The popularity of cycling as a low-cost, low impact and highly sustainable recreation pursuit has positioned Upper Yarra townships on The Rail Trail as highly desirable destinations. An annual trail user count estimates up to 200,000 people utilise the Rail Trail every year – a usage rate many times greater than other trails in the state.
Although the trail is also utilised by walkers, runners, horse riders and other recreational users, cycling has become an important source of tourism in our valley bringing a wide range of users every day of the week. Cycling tourism has terrific potential to become one of the keys to increasing economic prosperity and that means everyone in the community can benefit.
A recent feasibility study encourages growth of cycling infrastructure on a number of levels, and the Rail Trail will benefit from funding with upgrade works a priority. The Rail Trail, as a major arterial into the valley, will be linked to an extended network of trails and cycling specific activities catering for a wide variety of users. Families will appreciate picnic stops, information nodes, shelters and toilets, advanced riders will be delighted with proposed link tracks that flow through to connect aqueducts and other bike paths throughout the outer east, providing hundreds of kilometres of scenic, safe and dedicated riding thoroughfares. We are also fast becoming a major destination for mountain bike riders, road racers and hill climbers with Mt Donna Buang a feat of endurance and fearlessness.
Over the years, our sponsorship has been fundamental to preparing the way for this cycling boon and we are pleased to share in the vision for our Rail Trail. As an historical lifeline to the town, the Rail Trail is much loved – cycling can bring renewed vigour and enlivenment to our region, and will enhance our reputation as a healthy and beautiful, nature-orientated region that lives and loves the Australian outdoors.
For more information visit Friends of Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail on Facebook.
The Shire of Yarra Ranges is looking for expressions of support for the Bike Feasibility study. Read more about the plans for cycling to be a major feature of our valley, and show your comment by making a submission by July 10!