Top six running tracks on the Northern Beaches

Sun Run’s start date is fast approaching so to help inspire your training we’ve uncovered six of the best running trails on the Northern Beaches

Depending on your fitness level you can choose to do smaller sections of these routes or add on a few more kilometres to get your sweat on.

Manly to North Head

The track from Manly to North Head is challenging. You will encounter a steep uphill climb and, at times, uneven ground. However, once you’re at the top you can savour spectacular views across the harbour to the city.

Starting in Manly, make your way around the Cabbage Tree Bay walkway to the Shelley Beach carpark. From there you can locate the bush track that leads to North Head. It is not the easiest track to navigate, so some running fitness would help or simply take your time and enjoy a walk.

You can either come back the way you came or make your way back to Manly via Darley Road.

Length: approx. 10km loop

Narrabeen Lagoon

The Narrabeen Lagoon route will see you jogging around one of the Beaches most picturesque bodies of water.

You can run, or walk, the 8.6km loop around the lagoon on a well formed, shared track.

You’ll pass through Bilarong Reserve and the bushland of Jamieson Park taking in the beauty of the lagoon’s varied ecosystems and tranquil water views.

Length: 8.6kms

Manly Dam

You’ll feel a million miles from anywhere on Manly Dam’s gorgeous trails.

While there are several entry points to the dam, the only vehicle access is through the main entrance at the end of King Street (off Condamine Street, Manly Vale).

Once inside, you’ll find a variety of tracks to explore weaving through the bush and along the water’s edge.

The longest route is the Park Circuit Track that forms a 7.3km loop around the dam. There are also a range of shorter 1-2 kms tracks. Check out them out here.

Length: various

Long Reef Headland

This 3km loop trail is not technical, making it a popular choice for beginner runners and walkers alike. The trail takes you around the ­Long Reef golf course and rewards your efforts with stunning views across Collaroy, Long Reef, and Dee Why beaches.

If you’re feeling extra energetic you could extend your run by 2kms by starting at Dee Why Lagoon. Get the details here.

Length: 3kms

The Spit to Manly

This iconic track will test your endurance.

Most people start at The Spit (though you can start from Manly) this challenging trail hugs the coastline, showcasing Sydney Harbour.

You’ll pass through Clontarf Reserve, Dobroyd Head, Reef Beach, Forty Baskets Beach, and be rewarded with impressive harbour views before arriving in Manly.

While the track in its entirety extends for 10kms, there are numerous entrance points allowing you to choose any of the seven shorter section walks. Find them here.

Length: 10kms

Barrenjoey Headland

The trail leading up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse at Palm Beach, though short, is generally considered a moderately challenging route due to the steep incline.

There are two tracks to take you to the top of the headland, the Access Trail and the steeper Smugglers Track. Once at the top you can catch your breath while admiring the picturesque ocean views from Barrenjoey Lighthouse.

Length: 2km loop

Want more inspiration?

Explore more walking/running trails across the Beaches here.