The State Government has backed the development of the Yarra Valley Trail with $2.5M in funding for the high profile project.
The Trail is 40km, connecting Lilydale with Yarra Glen, Healesville and Woori Yallock, then across to the Warburton Rail Trail and back to Lilydale, creating a valley-wide 70km loop.
By configuring a long loop, the trail becomes a major multi-day attraction for millions of Melburnians looking for an active and healthy escape from the city for a few days.
And you can get there without using a car.
Riders will be able to take the train to Lilydale and ride the loop in either direction, staying overnight along the way.
Yarra Ranges Shire sees a tremendous future for the Yarra Valley in active tourism, bringing economic sustainability to the region.
Bicycle Network has long placed a high priority on this project. The stage from Lilydale to Yarra Glen has been on our priority list for more than a decade.
The first 11.5 km section will link Lilydale to Yarra Glen by creating a safe, accessible walking and cycling trail.
Many riders and local businesses have been involved in the campaign over the years and should feel proud that the project now has real momentum.
The council has already committed $550,000 for the design task.
A feasibility study in 2016 said the full trail project will probably cost about $10.6 million.
It would attract more than 210,000 people annually, generate 222 new jobs and more than $30m for the local economy.
The funding announcement also included $2m for the Ridgewalk, a 26 km walking trail, and $3m for a mountain bike park destination at Warburton.
This all adds to the multiplicity of family attractions that will draw riders to the trail.
The Member for Monbulk James Merlino said the new projects “will make a real difference because they go to the heart of building what families need in our community.”