Ararat Trails Project

Project status

September 2022:

  • Planning underway
  • Historical archaeological surveys done

June 2022:

  • Cultural heritage assessments underway, environmental assessments to commence soon

 

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Background

A sustainable network of walking and mountain biking trails is being planned at Ararat Regional Park, with a strong focus on mountain biking.

As a key trail and mountain biking destination, this project will bring benefits that go beyond the trails, providing health, economic and tourism development opportunities for the local community and wider region. 

Previous consultation with the local community and key stakeholders has informed a concept plan for the new trail network. Further cultural, environmental and planning assessments, and budget considerations, will determine the final project scope and priorities.

 

Project benefits

Visitors

Visitors will enjoy a better experience in the park, especially in relation to mountain biking. Signage and track design will improve safety.

Environment

The network will protect the park by ensuring tracks are well designed riders are directed to stay on trails, and trails avoid sensitive areas.   

Community 

Improved trails will benefit local community members who regularly use the park, offering a range of options to stay physically active in nature.

Economy

By attracting visitors to the region, the trails will support tourism operators and regional businesses and contribute to creating jobs. 

Project funding

The Victorian Government is investing $2.7 million into the Ararat Trails project as part of post-Covid stimulus project initiatives. Ararat Rural City Council is investing an additional $300,000.

 

The Project

This project will improve the mountain biking trail network connections and offer varied levels of difficulty. The project also includes potential improvements to walking trails.


The specific design and length of trails will be determined once further investigations and assessments have been undertaken.

An existing unapproved network of mountain biking trails has been informally developed in the park. These trails are potentially impacting on culturally and environmentally sensitive areas, haven’t formally considered visitor safety, and are not officially maintained. 

Opportunities to consolidate existing mountain biking trails and unused vehicle tracks to minimise erosion and rehabilitate vegetation will be investigated.


Project timeline

Planning and assessments are currently underway and will determine the timeframe for completion of this project. 

This section will be updated as the project progresses.


Environment and cultural heritage management

Cultural heritage assessments and environmental assessments will commence in April 2022. This work will first assess the impacts of the existing informal trail network, and then additional research will be undertaken to assess the proposed new trail network. These assessments will ensure the project proceeds in a way that minimises impacts to the environmental and cultural values of the land.

Who we're working with

We are working closely with funding partners Regional Development Victoria and Ararat Rural City Council. 

We will continue to work with local communities and key stakeholders throughout planning and construction. 

Staying updated

To stay updated on this project please regularly check this page. You can also sign up for project updates here.

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