With $4.8m in the bank, construction of the Eden's mountain bike project is due to start in March 2022, president of the Eden Mountain Bike Club Stan Soroka told a tourism industry briefing at Bega Valley's Civic Centre on Wednesday, December 8.
"This is one of the fastest-growing recreational activities globally and will be an economic driver for the area," Mr Soroka said.
According to AusCycling mountain biking in Australia is a $1.2bn industry and is growing at 20 per cent annually.
Mr Soroka believes that a network of mountain bike trails - there are already existing trails in Tathra and Narooma - as well as further afield, would be a big drawcard to international visitors keen to spend a couple of weeks on the trails.
But he said it wasn't all about mountain biking and to score well in the world trail destination audit, which Eden did, you had to show there were other attractions.
"To be a destination you need something to do afterwards," Mr Soroka said.
The volunteer group was formed in 2019; they have engaged with Forestry NSW over the plans, and the Local Aboriginal Land Council regarding trail naming, Mr Soroka said.
The group plans to develop 56km of trails and a trailhead in stage 1 but the longer term plan is for 140km of mountain bike trails, which Mr Soroka said would be significant enought to attract national and international visitors.
There will be 14 trails constructed to the west and north west of Eden between the Princes Highway and Nethercote Rd. Trails will incorporate Mt Bimmil with a high point of 334m and will go down to the Yowaka River.
Mr Soroka said in mapping out the potential trails, the group has discovered several waterfalls and streams.
Cultural heritage and environment findings were to be completed this month and the group would move on to the tendering process for construction.
"Construction is due to start in March 2022 with completion in June 2023 and all trails would finish at the Eden Golf Club," he said.
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