State funding allocated for Fernleigh Track extension

Following the announcement of state funding, Lake Maquarie Council's proposal of extending the Fernleigh Track along the New South Wales coastline is set to proceed.

The missing link on the trail was first proposed by council in 2018, and when completed will create a 27km continuous track from Murrays Beach to Adamstown.

Titled the Fernleigh Awabakal Shared Pathway, the new path will include  Aboriginal public art features, which will highlight the local indigenous culture and the connection to the land, as well as an elevated boardwalk passing through the Belmont Wetlands.

The 3.5km section of the pathway will join with existing paths creating the completed trail between Murrays Beach and Adamstown.

The advantages of bicycle and walking paths are well known, with the construction bringing a number of jobs as well as repeat business for locals, a sentiment shared by Minister Taylor Martin.

"This infrastructure will open up opportunities for cycling and walking, trail running and community events, creating new and repeat businesses such as cafes, restaurants and adventure-tourism companies," he said.

The project is being funded through the Regional Growth-Environmental and Tourism fund, designed to build infrastructure that will improve economic growth of the state.

While the exact route of the trail is yet to be confirmed, a proposed route indicated in the map above shows the route running along Ocean Park Road, followed by a few dog-legs, then parallel to the pacific highway.

Councilors and ministers have all voiced their backing to the project indicating that the section will showcase various elements of the local area, as well as boosting the local economy with the creation of jobs and bringing tourists to the area.

Construction could begin on the new section of path within the next 12 months.

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