Rail Trail Popularity Steps up a Gear
Hundreds of Wangaratta locals and visitors have switched their vehicles for bicycles this winter, with the iconic Murray to Mountains Rail Trail enjoying substantial growth in June.
The Rural City of Wangaratta has released figures showing that some of the region’s favourite Rail Trails have received as much as a 230% upturn in use during June compared with the same period last year, with 4961 cyclists making use of the trails in comparison to 2113 users in 2019.
Dean Rees, Mayor of Rural City of Wangaratta said “The Rail Trail figures definitely show a renewed, strengthened appreciation for the great outdoors and exercise in these extraordinary times.”
“We’re very lucky to have such incredible access to some of Australia’s finest scenic rail trails right on our doorstep for the community to enjoy!”
Following the old Bright Railway Line and over 100 kilometres in length, the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail weaves it way through Wangaratta, Beechworth, Rutherglen, Bright, Myrtleford and all the way through the picturesque Ovens Valley.
The Rail Trail is known as one of the best ways to take in some of Australia’s most spectacular mountain range scenery while enjoying a spot of wine and fresh produce along the way.
Recent data collected from the trail’s main counters indicates increased popularity in Everton (137% increase), Wangaratta South East (96% increase), North Wangaratta (153% increase), Tarrawingee Station (80% increase) and Oxley (230% increase) compared with June 2019.
With local cycling store Rock and Road Cycles experiencing increased demand over the past few months, owner Rob Sullivan is pleased to see locals taking the opportunity to spend more time outdoors. “We have certainly seen increased interest in cycling since the first lockdown. The bike paths around town are packed full of cyclists, walkers, dogs and runners. It's great to see people out and about enjoying our special city.”
“I hope that these new habits remain when we eventually get back to ‘normal’ in the future”
Dean Rees, Mayor of Rural City of Wangaratta said “The Murray to Mountains trail suits riders of all ages and abilities whether it be an adventurist, a casual cyclist or a family day out. It just goes to show these wonderful trails can be enjoyed all year round, even in the cooler months!”
For more information on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, visit: https://www.visitwangaratta.com.au/listing/wangaratta-to-milawa-via-oxley-18km-murray-to-mountains-rail-trail-wangaratta/