Mountain biking would attract about 50,000 people to Orange annually once a proposed 63-kilometre network of trails was established at Mount Canobolas, according to a draft planning study now open for public comment.
The Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area Draft Plan of Management has been released by the Office of Environment and Heritage.
It states a mountain biking park would need to meet environmental standards.
“Orange City Council commissioned an economic assessment for the proposal, which forecast the project would attract 50,000 people each year from its fifth year of operation,” it said.
“If the proposal were to proceed, visitor facilities in the park, such as car parks and toilets, would need to expand to manage the forecast increase in visitors and use and to limit adverse environmental, social and visitor safety impacts.
“The proposal will also be required to undergo broad public consultation prior to approval and implementation.”
The report said a hub or track head would be established near the Tea House day use area at the park entrance on Mount Canobolas Road) to provide riders and park visitors with a cafe or kiosk, toilets and services including bike hire, transport shuttles and information.
It said the park would likely be open to organised events and commercial mountain bike tour operations.
The draft report said all commercial groups, plus non-commercial or recreation groups of more than six riders, would require consent to use the facility.
The draft said no new walking trails were proposed for the area and the Hopetoun Falls Track would be closed due to a lack of use.
It said the existing trails required “considerable maintenance” and in some cases re-routing around environmentally-sensitive areas.
The report identified there were three threatened ecological communities of trees and lichen, two threatened species of plants, five threatened species of birds and four threatened species of bats and gliders in the area.
The draft plan of management is open for public submissions until October 1.