Bicycle Network: Regional Routes
Margaret River (Western Australia)
Charting the growth of Rail Trails in the Augusta/Margaret River region of Western Australia
Margaret River Trail planning offer
23 August 2010. The National Trust of Australia (WA) has offered to prepare a master plan for the construction of the entire 108 km length of the trail from Busselton to Augusta, and to seek the estimated $15M funding for it's construction.
This will accelerate planning and construction of the trail and free up Shire resources that can be applied to other connecting trails.
Timelines are as yet undefined, but support for this trail is expanding and momentum building.
Bridge over bridge in Margaret River
21 April 2009. Councils in WA are showing the way in re-purposing old railway bridges into modern structures to carry bikes.
At Margaret River the bridge engineers took the unique approach of building new structures over top of old bridges which were no longer considered sound.
With many Rail Trails around Australia in need of innovative ways of dealing with issues such as historical infrastructure renewal or replacement, this can be used as one example of how to proceed and deliver positive results for the trail and for users.
The bridges will make the route from Cowaramup to Margaret River entirely passable, which will contribute to its improving status as a trail on the rise. Destination points, car-free routes, and considerable distance are all hallmarks of successful Rail Trails. The Margaret River Trail is still too short to be considered an entirely independent attraction, but that is expected to change as work continues.
As noted in the previous post, Shire staff have nominated extending the trail south to Witchcliffe, which will add between four and five extra kilometers. Their latest aim is to achieve this by the end of the year.
Now that the bridges are finished, they will surely be looking for their next project, so it is reassuring to see they have an extension lined up. The Shire has been asked to provide an outline of their intentions of upcoming trail improvements, which will be communicated here if anything of substantial interest is forthcoming.
As suggested by the map provided at right, the concept of this Trail extending eventually from Busselton to Augusta is supported by Bicycle Network Victoria.
Announcing the Margaret River Rail Trail
19 March 2009 The Margaret River area of Western Australia is one of the most scenic and attractive in the State, and is an ideal location for bike riding. Indeed, it will be hosting this year's Great Escapade, allowing several thousands of bike riders to experience not only the high quality natural attractions that are native to the South-West of the State, but also gastro-tour through the region known for its breadth and depth of quality food production and wineries.
The Shire of Augusta - Margaret River has recently been following the lead of other forward-thinking Councils around Australia in working on converting old railway lines into shared-use bicycle, walking and recreational trails.
Currently, the area boasts trails that run 12km from Cowaramup to Margaret River. It is expected that the trail will extend another 4km south to Witchcliffe in the near future.
The photo on the left (provided courtesy of The Augusta - Margaret River Mail) shows Council staff working on restoring some bridges that have been unfit for use.
These bridges should be restored in time for the Great Escapade next week, so make sure to have a look if the opportunity presents itself.
We are enthusiastic about the possibilities of the Margaret River Trail. We would like to see in future the trail extend North towards Busselton and South towards Augusta, which will make a significant tourism attraction available to more and more riders in the South-West and from further afield.