A strong campaign by mountain bikers has seen the ACT Government commit to funding a new mountain bike trail network for Canberra.
An ACT Government spokeswoman confirmed the $374,000 commitment over the next two years in response to questions from The Sunday Canberra Times.
The funding will see the government undertake consultation, planning and design on a new MTB trail network. The network would expand existing key mountain bike destinations such as Kowen Forest, with $50,000 spent this financial year on improving trails at Stromlo Forest Park.
Local advocates are hoping the investment will restore Stromlo Forest Park’s reputation as one of the world’s premier mountain biking destinations.
The funding is consistent with the ACT Government’s budget commitment to make Canberra one of the best cycling destinations in Australia. It’s also part of a wider 10-year cycling strategy which includes investment in MTB networks and a $30 million investment in active travel infrastructure.
Recognising the benefits of cycling tourism, the strategy has been designed to attract both national and international visitors to Canberra and is expected to provide a $400 million boost to the local economy.
In the meantime, local mountain bikers have also taken track construction into their own hands with the creation of a new ‘raw and natural’ trail at Stromlo Forest Park, under the professional guidance of Makin Trax.
Named Three Amigos, the new trail debuted at the 2018 National Enduro Cup and is roughly 750 metres long.