What exactly is this the Missing Link?
The Missing Link refers to the area between the Middle Island and Bracken Lane Fire Trails. There is currently no way of connecting the two trails without having to utilise Strickland Avenue. The concept of the Missing Link consists of two new tracks; The Rivulet Crossing (over Strickland Falls) and the Unnamed track (a working title for the new track connection between Bracken Lane and O’Grady’s Fire Trails). Also included in the Missing Link project is the formalisation of the Drops Track, which includes extending the track entry to run parallel with the fuel break.
What is the benefit of the Missing Link?
The addition of the Rivulet Falls Track establishes the connection between two existing fire trails. This track will enable users to travel both north and south using the lower foothills track network. Furthermore, the unnamed track will enhance the travelling experience for mountain biker riders with the addition of purpose built singe track, which avoids having to ascend or descend the Rivulet and O’Grady’s Falls fire trails.
Why include the Drops Track?
The Drops Track is an illegally built downhill mountain bike track. The Greater Hobart Mountain Bike Master Plan recommended that the track be formalised to ensure both rider safety and the sustainability of the track. Therefore, the City of Hobart is taking the opportunity to implement this recommendation. With the addition of the unnamed track, the formalisation of the Drops track will establish a small loop where more experienced riders can session the Drops track.
What is the proposed alignment for the Unnamed Track?
The initial map of the Missing Link is purely conceptual. It is unlikely that the unnamed track will be as short and curvy as first conceptualised. Therefore, where possible, clear sight lines may prevail over the use of chicanes.
Who will build the new tracks?
The City of Hobart’s highly experienced Track Team will be responsible for overseeing the design and construction of these tracks. However, professional contractors may be required to help resource the project but will always work under the supervision of the City of Hobart Tracks Team.
What is the purpose of the Wellington Park Foothills Loop?
The Wellington Park Foothills Loop is purely a Vision at this stage. The City of Hobart has recognised the potential for the loop to become the backbone to the existing network that could then be improved or built upon in the future. The backbone would establish connectivity between existing tracks and trails and access points within the network, stretching from Fern Tree to Glenorchy. This backbone would provide a framework to either access or connect to a variety of stacked loops and longer linear rides.
What else is planned for mountain bike use on the Mountain?
In response to the Gravity Track proposal in 2017, Council resolved to prepare a network plan for the tracks and trails on the lower foothills of Mount Wellington/ kunanyi. This plan will consider a wide range of issues and opportunities such as access, parking, signage, stacked loops, skills progression, varying difficulty, usage, direction and connectivity. Council officers are in the early stages of developing a scope for this project, so stay tuned!
What other factors may influence future decisions made by the City of Hobart in regards to mountain biking?
There are a number of things happening behind the scenes that will influence future decisions. In addition to the network planning that the City of Hobart intends to undertake shortly, the Wellington Park Trust is currently hoping to acquire funding to establish a Visitor and Recreation Strategy. This strategy would act as a guiding document for the City of Hobart as to how future usage of the mountain is be managed.
The Cascade Land Review is also underway with the draft currently sitting with Carlton United Breweries. This has been a long process as CUB has been through a recent restructure and a change in staff. Council resolved in 2016 that once CUB had approved the draft, it would then go out for public consultation. Therefore, the future management of Cascade Land is still unknown, but depending on the outcome, it may lead to futre network changes.
Furthermore, City of Hobart Officers undertook an internal review of the Greater Hobart Mountain Bike Master Plan in late 2017. Officers hope to finalise this draft as it will contribute to future network planning.And finally, the enquiry into the recent and unfortunate accident at the Maydeen Mountain Bike Park. The findings of this enquiry are bound to influence how the City of Hobart approaches risks associated with mountain biking in the future. We will be watching this space very closely.