Snowy Valleys Council is looking to significantly expand its already extensive network of cycling and hiking trails, as it aims to make the south-eastern NSW region a world-class trail destination.
The council recently concluded community consultation for its draft Regional Tracks and Trails Master Plan, which will serve as its 10-year blueprint for the development of tracks and trails across the Snowy Valleys Region.
It received $270,000 from the Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund to develop the master plan, that identifies four priority trails it believes will be world class and bring a major tourism and economic boost for its region.
They include a proposed 32km trail that follows a disused railway corridor between Batlow and Tumut, and is earmarked as a potential food and wine tourism experience.
The NSW Government recently allocated $13,750 in funding, though the NSW Business Case and Strategy Fund, to update the Batlow to Tumut section of a 2006 feasibility study for a Riverina Highlands Rail Trail.
The region’s indigenous heritage would be highlighted by another of the trails proposed in the master plan. The Gudja Gudja Mura Trail would connect Murray’s Crossing with the existing Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail and follows an historic travelling stock route of profound significance to First Nations people.
Another walking and cycling path would link Tumbarumba to the 426km Hume and Hovell Track.
The master plan estimates the four trails would cost $7.8 million to construct and says construction of all four trails could be completed in two years.
A cost-benefit analysis estimates trail would bring in between $2.5 million and $5.8 million in annual tourism and health benefits by 2041.
Tumbarumba Trail Celebrates 50,000th User
The Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail (TRRT) this month celebrated the 50,000th trail user to pass its counter.
It was the first rail trail established in NSW, launched in April 2020, and its success as a tourism attraction has paved the way for similar projects in the State.
TRRT supporters held a picnic on 5th February to celebrate the milestone and presented a TRRT mug to local Ray Davies after he became the 50,000th official trail user earlier in the day.
According to a report by Rail Trails Australia, the Tumbarumba resident is nearly 80 years old and regularly rides the TRRT and other trails on his e-bike.
Funding for Goulburn Trail Investigation
In a further update from Rail Trails Australia, funding has been confirmed for another proposed rail trail in NSW.
The Member for Goulburn, Wendy Tuckerman, announced $147,775 in funding for Goulburn Mulwaree Council to engage planning consultants for a Goulburn Rail Trail.
A revitalised campaign for the trail has been boosted by the establishment of a Goulburn Rail Trail Steering Committee led by Goulburn Mulwaree councillor Bob Kirk.