28 March 2019

Government to make Canberra the mountain biking capital with 'iconic' trail network

| Lachlan Roberts
Join the conversation

ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman plans to install an “iconic trail network”. Photos: Supplied.

The ACT Government has revealed plans to make Canberra the mountain biking capital with an ‘iconic’ trail network that will traverse across the city.

ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman announced that planning and design work has begun on a new “iconic mountain bike trail network”, as he opened a new pump track out in Majura Pines on Wednesday morning (27 March).

The Government has called on Canberrans to help develop its plans for a territory-wide mountain bike trail, inviting people to send in their ideas for the trail or to attend workshops that will be held in the coming months.

Mr Gentleman said Canberra is home to a strong and growing mountain biking culture and plans to provide a unique diversity of trails that cater for everyone from professional mountain bike riders to first-time riders.

“The trail network will showcase our unique landscapes and improve connectivity between our mountain biking hubs,” Mr Gentleman said.

“This project is a key component of the ACT Government’s Cycle Tourism Strategy that has the ambition to establish Canberra as a cycling destination of choice.

“We’re inviting trail users to have their say in a series of community workshops that will help shape the concept plan and identify priority trails.”

The trail will be suitable for all mountain-bike riders, from beginners to professionals.

The ACT Government said they are currently undertaking stakeholder consultation to gather ideas and develop a draft ACT Mountain Bike Concept Plan, and expects a full public consultation period to be undertaken from August to December this year.

The plan is expected to be finalised early next year before the detailed trail design will start by June 2020 at the latest.

Mr Gentleman said he is interested in hearing from a range of individuals including trail users of all ages and recreation types, competitive cyclists, tourism and cycle businesses, Instagrammers, photographers, artists, cycle tourists and nature lovers.

“We have a strong and growing mountain biking culture in Canberra and are encouraging people to contribute to the further development of our trails network,” Mr Gentleman said.

“Sustainable trail design is a key objective of the project and we will consider the fragility of local ecosystems and the value of parks and reserves to all users.

To have your say and learn more about the ‘best of Canberra mountain bike experience’ project, click here.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
Leon Arundell10:47 am 30 Mar 19

How much is an ACT government “plan” worth?
In 2012, ACT Labor committed to 10.5% of journeys to work by public transport in 2016, and 16% in 2026.
The 2016 census recorded only 8.3% – up from 7.8% in 2011.

Capital Retro6:30 pm 29 Mar 19

How much will the people who will use this contribute to the establishment cost and maintenance of this exclusive for mountain bikes, tax-payer funded project?

My guess is the same as the number of people that reply to my post to confirm it will be zero.

Very few people participate in this “sport” so the tourism factor will not really help Canberra’s economy. Anyone who says it will please put forward the cost benefit analysis t prove it.

Most mountain bikers are rate payers who ready subsidise a whole range of other sports and activities they may not partake in. That is the nature of being part of a society that caters for it’s members. Great to see mountain bikers are beginning to get more equitable treatment.

Most riders are in the 25-55 age group and on average have higher incomes. They also are more likely to travel and spend more per day and stay longer than an average tourist which is why tourism organisations globally are spending more and more on mountain bikers.

More people mountain bike than many other sports considered mainstream by the old guard. Mountain biking is mainstream.

If you Google you can find endless studies confirming everything I have just said that have been produced in the last decade. Tasmania, Victoria, New Zealand, Canada and USA have some good data.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.