The Narooma Mountain Bike Club recently signed an agreement with Forestry Corporation NSW and Eurobodalla Shire Council to develop a network of mountain bike trails in the Bodalla State Forest.
They gathered last Friday (pictured above) to officially open stage one of the new mountain bike plans, with the terms of the agreement allowing the club to continue to develop trails in the area for the next 15 years – funded by a grant from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR).
Narooma Mountain Bike Club president, Georgie Staley, said: "The signing of the agreement with Forestry Corp and the confirmation of the FRRR funding both came in the same week and represent a strong endorsement of what we are aiming to achieve."
Given the enormous bushfire trauma that swept through the region just prior to COVID, it is hoped that the design and development of a world class network of trails will boost tourism in the region and create local jobs.
"We all know the challenges that our town and region have experienced in the last 12 months, so the momentum that we are building is doubly important and is a shot in the arm for the local tourism industry that has always been seasonal in nature.
"We have seen how mountain bike tourism internationally and in towns in certain parts of Australia have provided a significant boost to tourism.
"The beauty of this initiative is that we have a perfect climate to mountain bike all year round.
"We also see this project as being a driver for jobs in our town and the development of new businesses to cater for the anticipated influx of mountain bike tourists," Ms Staley told Narooma News.
The nearby Eden Mountain Bike Club has also gained support from Forestry NSW to apply for grants to create trails in the Nullica State Forest.
Given the coastal region relies heavily on seasonal tourism, the wider mountain bike community are rallying together to put the region on the map all year round, with Stan Soroka from the Eden Mountain Bike Club stating: "We no longer will have to rely on just twelve weeks of the year to gather acorns."
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