Upgrades in sight for local mountain bike trails

THE popular mountain biking tracks in the Meehan Range are set to get even better, thanks to a grant of nearly $10,000 from the Federal Government.

Cycling South, the Greater Hobart Council’s Regional Cycling Committee, will receive $9,900 to continue upgrades to infrastructure at the Clarence Mountain Bike Park and the Meehan Range trail network, near Mornington.

The park and trails have received recent upgrades including development of a skills area suitable for all ages and abilities, and construction of a new track that has made accessing the top of the range easier.

Cycling South executive officer Mary McParland said some of the grant funds would pay for professional assessment and repair of “a couple of bridges that didn’t quite meet engineering standards”, but have now been brought up to scratch.

The rest of the grant will go towards further improving the skills park, and new facilities for juniors.

Ms McParland said Cycling South was also working with Parks & Wildlife and the Clarence Council “to map the future direction of development in the Meehan Range” through a new masterplan that would be published soon.

“Mountain biking in general has been increasing in popularity,” she said.

“The Meehan is easy to get to, close to where a lot of people live, and drier than Mount Wellington, so it’s more usable in winter.

“We want to complete the network – there’s tracks that don’t quite join up very well.

“We also want to make sure that all abilities are catered for by creating a range of tracks from beginners through to advanced.”

Several other local organisations are working in partnership with Cycling South to complete the project, including the Meehan Range Trail Groomers and The Friends School.

The federal funding was awarded as part of the fourth round of the Stronger Communities Program, which provides grants of up to $20,000 to be spent on small capital projects that deliver social benefits for local communities.

Federal Member for Franklin Julie Collins pushed for Cycling South to receive the funding after visiting the Meehan Range and seeing the tracks’ potential for herself.

“This area is becoming increasingly popular due to its proximity to large population areas and it is important that the infrastructure keeps up with this popularity,” Ms Collins said.

“Access to nature is important for physical and mental wellbeing and the development of biking infrastructure in the Meehan Range makes a positive contribution to the community.”

Caption: Federal Member for Franklin Julie Collins with Cycling South’s Mary McParland and the Mountain Trails team reinforcing mountain bike bridges at the Meehan Range.

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The Eastern Shore Sun is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 30,000 homes and businesses in the communities of Clarence and Sorell. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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