In a first, the lower Blue Mountains is set to have a fully accessible bushland track, opening up the natural beauty and significant heritage features of the area to more people.
As part of a $2 million upgrade to more than 2km of lower mountains walking tracks, improvements to Lapstone Zig Zag Walking Track to Siding Lookout will commence later this year.
It will include the construction of a new accessible pathway following the historic Zig Zag railway track to an upgraded Siding Lookout, providing vistas of the Nepean River and across the Cumberland Plain. Additional seating, interpretive signage, and accessible parking at the end of Knapsack Street are also included in the upgrade.
Blue Mountains City Council Mayor Mark Greenhill said: “The Scenic Eastern Escarpment is an important regional recreational space with more than 16km of bush trails, showcasing important Aboriginal and European heritage and diverse bushland.
“An accessible track from Lapstone Zig Zag Walking Track to Siding Lookout is an important milestone for our community, providing equal opportunity and access for all to enjoy the unique beauty of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
“I encourage the community to view the final designs for the new accessible track, and to have their say on the surface finish of the path. It will not be white concrete – but a coloured pathway that blends with the natural environment. The project team is also looking at the texture of the path, in line with accessibility standards.”
The track will be closed to the public for safety reasons, during works that are due to commence in November/December 2021.
Council will also be improving the safety and amenity of a number of shared walking tracks and trails, lookouts, steps and stairs within Knapsack Reserve including Marges and Elizabeth Lookouts, Elizabeth Lookout to Knapsack Bridge, Marges Lookout to Lennox Bridge and Lovers Walk to Mitchells Pass.
Work on these is due to commence at various stages over the next six months with a planned completion date of September 2022.
These improvements are in line with the Scenic Eastern Escarpment Masterplan adopted by Council in May 2018, after a year of extensive community consultation.
The project is funded under the Western Parkland City Liveability Program, which is part of the Western Sydney City Deal (WSCD). The WSCD is a 20 year agreement between Australian and NSW governments, and the eight local Councils of the Western Parkland City.
For more information and to have your say on the surface finish of the path, visit https://yoursay.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/scenic-eastern-escarpment
Photo: Artist impression of the upgraded Siding Lookout; Mayor Mark Greenhill at Lapstone Zig Zag Walking Track.