high-ropes activity section! The friendly staff members went through the safety instructions and steps so that we could go on the high ropes without any assistance. I loved how the difficulty level increased with each course, and the great feeling of accomplishment which came after unclipping myself from the ropes each time. My friends and I could not stop smiling and hi-fiving each other as we finished each stage of the ropes.
- Nursery: There is a large nursery right next to the cafe and car park where you can buy your own plants and flowers. From the large range of plants, my friends and I bought two really cute medium sized succulents each sold for around $6 each.
- BBQ, Picnic and Food: There are many seats around the forest for you to enjoy a nice pre-packed lunch or afternoon tea after your track. Free BBQ facilities are also near the cafe and the entrance of the Palm Gully trail where you can cook your own meats and veggies. Next to the Information Centre there is a nice cafe that looks onto the nursery where you can share a coffee or brunch with a friend after a bushwalk.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Because there is such a range of activities to do and facilities to use here, a whole day can be spent here without a problem. The toilets were really clean and there were a few places to fill my bottle which was super convenient.
Cons: We went on the Forestry Trail which started at the information centre and loops around. Note that the Forestry Trail abruptly changes to the main Treetops section and has no signs to guide back to the trail – you have to walk on the driveway to make your way back to the trail and finish at the information centre. May be a little confusing.
My overall experience here was pleasant and memorable. The weather was amazing for a nice bush walk and there were so many picturesque places! To escape from the busy working and studying life I really recommending this state forest.