Macedon Ranges Shared Trails Project

A trail experience linking rural landscapes, towns and heritage places

The Macedon Ranges community has increasingly sought the provision of safe walking and cycling opportunities.

The $9.75 million Macedon Ranges Shared Trails Project will deliver a 24 kilometre trail for walking, running, low-volume cycling, and commuting—running from Woodend in the north to Riddells Creek in the south. The project is expected to take approximately two years to complete.

The Macedon Ranges Shared Trails Project is supported by the Victorian Government through the Crisis Committee of Cabinet – Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.

Background

Feasibility studies

Council responded to the community’s desire for safe walking and cycling opportunities with a key action of the 2017-2027 Council Plan to: “invest $1.1 million in planning, renewing and building new footpaths and cycling paths to improve access and community connections”. 

The Macedon Ranges Shared Trails Feasibility Studies project formed part of this action, and considered a number of opportunities for shared trails throughout the Macedon Ranges and on to Daylesford (Council's border at Tylden). Download the trail map(PDF, 10MB)

The studies explored and made recommendations for the development of enjoyable and safe shared-use trail links between major towns in the region, designed to encourage cycling, walking and running for people across a range of abilities. 

The studies presented estimates to deliver and maintain the trails, and outlined staged components that could be future ready for each of the following trails:

  1. Daylesford (from our border at Tylden) to Woodend, Kyneton and Hanging Rock
  2. Woodend to Macedon, New Gisborne and Riddells Creek 

Public exhibition of the draft studies in 2019 provided overwhelming support for the development of shared trails in the Macedon Ranges, with all feedback received being assessed and used to guide the final studies. 

Broad consultation with community group stakeholders, land owners and managers, authorities and the Macedon Ranges community was a key component in developing the studies and Council would like to thank all involved for their interest and input. 

Council resolved, at its meeting on 28 August 2019, to endorse both studies and to commence advocacy and funding efforts for the staged implementation and development of the trails. You can view the feasibility studies here:

Trail funding

In April 2020 Council received requests from government agencies and members of parliament about local projects that could be ready to commence if funding were to become available. Council officers compiled a list of key priority projects considered to be shovel ready, and the Daylesford to Hanging Rock and Woodend to Riddells Creek shared trails were identified as two such projects.

In May 2020 the Victorian Government announced the $2.7 billion Building Works Package to build projects, create jobs and provide immediate benefit to communities across the state, many of which were also impacted by recent bushfires. Council was notified in late May 2020 that it will receive $8.75 million from the package to develop the $9.75 million Woodend - Riddells Creek component of the shared trails. 

What is proposed

The Project will establish three shared trails within the shire:

  • Woodend to Macedon - 8.5km
  • Macedon to New Gisborne – 5.8km
  • New Gisborne to Riddells Creek – 9km

Individual sections of the trail will combine to form one longer, 24 kilometre trail, linking rural landscapes, towns and heritage places, and provide links to existing and potential future trails in the region. The trails will be accessible and safe, encouraging shared, low-volume use across a range of abilities.

A strong emphasis will be on delivering socially, economically and environmentally sustainable trails, which protect, enrich and contribute to regional biodiversity and the protection of heritage values and rural character. A sustainable management model and trail management plan will be delivered with the project.

The trails will be designed and constructed to a high level of quality and durability, in accordance with relevant standards and regulations, extending the asset lifecycle and enabling Council to maintain the trails in a fiscally, environmentally and socially responsible way.

How much will it cost?

The project is forecast to cost $9.75 million dollars. This cost was identified in the corresponding feasibility study.