Detailed design work to start for Forrest Mountain Bike Trails
March 8, 2019
Detailed design for the expansion and upgrade of the popular Forrest Mountain Bike Trails is being developed to make the trail project “shovel ready” for State and Federal funding opportunities.
Council’s Development and Community Services General Manager Ian Seuren said Council had appointed Dirt Art to create the detailed designs for the development of the trail network.
“The development of new trails, upgrades to existing trails, critical road safety infrastructure with township connections and a trail head precinct will secure Forrest as a key mountain bike and tourist destination in the Great Ocean Road region and Victoria,” Mr Seuren said.
“The initial stage of design and quantity surveying to more accurately confirm costs to progress the implementation phase has been funded through a Federal Government Grant $100,000 with matching Council funds and $20,000 in-kind support.
“The project budget will also cover other important considerations such as cultural heritage and vegetation assessments.
“The trail network currently attracts 25,000 visitors annually, generating significant economic returns for Forrest and the wider region.
In 2015 Council in partnership with key agencies, local groups and the Forrest community completed the Forrest Mountain Bike Trails Strategic Plan, estimated to cost $1.05 million to implement.
“An increase in the number and variety of trails is critical to ensuring that the Forrest is available to a broader section of users, return visitation and event attraction; which will maintain Forrest as a key mountain biking destination and continue to provide a significant economic benefit to the former logging town’s economy and the shire.
“Last year Council commissioned an economic analysis for the trails which projected visitor numbers would double, more accommodation would be required, 32 new jobs would be created in the Otways hinterland and an extra $8.4 million would be generated through the Strategic Plan’s implementation,” he said.
“The detailed design plan will complement the Forrest MTB Strategic Plan and the 2018 Forrest MTB Economic Analysis so that both State and Federal Government’s view the Forrest Mountain Bike Trails Project as a valuable, shovel-ready investment opportunity.”