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Old Farm Track conversion to downhill mountain bike track

The Greater Hobart Mountain Bike Master Plan (2012) is one of the key strategic documents directing the planning, development and management of mountain bike riding within Greater Hobart.  The Master Plan highlighted a lack of downhill or ‘gravity fed’ riding opportunities in the region.  The conversion of Old Farm Track to a downhill mountain bike track responds to this identified regional need.

Old Farm Track Conversion Complete

The works required to complete the conversion of Old Farm Track to a downhill, bike only track were completed in late June. This included the construction of a new section of track between the lower end of Old Farm Track and Main Fire Trail, to separate riders from walkers.

The track is now open for use by riders. Walkers are no longer allowed to use the track.

The City of Hobart would like to thank the Trackcare volunteers who assisted in the design and construction of the new track. It’s looking fantastic!

The City of Hobart is in the process of undertaking further planning work to determine the feasibility of installing technical trail features on the track to improve the riding experience.

Project Update - June 2015

The volunteer track building day scheduled for mid-May was cancelled due to severe weather. It will now take place on Saturday 13 June 2015 from 9.00am - 3.00pm. For further information about the event and volunteering with the City of Hobart, please go to www.hobartcity.com.au/bushcare or send an email to bushcare@hobartcity.com.au

In addition to the Trackcare activity, the City of Hobart has engaged local trail consultants Dirt Art to facilitate a rider ‘walk through’ on Old Farm Track to discuss the opportunities for technical trail features along the track, and understand the sort of experience riders are seeking. The walk through will start at 2.30pm on Saturday 13 June 2015. Meet at the junction of Old Farm Track and Main Fire Trail, near the end of Old Farm Road.

Feedback from riders will inform the development of a concept plan. Whilst there is currently no funding for technical trail features on Old Farm Track,  it was considered timely to undertake further work to inform the planning and approvals process in the event the project is progressed. For further information contact the Park Planner Carrie Southern on 6238 2185 or via email at southernc@hobartcity.com.au

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Click on image to enlarge.

Construction of the new track section is scheduled to commence in May 2015 and includes a volunteer track building day also in May 2015.

Volunteers interested in participating need to register as a City of Hobart Volunteer. Follow this link hobartcity.com.au/bushcare to the City’s Bushcare page for further information.

On completion of track works and the installation of updated signage, the new use restrictions will become active and enforceable.

What will this mean?

Completion of the project will mean that:

  • Old Farm Track will be a designated downhill mountain bike track – single use (bike only) and single direction (downhill)
  • Uphill bike access to Junction Cabin will be via the Old Farm Fire Trail
  • Uphill bike access on Old Farm Track between Main Fire Trail and the Old Farm Fire Trail will be prohibited
  • Pedestrian access to Junction Cabin via the Myrtle Gully Track and Old Farm Fire Trail will not be affected and the Myrtle Gully Track will continue to be for walkers only
  • Pedestrian access (i.e. walking, running or dog-walking) on Old Farm Track between Main Fire Trail and the Old Farm Fire Trail will be prohibited

The City of Hobart wishes to thank all those who have been involved in the project and taken the time to comment on the proposal.

Old Farm Track project background

Community engagement for the conversion of Old Farm Track in Wellington Park to a single use (bike only) and single direction (downhill only) track was undertaken in September 2014.

Council considered the proposal at its meeting on 15 December 2014 and resolved to proceed with the project on the basis that:

  • downhill riding opportunities within Wellington Park are limited, needed improving and required a management response
  • in changing Old Farm Track to a downhill mountain bike track - alternative routes remain for walkers and shared use.  There are other tracks in close proximity which also link Junction Cabin and Main Fire trail.

The City of Hobart has since lodged an application with the Wellington Park Management Trust (WPMT) for a permit to undertake the required on-ground works and to formally designate the track as a single use (bike only), single direction (downhill) track.  Approval has now been granted by the WPMT.

The Greater Hobart Mountain Bike Master Plan recommended conversion of the Old Farm Track from a shared use track to a single use (bicycle only), and single direction (downhill) track.  It was also identified as an opportunity in the Wellington Park Bike Strategy 2005.

The Myrtle Gully Track will still provide dual direction, pedestrian only access between Junction Cabin and Main Fire Trail. Old Farm Fire Trail will continue to be a designated dual direction, shared use track.

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Photo: Lower junction of the Old Farm Track with the Myrtle Gully Track

Conversion of Old Farm Track is a means of providing further gravity fed riding experiences within Wellington Park.  In time, additional technical trail features may be installed along the length of Old Farm Track to enhance the riding experience.  This action is subject to WPMT approval and available funding.

The project may form part of a broader concept for a gravity-fed mountain bike track from the Chalet to Junction Cabin, also identified in the Greater Hobart Mountain Bike Master Plan. The conversion of the Old Farm Track forms the final section of this broader concept.

Council officers are in the process of undertaking preliminary investigations into the broader Chalet-Junction Cabin concept, including the feasibility of the proposed alignment and natural values assessment. It is anticipated that a report will be presented to Council before the end of the year summarising the preliminary findings.The concept is also subject to WPMT approval and available funding.

The conversion of Old Farm Track will provide an opportunity for downhill mountain bike riders within Wellington Park, that is easily accessible by vehicle to the trailhead (via the North South Track at the Springs) and pick up point on Old Farm Road.

Top junction of the Old Farm Track with the Old Farm Fire Trail
Top junction of the Old Farm Track with the Old Farm Fire Trail

Need more information?

To find out more about the project contact Carrie Southern, Park Planner, Open Space Group 6238 2185 or email southernc@hobartcity.com.au

 

 

Customer Service Centre

16 Elizabeth St, Hobart
Office Hours: Mon–Fri 8.15am–5.15pm
Telephone (03) 6238 2711
Email hcc@hobartcity.com.au

Postal address

Town Hall, Macquarie St
GPO Box 503
Hobart Tasmania 7001