Plan to blaze many trails in GS region

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Children racing along the Margaret River Rail Trail.
Camera IconChildren racing along the Margaret River Rail Trail. Credit: Elements Margaret River/Tourism Western Australia

Residents in the Great Southern have the opportunity to put forward their ideas for the potential development of world-class trails in the region.

The Great Southern Regional Trails Master Plan is being put together and the Great Southern Centre for Outdoor Recreation Excellence is holding meetings in 11 local government municipalities to hear ideas.

The plan will identify 10 years of trail-building opportunities and provide local governments with priority trail projects to take on.

The plan is not limited to walking routes and will cater for equestrian, cycling, vehicle, snorkelling, diving and canoeing trails.

Project co-ordinator Karl Hansom said a plan was needed because a lot of the region’s trails were not linked and were poorly documented.

He said applying for new trails was difficult.

“It will identity in consultation where people think the trails will be and what the priorities are of user groups,” he said.

“We want to promote the region as an attractive place to come for all different types of trail use.

“What the consultation will do is rank the ideas.”

Mr Hansom said the Greens Pool group had expressed interest in creating a snorkel trail.

GSCORE recently received $129,482 in Federal funding, which will be used to create three concept plans for priority trails, which will include designs, costing and characteristics.

The master plan is expected to be completed by September, with the concept plan and a trail-building network to be finished in November.

Free consultation workshops will be run in coming weeks for communities to put forward ideas.

The Shire of Plantagenet and the Shire of Gnowangerup held their workshops last week and several ideas were brought to the table.

Upcoming workshops include ones in Cranbrook, Kojonup, Katanning, Broomehill-Tambellup, Denmark, Nornalup, Jerramungup and Bremer Bay.

The Albany local government area will be handled differently because the City of Albany al-ready has a Trails Hub Strategy.

GSCORE will be meeting with the City and user groups directly for the Albany area.

Details of workshop times can be found on the GSCORE Facebook page or contact Mr Hansom on 9892 0151.

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