Eligible organisations with innovative projects to increase participation and promote inclusion in outdoor recreation are encouraged to apply for the Outdoor Active Recreation (OAR) Participation Program. Applications are now open and close 28 March 2022. For more details click here
Over 200 attended the 2021 WA Trails and Recreation Forum held in Albany over the 13th to 15th October. This was a chance for key decision makers to share information and network regarding the forum themes of recovery, resilience and recreation. Key note speaker was former Olympic pole vaulter and passionate outdoor recreation advocate Emma George.
Picture: Great Southern Outdoors
Investment in Trails Tourism
There is significant government investment in trails tourism currently underway across the State.
The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) is working closely with Parks and Wildlife and Trails WA to deliver a Trail Town accreditation program in targeted communities interested in trails tourism.
The towns of Collie and Dwellingup are well on their way to becoming recognised Trail Towns and are already “must do” locations, particularly for mountain bike and hiking enthusiasts.
In addition, the Great Southern Centre for Outdoor Recreation Excellence Regional Trails Master Plan was released on 18 September.
The Master Plan focuses on a range of trail experiences suited to different user groups, including user needs for trail-related products and services, across the Great Southern.
It focuses on active leisure trails which involve an outdoor recreation element. This includes terrestrial trails (walking/hiking, trail running, cycling, mountain biking, and adventure bike riding) as well as aquatic trails (paddling a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard, and snorkeling/diving). It includes a drive trail which link together a series of ‘active nodes’, as well as heritage and cultural trails.
For a comprehensive list of the State’s trails network, visit Trails WA
The department will be hosting a Trails Forum in Dwellingup on Friday 20 November 2020.
This will provide an opportunity for the trails sector to network and learn more about trail developments across the State including outcomes from the WA Hiking Strategy, Trail Towns progress and best practices in trail planning.
The state government has made several announcements recently related to projects in the South West, including a $4.4 million investment into tourism initiatives in Collie. Funding will go towards town upgrades, wayfinding, and tourist amenity, as well as business development and new visitor infrastructure at Wellington Dam, which is set become the centrepiece of the $1.5 million Collie Mural Trail.
The Collie Mural Trail will feature a number of smaller murals throughout the Collie township, with work currently underway to finalise the location of murals and appointment of local artists. The lead artist for the Wellington Dam mural has been announced as Australian artist Guido Van Helton.
Other visitor attractions in the region, Lake Kepwari’s recreation hub and the Arklow mountain bike trails, are also due to open this year. Media statements:
Australian-first hiking strategy to sustain boom in bushwalking and trail running
Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray has released a 10-year WA Hiking Strategy to ensure Western Australians continue to enjoy the great outdoors in a safe and sustainable way.
The strategy is the first of its kind in the country and complements other trail strategies developed over the past 25 years in WA that focus on areas such as mountain biking and horse trails.
It will focus on traditional bushwalking and the emerging growth area of trail running, and will guide industry in the funding and development of hiking and trails for the next decade.
The State Government has allocated $250,000 over the next three years to encourage participation.
The strategy was developed by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), along with significant community input.
As part of the WA Hiking Strategy, a Hiking Implementation Reference Group has been formed to prioritise initiatives and guide its implementation. Read more
Download: WA Hiking Strategy: Bushwalking and trail running in Western Australia 2020 - 2030