The demands and impacts of mountain biking on both legal and illegal trails on the escarpment are increasing. Many trails provide a good riding experience, but their condition and sustainability vary greatly. The adverse safety, environmental and cultural impacts of illegal use and ad hoc trail development need to be addressed to ensure the activity is sustainable into the future.
National Parks and Wildlife Service and Wollongong City Council developed the draft strategy from a mountain bike concept plan prepared by Dirt Art, a company who specialises in mountain bike trail design. Environmental data, field investigations, a preliminary cultural heritage assessment and information from mountain bike riders and other stakeholders was also used.
The primary emphasis of the draft strategy is providing safe, sustainable recreation for a broad range of riders. The draft strategy identified a potential mountain bike trail network of 82 kilometres on the escarpment.
Public exhibition process
The draft strategy was on public exhibition from 30 October 2018 to 21 December 2018 and provided the community with the opportunity to have their say on mountain biking on the Illawarra Escarpment.
A total of 956 submissions were received from a broad range of stakeholders, including NSW Government, non-government organisations and private individuals.
The high volume and varied sources of the submissions confirm a high level of interest in the proposal and divided views on best location of trails.
Overview of public exhibition responses
National Parks and Wildlife Service and Wollongong City Council reviewed all submissions. The submissions addressed a wide range of issues that have been summarised under 6 key themes.
- Development of the draft strategy
- Trail network and scale of proposal
- Infrastructure and services
- Impact on the community
- Environmental and cultural heritage impacts
- Future management
- Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Bike Concept Plan (2021)
- Mountain Bike Network Map: Mount Keira to Mount Kambla (PDF 1.4MB)
- Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Bike Strategy Public Exhibition Report
- Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Bike Draft Strategy
- Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Biking Concept Plan (2018)
- Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area Plan of Management