The revitalisation of the Forrest Mountain Bike Park has the green light following a $500,000 grant offer from the state government.
With support from the Colac Otway Shire, stage one of the upgrade will bring new and upgraded trails and connections to make the network more attractive and easier to navigate.
The park was first developed in 2005 and needs modernising and expanding.
The first stage will mainly involve development of the Barwon Flow trails:
- The first 1.6km trail will be a beginner level flow trail featuring gently rolling terrain, large berms and small jump opportunities.
- The second 1.2km alignment is proposed as a progressive intermediate jump/flow trail. The trail will provide one of Victoria’s best intermediate jump experiences and arguably the best place in the state for riders to progress their jumping ability.
A Detailed Design Plan for the whole network has recently been developed; the plan has worked to establish and recognise Forrest's key strengths, while targeting areas that are most suitable for economical, high quality trail development.
Later stages in the multi-year upgrade project will include a major upgrade to trailheads, incorporating a landscaped precinct that celebrates mountain biking and Forrest’s native environment with BBQs and picnic spaces that can be used by visitors and the community.
One important initiative is to convert existing clay-based trails into all-weather surfaces to ensure the Park can be used year-round.
When the project is finalised Forrest 66 kilometre network will be redeveloped and an additional 38 kiloemtres of world class trails will be created.
To encourage greater use by the wider community, three designated horse and walking trails will be added to the Yaugher Trailhead system.
Physical works are expected to get underway next year, following Native Vegetation Assessments and Cultural Heritage Management Plans for proposed work in and around Forrest.
The funding has been provided through the State Government’s Regional Infrastructure Fund.
Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes said: “Delivering more world-class tracks and trails for mountain bike enthusiasts just adds even more reason to visit and spend time in the Otway Ranges.”
“We’re proud to back these upgrades in Forrest that we know will mean so much to the local community.”
Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney said: “This investment is so important for tourism to the region and that means good news for our local economy.”