LOGS deliberately strewn across bush trails near Creswick could cause serious injuries to cyclists and walkers say concerned user groups.
This week, more than 500 people are expected to use the tracks as part of the FECRI Cycle Classic which will see mountain bikers take to the trails.
However, the placing of large logs on some parts of the trail will mean that the whole course will need to be swept clear before riders can safely take to the track.
But unfortunately for user groups, the vandalism to the track is nothing new.
Committee member of Villages of the Old Goldfield Association (VOGA) Cycling club Mick Veal said vandalism to parts of the track had been ongoing for 10 years.
He said it was frustrating in that works to create 100km of paths had been approved by all government, indigenous and environment groups, but rogue elements remained against the work.
"We've had a lot of work done on the scoping studies, trails laid out on the bush, all the consultation process we've gone through, tick off from native title, land managers, but we keep getting a small backlash," Dr Veal said.
"They've cottoned on to this project and unfortunately there are some that have taken a militant stance to it.
"People are going out deliberately destroying the bush, ripping down the tapes on trees, placing logs across the track even in some case taking wooden boards off gold mining culverts which we have placed on them to protect them in the first place.
Hepburn Shire Councillor Don Henderson said whether or not a person agreed or disagreed with the trail, did not give them the right to set a trap for others.
"It's very dangerous behaviour," Cr Henderson said.
"What sort of an example is that for young people to have a person out there doing things like this? Its criminal damage. It's costing rate payers money for us to survey the trail and have item removed.
"This area has some great features that need to be there and need to be preserved and bike trails make you aware of the value of the assets.
"It really is a shame that we've got a few spoilers. They are entitled to their objections but they are not entitled to do what they are doing."
Cr Henderson said the most damage to the forest was actually caused by people bringing four wheel drives and trail bikes into the forest.
"It's very strange that these people are targeting mountain bike and walking tracks, yet it's the 4WD and motorcyles that are ripping up the forest," he said.
Mr Veal pleaded that the forest should be able to used by everyone.
"These trails are not just used by cyclists, they are used by running groups, orienteering groups, off road triathletes, it's very popular trails for walkers, bird watchers," he said.
"Land manages have better things to do than to be out there sweeping the tracks.
"We just want to put out a plea that we're all meant to be working together to protect the forest for everyone."
Creswick Police said a person had been spoken to regarding an unrelated issue on the trail, but at this stage investigations were continuing as to who had laid the logs.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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