Trail project needs keen helpers
Mountain bikers are being asked to swap cycles for sickles for a day next month.
A plan for offroad cycle trails connecting the Western Bay with Rotorua is coming together.
An overgrown forest trail near Paengaroa would form part of the trail — and its inclusion in the Paengaroa to Rotorua cycle trail is dependent on it being cleared.
A community working bee planned for September 8 will start the manual clearance of overgrowth on the old forestry walking trail through the Roydon Downs Scenic Reserve owned by the Department of Conservation.
The number of volunteers who turn up on the day is critical to the success of this cycleway.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council project coordinator Geoff Canham says the 2km forest link is vital to the cycling route from Paengaroa as it enables cyclists to get off a busy stretch of SH33 for the trail route to Rotorua.
“The forest link is a beautiful stretch for riding on good contour and through stunning native bush — it will add a lovely link to the already popular route,” he says.
“The voluntary hours by the community may be able to be considered as our contribution to the project and could improve our chances of getting extra funding. It’s only a relatively short section but we need the investment to finish the job.”
The overgrown stretch is an old public reserve walking track through a piece of Department of Conservation land within the Western Bay of Plenty District. Council has a concession licence to develop and use this section of the cycle trail.
The forest link is a beautiful stretch for riding on good contour and through stunning native bush — it will add a lovely link to the already popular route — GEOFF CANHAM WBOP District Council project coordinator
Local iwi Ngati Pikiao and Ngati Makino and DOC have given their blessing for the cycle trail to be built and consents for the work have been obtained.
Council’s infrastructure services group manager Gary Allis says it makes perfect sense to provide a safe and scenic route to enable cyclists to avoid SH33. “This piece of trail is important as it connects Western Bay with Rotorua and adds to the overall Tauranga Moana Cycle Trail to which Council is providing funding over the next 10 years.”
Council’s vision is for a series of linked trails to be developed over time, covering the length of the district, connecting Waihı¯, Waihı¯ Beach, Katikati,
mokoroa, Tauranga, Paengaroa, Maketu¯, Te Puke, Pukehina and Rotoiti.
This piece of forest trail will enable more offroad riding from Paengaroa to Rotorua.
Anyone wanting to volunteer is being asked to register their interest by September 6 at email@example.com.
All volunteers will go into the draw for free pohutukawa trees from Geoff Canham Consulting and other spot prizes to be awarded.
Volunteers will need closed footwear, a water bottle and gloves.
If possible volunteers are asked to bring non-motorised hand tools such as a pruning saw or secateurs but, as the event will be held on a mixture of farmland and DOC Reserve where there is native fauna, to leave dogs at home.
A barbecue will be in action on the day.
Work on the Paengaroa to Okere link is being led by the Bay of Plenty Charitable Trails Trust and will potentially form part of the Tauranga Moana Cycle Trail and the National Cycle Trail.
The project is partially funded by Western Bay of Plenty District Council which will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the trail.
NZTA has assessed the trail and is keen to continue to work together to explore funding opportunities.
Bay Trails Trust members checking out the trail near Paengaroa to be cleared on the community day next month.