First section of Tumut State Forest recreational trail completed

State Forests helped by a group of enthusiastic volunteers, has completed the first section of a recreational trail network within Tumut State Forest.

State Forests regional planning manager, Mr Duncan Watt, said although a lot of people use the forest there were no formal recreational facilities or tracks.

“We see this development as a way of making the forest both more accessible and appealing to the whole community,” he said.

“The trail will also be an additional recreation attraction for visitors to the region.

‘We’ve been working with a group of local volunteers for a few months now to establish a demonstration section of trail that people can come and use and comment upon.

“Last week with the help of a team from Conservation Volunteers Australia we put the finishing touches on this section of trail and have erected some advisory signage.”

So far, Mr Watt said, approximately 800 metres of recreational trail in Tumut State Forest has been constructed with the target audience primarily walkers and mountain bike riders.

‘We have applied best practice techniques to ensure that the trails we have built are going to be sustainable in the long term,” he said.

“The construction process is relatively slow but the trails shouldn’t require significant maintenance even if they receive regular use. In fact, because the trails are new some regular use is likely to improve the trail surface.

“The intent of the demonstration trail is to give the community an idea of what the trail network would look like.

“We’re encouraging people to visit the forest and give us feedback on the concept and, if they’re willing, give us some help with construction.”

He said State Forests was very pleased with the positive feedback it had received from people who have used the trail to date.

The first stage of the proposal is a 3.5 kilometre loop trail and depending upon community interest and the level of usage State Forests will consider developing additional loops and other facilities.

“One of the facilities, State Forests is keen to provide is a parking area on the edge of the forest with interpretive signage and maps so visitors can find their way around the trail network,” Mr Watt said.

Part of the trail development program has also involved the cleaning up of illegally dumped rubbish from the vicinity of the trail.

“We’ve found rubbish throughout the forest and have removed a whole range of things ranging from old mattresses to hundreds of cans and bottles, general household rubbish and garden waste.

“Now that we have gone to the trouble of removing the rubbish we’re hoping people won’t dump any more,” Mr Watt said.

Anyone interested in commenting on the trail work to date or helping with trail construction can contact Mr Watt on (02) 6947 3911.

Media contact: Duncan Watt on (02) 6947 3911. Photos available contact (02) 6036 2110.