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Springwood in the Lower Blue Mountains lies 80 km west of Sydney C.B.D or 1.5 hours by train. 300 meters above sea level, it provides mild running conditions and a smorgasbord of off the bitumen tracks. Two of my favourites: number one is a 19.5k loop commencing at St Columbus High, Winmalee. An 8km ridge top run along a fire trail is rewarded with spectacular views of the Gross Valley from Gross Head South Lookout (an additional 4.5 km rough hill climb can provide runners with an unbeatable parorama of the nelean river and Sydney). From the lookout it's a 6 km gallop through the Blue Gum Swamp... watch out for lyre birds and bush turkeys that will often join you in your run. A gentle up hill finish along Hawkesbury Road gets the heart pumping. Number two is the Woodford to Glenbrook 25km firetrail (catch a train to Woodford Satation 600 meters above sea level). Arrange for a friend to pick you up at Euroka Clearing in the Glenbrook National Park (a terrific spot for a barbeque but watch out for the goannas & kangas!). The first half is a series of 14 rolling hills. Keep going because the last 12k is all gentle down hill. Broad, soft dirt track all the way. If you feel like a paddle in summer, Glenbrook creek is only 3k away on your way out of the park!