A report on the 2019 Great Southern Trail Forum held in Albany in July has been released. The forum, which was co-hosted by the Great Southern Centre for Outdoor Recreation Excellence (GSCORE), the City of Albany, and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC), explored ways to make trails more inclusive.
The forum attracted over 100 participants from across the Great Southern region, representing businesses, local government, state government agencies, industry and community organisations, local trail groups and clubs, and trail users.
One of the highlights of the forum was a presentation by Matt Harrington from Yarra Ranges Shire Council on the Warburton MTB Destination project.
GSCORE Executive Director, Dr Lenore Lyons said that in addition to listening to the presentations, attendees participated in an interactive workshop that examined ways to overcome barriers to trail access, and ways to improve the mental and physical health benefits of trails.
“Forum participants identified a range of ways to overcome the access, ability and knowledge barriers the limit the community’s use of trails. Suggestions included the development of purpose-built trails to suit seniors and people with disabilities, as well as improvements in signage, maps and brochures”.
Dr Lyons said that the workshop findings will form part of the background research supporting the development of a Great Southern Regional Trails Master Plan. The forum proceedings can be downloaded from the GSCORE website: 2019 Great Southern Trails Forum_Proceedings (pdf).