The South Burnett Mountain Bike Club (SBMTB) has received approval to begin construction of a dedicated series of cycling trails through the Mceuen forestry area near Wondai.
This week the club signed a Collaborative Agreement with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS).
The agreement will allow the club to develop and maintain mountain bike trails in the forestry area, creating a valuable adjunct to the nearby South Burnett Rail Trail.
The club first announced it wanted to undertake the project in January.
It has been in negotiations with QPWS for most of this year.
SBMTB secretary Jason Wyeth said the initial agreement will cover a three year period, but will be extended if the Department is happy with the arrangement.
Riders looking for some off-road action will be able to cycle the bitumen-sealed rail trail to Wondai, then take a short detour to the end of Mackenzie Street to access the forestry trails.
“We were within days of signing an agreement with the State Government to develop the trails when the election was called and everything went into caretaker mode,” Jason said.
“But after the current Government was returned, we were able to conclude the agreement pretty quickly.
“We’re confident we’ll be able to open up our first new bike trails early in the New Year.”
Jason said the club plans to start with two trails, which are existing forestry trails with some additions, and then gradually develop a network of other trails in the area.
“This is a long-term project for the club, and we’d like to secure funding over time to extend this a lot.”
Add-ons the club is considering include a car park and other amenities for visiting cyclists.
Similar off-road cycling trails in other parts of Australia have been shown to significantly increase tourism.
Derby in northern Tasmania lifted annual visitation numbers from 15,000 to 65,000 over a three-year period after an 80km off-road cycling trail opened nearby.