Strategy to guide expansion of Cairns’ recreational trails

A strategy to guide use, maintenance and future expansion of Cairns’ recreational trail network was today endorsed by Council.

The Recreational Trails Strategy aims to reflect community needs and expectations, formalise Council’s role and responsibilities, and develop a framework to respond to growing demand for walking and mountain biking experiences.

Mayor Bob Manning said Cairns is undergoing transformative change through the expansion of its trail network.

“These initiatives, headlined by the Wangetti Trail, a 94km coastal and hinterland track from Palm Cove to Port Douglas, are bolstering growth in the walking and mountain biking,” he said.

Other significant trails include:

  • The Smithfield MTB Park plans to expand its current 30km routes to 82km. In Cairns, mountain biking supports about 206 jobs with an economic output of $35.4 million.
  • In areas like Mount Peter, where residential growth is substantial, there are opportunities to create a new trail network for outdoor activities, connecting communities and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

Those living in Cairns have ranked paths and tracks as the second highest for improving liveability in the region indicating a clear need to better provide, manage and maintain our trial network.

In developing the Recreational Trails Strategy, Council identified six key priorities:

  • Clearly articulate Council’s role and responsibilities in relation to local trails, investment, and resourcing
  • Adopt a clear position on informal trails that reflects Council’s capacity.
  • Improve community safety and wellbeing in using recreational trails.
  • Provide clear guidance for strengthening our existing walking and mountain biking trails asset provision.
  • Outline key actions for how to better deliver, maintain and manage the trail network.
  • Establish and support strong partnerships to improve the trail network.

“The Strategy provides a foundation for responsible financial decision-making, ensuring Council has a framework in place for defining, providing, managing and maintaining trail assets to align with existing and future needs for the region,” Cr Manning said.

“It recognises that a strong network of recreational trails will help build the region’s economy and expand ecotourism opportunities as a key infrastructure component of community and visitor experiences of Cairns.”

/Public Release. View in full here.