The plan to build a network of mountain bike trails on Mount Canobolas has reached a new milestone.
Orange City Council today put the project for an environmental assessment and detailed design out to tender.
The tender documents show the Council is seeking to appoint an expert consultant to investigate the environmental impact of building a network of trails, and come up with detailed design for the project.
Orange Mayor Reg Kidd is pleased the project is making progress.
“We’ve had a concept plan out for discussion for some time now, but it’s great to see us getting to the next stage of environmental assessment,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “Nothing’s going to be built if it doesn’t measure up to a vigorous independent assessment. We need this level of shovel-ready detail in order to gain departmental approvals and attract government funding.”
“As you’d expect there’s been a variety of views across the community about mountain bike trails on the mountain. It is clear to me that people who build trails professionally, know how to do it efficiently, to keep any environmental impact to a minimum.
“Mountain bike riders are people who enjoy spending time out in the natural environment and they want to protect what’s special about that environment. I’m confident a design can be found, along the lines of what was explored in the concept plan, that will strike the right balance, and let more people enjoy will the mountain has to offer.
“You’ve only got to look at the experience of the township of Derby in Tasmania, where the development of a mountain bike hub has sent tourism numbers through the roof. Tens of thousands of riders are now visiting Derby and businesses have adapted to support that direction. For Orange it would be a diversification of what we have to offer.”
The earlier concept design suggests about half the trail network could be located in the Mt Canobolas State Conservation Area(managed by National Parks & Wildlife Service), with the remaining half located within State Forests (managed by NSW Forestry Corporation).
The proposal is that there would be a world-class network of mountain biking trails built on Mt Canobolas.
The mountain biking trails would be a blend of ‘Easy’ rated trails and trails rated as ‘More Difficult’, with optional ‘Very Difficult’ lines for advanced riders.
It’s proposed that all the trails will be linked through a stacked loop design that can be accessed from both the trail head and the summit.