A Strategy for Regional Trails in South East Queensland
Recreation trails range from urban bicycle paths to canoe trails on rivers to rugged hinterland trails which, when combined, can provide for activities including walking, horse riding, cycling, driving, canoeing/kayaking and trail bike riding. Use of recreation trails by residents and visitors has quantifiable benefits in physical and psychological health, social and environmental terms. Research from Australia and overseas shows significant tourism and economic benefits derived from recreation on trails. These benefits include expenditure in rural and regional areas, return visits and increased overnight stays by domestic and international tourists.
The Draft South East Queensland Active Trails Implementation Guidelines were developed to assist local governments, trail planners and community groups to plan and develop a network of regional, district and local trails.
- Trail planning
- Trail design and construction considerations
- Trail management and maintenance
Related & Interesting Articles
We plant trees for our grandchildren to enjoy, why should we expect any less of the trails we build?
The challenges of balancing ecological protection, physical management and social demands on natural surface hiking, equestrian, mountain biking and multi-use trails can be overwhelming. However, it is possible to meet these challenges by designing sustainable trails that are created to last into the next century.
A metaphor for working cooperatively toward our many common goals
“Breaking Down the Silos,” is a metaphor for how we can wall ourselves off by being single-minded about our own silo, or area of focus. This has happened to many of our organizations over the years. But by breaking down these metaphorical silos, we can work cooperatively toward our many common goals within the trails community. The greatest of these common goals is making sure everyone has access to that most important of things, their ability to recreate— to re-create themselves.
It’s critical to personal health, community health, and the overall economic health of our nation. Where would we be without trails? It’s hard for me to imagine. Let’s rededicate ourselves to building our trails infrastructure, in a way that avoids inadvertently taking away any person’s, or any group’s, access to trails and the recreation opportunities that trails provide.
Useful Links & Information
Currently, the Queensland Government is exploring the following ecotourism opportunities as part of this program (with additional future opportunities expected):
The objectives of the State’s Ecotourism Trails program are to better protect, present and maintain our national parks and to work with Traditional Owner groups, councils, community and industry to create local jobs.
It’s about conservation, protecting biodiversity and offering tourism in an ecologically-sustainable manner.
The Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NC Act) provides for development of low-impact, purpose-built ecotourism infrastructure on national parks that is ecologically sustainable, is in the public interest and, to the greatest possible extent, preserves the land’s natural and cultural condition.
The Queensland Government also recognises the need to capture a greater share of higher yielding nature-based visitors. This is reflected in the Queensland Ecotourism Plan 2016-2020, where one of the five strategic directions is stimulating investment in new and refurbished ecotourism opportunities.
A Bureau of Land Management (US) and International Mountain Bicycling Association coolaboration – guidelines that will help improve the design, construction, and management of mountain bike trails all across the country.
Quality is difficult to define but easy to recognize. For the purposes of the Bureau of Land Management’s Guidelines for a Quality Trail Experience, quality is defined as excellence. In the context of mountain bike trails, excellence is realized when a trail design merges the desired outcomes and difficulty that a rider seeks with the setting in which the outcomes are realized. These variables ultimately equate to an overall level of sustainability that protects resources while simultaneously providing a rider with the outcomes they seek.
Quality implies a sincere commitment to attaining the highest practical standard. With regard to a quality mountain bike trail experience, several attributes must apply. A quality mountain bike trail (on BLM-administered land) is one that is:
- Appropriate to a particular place and setting
- Environmentally and socially sustainable
- Economically responsible, taking into account long-term costs associated with maintenance and administration
- Outcomes-focused, able to provide the targeted experience and benefits for the identified rider skill level
Download in original file size: IMBA-Guidelines for a Quality Trail Experience
Queensland’s Kilkivan to Kingaroy Rail Trail opened in 2017
Queensland’s 89km Kilkivan to Kingaroy Rail Trail opened last year, constructed by the Gympie and South Burnett Regional Councils. Rail Trails Australia notes the good standard achieved for a relatively low budget of $2 million for the trail surface and bridges. Below is a summary of the South Burnett Regional Council engineer’s technical explanation about how he achieved low cost outcomes for the South Burnett section, which may be of interest to others planning rail trail construction
Trailscapes (SA) http://www.trailscapes.com.au
Trailworx – Pete Wilson http://www.trailworx.net.au
World Trail – Glen Jacobs http://www.world-trail.com
TWP Trails – Bill van Haren http://www.twptrails.com.au
The Australian Walking Track Grading System is a technique for uniformly grading walking tracks and communicating that grade to the walking public.
Source: Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI)
South East Queensland Trails Alliance (SEQTA) is a collective of riders committed to creating, protecting and enhancing world class mountain bike trails in the SEQ region. We educate and engage the riding community about trail care, deliver news on trail issues and events, provide support to local trail care groups and lobby for better trail outcomes
Rail Trails Australia (RTA) is a predominantly volunteer, not-for-profit, organisation which works for the development and promotion of a rail trail network Australia-wide.
After many years of merchandise sales, RTA is now pleased to be able to run a small grants program to support community organisations undertaking activities that are aligned with RTA’s work.
The World Trails Network strives to connect the diverse trails of the world to promote the creation, enhancement, and protection of outstanding trail experiences. The World Trails Network brings trail associations, trail advocates, walkers, hikers and people passionate about the outdoors together from around the world to foster global collaboration and networking for the betterment of the world’s trails.
American Trails is a national, nonprofit organization working on behalf of all trail interests, including hiking, bicycling, mountain biking, horseback riding, water trails, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, trail motorcycling, ATVs, snowmobiling and four-wheeling. American Trails members want to create and protect America’s network of interconnected trails.
The website, www.AmericanTrails.org, is one of the world’s most comprehensive online sources for planning, building, designing, funding, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails, greenways, and blueways.
Information and links to trails in Queensland