Signs needed to link trails and boost tourism

VOLUNTEERS for the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail have mapped a route to connect it with the South Burnett Rail Trail but they need a benefactor to supply signs.

They are calling on the South Burnett Regional Council to supply the materials.

Paul Heyman has been a staunch supporter of both trails for many years now.

He reckons connecting them would boost tourism in the Burnett and Somerset regions.

"The connecting route is quite complex, it's a mixture of forest tracks, dirt tracks and a little bit of country road," Mr Heymans said.

"Signs would make a big difference as GPS routes are not that reliable."

The Somerset council made signs last year to guide users along a detour while the Toogoolawah to Moore section was built.

"They came to us and said, 'Do you want some signs made? If so, we'll make some for you," Mr Heymans said.

"It wasn't a big deal."

The council built them in its workshop and trail volunteers hung them, cutting costs substantially.

"In most cases it's about fixing a small sign to an existing sign post though in some of the forestry areas you'd have to put in new signposts," Mr Heymans said. "They are all solvable problems and all councils have their own workshop for fabricating signs."

When connected, the two trails would give riders and runners about 161km of safe and quiet track on which to exercise.

While making the signs would be cheap, Mr Heymans said there was strong evidence to suggest a boost in tourist numbers would make the investment worthwhile.

"It's become a mecca for endurance cyclists and there has already been one attempt to do both trails on a single day," he said.

"There'll be other people who will try again later this year."

In the past two years interest in the trail has grown significantly.

"I'd say the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is getting about 10,000 people on it each month. I can tell from the website we get 5000 visitors per month who look at the website and that's averaged over the last 12 months," Mr Heymans said.

Some of these folk are travelling big distances.

"There was one bloke from Singapore who came specially do the Rail Trail and one of our members spoke to a couple from South Africa that came across to do it. They came to do mountain biking and it was one trail on their to-do-list."

South Burnett

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