Workers attempting to walk the potential trails for mountain biking on Mount Canobolas have found it hard going with the amount of weeds on the site.
The team from specialist track designers, Dirt Art, has begun the next phase of the project which includes walking the proposed routes, followed by archaeology and ecology teams.
However, a release from Orange City Council said the latest work has revealed major areas of weed infestation on the mountain.
The Environmental Factor, a team of specialist environmental consultants appointed by council, has been working with Apex Archaeology since November last year to locate archaeological and environmentally-sensitive areas.
The reality is very differentCr Reg Kidd, Orange mayor
It said after six months of research, the consultants have mapped sensitive locations on the mountain and designed tracks to avoid these areas.
Orange mayor Cr Reg Kidd said it was 'very disturbing' to learn the track designers had found plenty of blackberries.
"Opponents of this project are floating the idea that Mount Canobolas is a pristine wilderness. The reality is very different," he said.
"There are beautiful areas of the mountain in good condition but there are also large areas being damaged by out-of-control blackberries and ivy and feral pigs.
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"Because we're avoiding sensitive areas, the proposed tracks are in areas where people don't usually go, places where there's no easy access to control weeds."
"I'm sure National Parks staff do the best they can with the available budget. But I'm sure the government would be spending a lot more on weed control if thousands more people were visiting the mountain."
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