A trail to a great future

Published on 01 September 2018

he start of one of the biggest infrastructure developments in Indigo Shire was officially launched today by Jaclyn Symes, MLC Northern Victoria.

The $6.2 million Beechworth to Yackandandah rail trail is part of the larger $12 million regional North East Victoria Cycling Optimisation project, funded primarily by the Victorian Government.

Ms Symes officially launched the start of the trail work near Lake Sambell in Beechworth. The existing path, running from the end of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail at Billson Street, through to Peach Drive, is being built up ready for sealing. Culverts have already been installed.

Indigo Shire Mayor Cr Jenny O’Connor said the launch was a ‘momentous occasion’.

“The $6.2m Beechworth to Yackandandah rail trail has been a long time in the planning, years in fact, and to have the official launch of this project today with the work that is happening along this section is truly a significant moment,” Cr O’Connor said.

“The larger $12m project is a high impact tourism project that will create jobs and boost the regional economy through the growing number of visitors to the trail network. It is anticipated the project will bring more than 260,000 visitors to the region, opening up new business opportunities and creating jobs within local communities. Local businesses also stand to benefit from the project by getting involved in pop-up events and attractions along the trail.

“That’s the broader regional project– and the Beechworth to Yackandandah rail trail is a significant part of this broader project,  extending the Murray to Mountains trail from Beechworth to Yackandandah and on to Osbornes Flat.”

Cr O’Connor said better signage and viewing platforms along the route will entice people to visit things only discoverable by the trail. The new sections of the Beechworth to Yackandandah trail will take people past historic gold mining sites, aboriginal sites and beautiful scenery. Viewing platforms will be constructed to allow visitors to stop and experience the natural environment in a different way.

The trail will also increase opportunities for visitors to enjoy the much-loved historic towns of Beechworth and Yackandandah and it will encourage the communities of Wooragee and Osbornes Flat and businesses along the trail such as wineries and farm gate businesses to take advantage of the increased tourist trade.

“It will bring more visitors including families to our beautiful historic towns and natural environment in between. It will take up to three years to complete, but because it is being constructed in sections, parts of it will be available for use well before that 3 years is up,” Cr O’Connor said.

A comprehensive branding and marketing campaign will be undertaken to increase awareness and I look forward with much excitement to seeing this project take shape.