Cooloola Trail Care Alliance president Matthew Hunter and secretary Andrew McLaughlin check out the latest developments of the public recreation trails.
Cooloola Trail Care Alliance president Matthew Hunter and secretary Andrew McLaughlin check out the latest developments of the public recreation trails. Tanya Easterby

Trail network unveiled to boost Gympie's attractions

A NEW public trail network that will weave through 60ha of council bushland will give a boost to Gympie's natural attractions.

Between Victory Hotel and Gympie North Railway Station, the trail will not only provide a mountain biking, bushwalking and horse riding trail for Gympie region residents but offer tourists a new adventure.

Cooloola Trail Care Alliance is the group behind the project, which is organising volunteers to help develop new trails fit for walking, running, horse riding and hiking.

The CTCA's work extends to maintaining the surrounding bushland by weed and rubbish and realigning eroded gullies.

The group was formed by local mountain bikers who wanted to formalise the development of public recreation trails in the region.

The council granted the group a 12-month trial with limited land space and funding for the project, based on the trail's potential to provide low-impact trail networks for public recreation, host competitions as well as attract tourism.

Having now leased out the full 60ha of land, the project boasts international standards of trail construction, growth in public usage and positive online feedback.

CTCA secretary Andrew McLaughlin said he was confident the trail would put Gympie "firmly on the map" as a favoured destination within south-east Queensland and the Wide Bay region while providing an added benefit for locals to enjoy outdoor activities a short distance from the town centre.

"One thing that makes this site really special in terms of a community asset is that it's so close to town for kids and adults to access any time of day, any day of the week without needing to drive for miles to get there," Mr McLauglin said.

"Also the remnant bushland that's here is fairly mature and intact."

CTCA president Matthew Hunter said after more than a year of construction the first of the trails would be officially opened in the coming weeks and welcome signage would be visible across from the Victory Store on Bath Tce.

"We wanted to make sure that we had enough trails completed before we officially 'opened' the network," Mr Hunter said.

"Now that the first four trails are in and will soon be fully accessible from the Bath Terrace Trail Head, we will be able to shift our focus to new sections of the forest."

For more information or how to volunteer with CTCA, visit the Cooloola Trail Care Alliance Facebook page.

Gympie Times


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