Creswick is set to become a world-class mountain biking destination by 2020, with more than 100km of new trails planned to make it one of the biggest mountain biking destinations in the country.
Construction on the first stage of the project is due to begin in April 2018 and the first part of the trail-head at Hammon Park is set to be finished by June.
The completed trail network, which will connect to existing mountain bike trails and the Goldfields Track, is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors to Creswick each year, with an estimated direct economic impact of $11.5 million, according to the Dirt Art Trail Master Plan report.
Creswick Mountain Bike Mecca project manager Mark Travers said the new Creswick trails will be of no comparison to other popular Victorian mountain bike destinations at the You Yangs and Lysterfield, which draw nearly 100,000 visitors each year.
“Victoria has a lot of mediocre trail and very little fantastic trails. When we talk about high quality world class riding experiences, we actually don't have that many,” Mr Travers said.
“I am very focused on the quality aspect and a world-class outcome, from the trail-head, to the experience of pulling up and getting out of your car, to the trails themselves.
“If you were to take the mountain bike trails at Bendigo, Creswick, Harcourt as well as Castlemaine and Black Hill, we have the potential to work together to promote a trail network pushing 600km or 700 km, and that is truly unique. We will have a trail network that will justify a weekend or a long weekend away.”
VOGA Cycling Club member Michael Veal said the Creswick trails will have the best connections of any mountain bike destination in Australia.
“It will have the best connections with the V/Line and it is only about 15km by road from Ballarat,” Mr Veal said.
The state government committed $2.56 million to the estimated $2.9 million project in April. Nominations for the project reference group are now open. Visit the Hepburn Shire Council website for more information.