Measures available to limit bike impact on mountain

MOST mountain bike trail centres are in environmentally sensitive areas, but can be easily worked around, according to a leader in track design.

The Mount Canobolas draft plan of management is open to public consultation until October 1, seeking to have mountain bike riding added to allowed activities. 

World Trail, which designed and built Blue Derby through rainforest in Tasmania, Falls Creek through snow gums and Mount Buller through similar high-altitude alpine conditions, also came up with the concept design for Mount Canobolas in 2016.

The concept included 116 kilometres of trails on the mountain’s north, west and south faces, costing up to $3.4 million to build. 

World Trail general manager Gerard McHugh said it was a fantastic site for mountain biking. 

“It’s got huge potential,” he said. 

With environmentalists concerned about the impact on the conservation area and future duplication of the track, Mr McHugh said it was a matter of avoiding the more sensitive areas.

The most enjoyable route should be on the track.

Gerard McHugh, World Trail

The eastern face of the mountain has already been ruled out due to significant plant species.

“It all comes back to the design – if the design is done right, there’s no need or desire for riders to go off the track,” he said. 

“The most enjoyable route should be on the track.”

Mr McHugh said most braiding occurred where tracks had not been designed and built for purpose.

“Walkers tend to want to take the shorter route,” he said.

Trails would also be graded to avoid soil erosion and dips between descents and ascents would be designed to let water escape. 

The exact layout of the trails will not be known until detailed design starts and ecologists are brought in.

The concept estimated 18 fulltime equivalent jobs with an income of $1.2 million, plus a further $2.3 million injection into the economy. 

The draft plan of management can be found here.

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