After more than three years of closure, the Lower Blue Mountains has a dedicated downhill mountain bike track again after the opening of a new $52,000 course at Knapsack Reserve on September 21.
Tracks used for mountain biking in East Blaxland and Mt Riverview were made off-limits due to concerns about their effects on environmental sustainability including soil erosion.
The new, fully accredited track is 1150 metres long, is designed for experienced mountain bikers and involves a new volunteer group called Track-care to foster sustainable trail maintenance, rehabilitation and the installation of signs.
The project surfaced during consultations between the mountain biking community and Blue Mountains City Council during completion of the Knapsack Reserve Moun-tain Bike Plan in 2010 and is funded by the council and the NSW Government.
Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill said the track would be “an important recreational facility for the Blue Mountains and greater Western Sydney region”.
“After a lot of careful planning and hard work, we can be proud of developing an environmentally friendly, low impact walking track and bike trail network in a bushland setting
of national significance,” he said.
Blue Mountains Off Road Cyclists spokesperson Mark Hawling said the opening of the new track was long-awaited given recent closures, and thanked the collaborative effort of council staff, councillors, mountain bikers and environmentalists to bring it to fruition.
“This is also the beginning of an exciting mountain biking tourism opportunity,” Mr Hawling said.
Stage two of the Knapsack Mountain Bike Plan involves development of a 6.6km cross-country bike trail.
The basis of stage two is to progressively improve the sustainability of old and degraded closed tracks that will form a cross-country circuit.