Environmental scientists visited Mount Canobolas on the weekend to begin assessing its suitability for a mountain bike trail park.
They will study the mountain's flora and fauna to see whether bike trails can be installed without harming the environment.
Bike trail experts are expected to visit the mountain in December to begin mapping out potential trails.
If the track proposal doesn't measure up environmentally, it's not going to happenCr Reg Kidd, Orange mayor
And next year an archaeologist and expert in Indigenous heritage will work with local Indigenous community members to examine the area's history and heritage.
Orange City Council has committed $500,000 to the proposal and approved Bathurst-firm The Environment Factor and track designers Dirt Art to perform the environmental assessment work.
Orange mayor Reg Kidd said protecting the environment was important.
"If the track proposal doesn't measure up environmentally, it's not going to happen," he said.
"That means a thorough, arms-length investigation to see if and where tracks could be built.
He said there had been concerns the mountain was under-utilised.
"The best way to look after the mountain is to make it more attractive and accessible for visitors," he said.
"The reality is, the more people visit the mountain, the more funding will be allocated to tackle problems like weeds and feral animals and walking track improvements."
Infrastructure Committee chair Cr Jeff Whitton said the assessment team would also seek information from community groups.
"It's a real possibility that some of this original research will find out new facts about the mountain," he said.
"But, they also want to learn from earlier studies and the experience of other local groups who've been visiting the mountain for many years.
"They'll be approaching local stakeholders including government departments and agencies to keep them in touch as they start work."
He said interested groups could contact the team through the Environmental Factor's website.
Cr Whitton said there would be further community consultation throughout the project.
Sports and Recreation Committee chair Cr Jason Hamling said a mountain bike trail park had the potential to provide an economic boost for Orange.
"The experience of the town of Derby in Tasmania shows how a country town can really benefit from discovering how to become a hub for mountain bikes," he said.
"The natural beauty of Mount Canobolas must be looked after and I'm looking forward to seeing the results of this study to see if sustainable mountain bike tracks can be built."
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