A new multi-use trail linking Mt Barker and Porongurup aiming to boost recreation and tourism experiences within the Shire of Plantagenet has been officially opened. The 9km trail, dubbed the O’Neill Trail, joins O’Neill Road through to Woodlands Road, near its intersection with Millinup Road. The trail has been named in honour of a pioneering family of the area with signage at each end of the trail incorporating the O’Neill family’s history. Shire president Chris Pavlovich said it was pleasing to open the trail which forms part of the region’s trail master plan. “The community identified hiking and cycling trails as a top priority, with the creation of this trail aligning with the Shire’s corporate business plan,” he said. “Feedback from some of the first users has been positive, with cyclists, hikers and horse riders enjoying the picturesque natural scenery between the Mt Barker townsite and Porongurup.” “With the recent arrival of spring and our spectacular wildflower season, locals and visitors are encouraged to make the most of this new trail in the coming months.” Construction of the trail was jointly funded by the Shire and the Federal Government. O’Connor MP Rick Wilson said the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program had been designed to directly fund projects that local governments such as Plantagenet considered to be high priorities. “The multi-use O’Neill Trail will connect the Shire’s major town with one of its most important settlements,” Mr Wilson said. “It will open the possibility for visitors and locals alike to better explore one of WA’s most scenic natural areas.” Parking, including space for two horse floats, is available at either end of the trail. A map of the trail is available below and on the Shire website.