BASS Coast could be home to $1.5 million worth of mountain bike trails in Kilcunda and San Remo, under plans proposed by the Bass Coast Mountain Trail Bike Committee.
The keen riders presented their proposal to councillors at a Community Connection Session in December, pitching plans for novice and family-friendly tracks in Kilcunda and an intermediate track from Punchbowl Road, San Remo to Kilcunda.
Psychologist and cyclist Todd Jacobson, one of the founding members of the committee, has his eyes on the Kilcunda Foreshore Reserve and Punchbowl Coastal Reserve for the trails.
“The two parcels of land need to be considered jointly, neither of them are sufficient to have stand-alone mountain bike trails but together they are absolutely ideal,” Todd said.
The committee is also proposing to link the project at Kilcunda to the Bass Coast Rail Trail and have enough space in the Kilcunda Foreshore Reserve to improve public and transport infrastructure.
“Which might be a bus shelter, and additional car park or… a toilet block and a shower block,” Todd said.
“There is a bus shelter there in Kilcunda. Most people pull off to the side of the road, it’s actually rather dangerous for school children or anyone waiting for a bus there.”
There is already the George Bass Coastal Walk which stretches from Punchbowl Road, San Remo to Kilcunda and connects up with the Bass Coast Rail Trail.
But the committee wants to see 10kms of high-calibre trails, mostly independent of the George Bass Coastal Walk.
“Every once in a while there might be a need to cross the George Bass Walk and that will be in a clear line of sight,” Todd said.
They’re planning on making it a challenging track, while still maintaining safety.
The committees met with Parks Victoria on numerous occasions, but Todd said the state body won’t give a definite answer because there’s no state-wide mountain bike strategy.
“We’ve actually made a bit of headway in spite of that,” Todd said.
The committee stressed the project’s still in its conceptual phase, but they’re keen to garner support from the local community and councillors.
Plans for mountain bike trails in Bass Coast have been in the pipeline since 2012, when Todd and other keen cyclists met with council and Parks Victoria to discuss possible locations.
Parks Victoria originally suggested using The Gurdies or the Grantville Nature Conservation Reserve.
But the latter was deemed inappropriate due to flooding most of the year and the rifle range in the corner of the reserve.
The Gurdies was ruled out because it has endangered plant species.
The committee needs the backing of Parks Victoria before funding applications for the estimated $1.5 million can be considered.
Before that happens though, the committee believes it’ll need to spend around $70,000 for a feasibility study and trail designs.
The Bass Coast Shire Council manages the Kilcunda Foreshore Reserve and in 2016 adopted a management plan for the area. The plan doesn’t include plans for mountain bike trails in the reserve.