The extensive network of tracks and trails throughout the Alpine Shire support access to a range of nature-based recreation activities, including walking and cycling, within the visually rich landscape of the Ovens and Kiewa Valleys.
The Murray to Mountains Rail Trail running between Wangaratta and Bright and connecting to Beechworth is recognised as the flagship shared trail of northeast Victoria. Expanding this network of tracks and trails is a key strategy of the Alpine Shire, delivering improved local connectivity, promoting activity and supporting economic growth through tourism.
Construction of a shared trail from Harrietville to Bright is a long term aspiration of the community that is envisaged to stimulate the local economy through increased participation in cycle tourism.
The trail will connect the communities between Bright and Harrietville including Smoko, Freeburgh and Germantown providing locals with safe pedestrian and cycling access throughout the Upper Ovens Valley.
Initial scoping for the Harrietville to Bright shared trail carried out in 2011 highlighted a number of constraints limiting alignment options including the absence of an uninterrupted corridor of public land and the potential for environmental impacts associated with the Ovens River.
While the shared trail can be constructed in the Great Alpine Road corridor there are a number of sections where this is insufficient in width.
Consequently realising the trail will require a combination of alignments including use of the Great Alpine Road corridor, public land associated with the Ovens River where possible and in some cases over private land where granted..
Construction of the entire trail over the 22 kilometres between Harrietville and Bright was estimated at $2.5 million, (2011).
In response to the January 2013 Harrietville Bushfire the Victorian State Government has provided $1 million dollars to commence implementation of the trail.
Recognising that the first 5 to 6 kilometres of shared trails are the most used portions it was determined that delivering two sections, one commencing in Harrietville and one commencing in Bright would deliver the most benefit.
The two sections for Stage 1 are defined as:
• Pioneer Park Harrietville to Stony Creek, (Trout Farm) - approx 5 kms
• Centenary Park Bright to Germantown - approx 5.5 kms.
For further information please contact Council's Senior Project Engineer Drew Carey, firstname.lastname@example.org