Update from Julian Speed, ForestrySA Chief Executive
Has a date been decided for reopening of Fox Creek Bike Park?
Fire recovery at Cudlee Creek Forest Reserve has been guided by the ForestrySA Fire Recovery Plan in line with national disaster recovery principles.
Stage 1 activities have included fire track clearance, fencing, erosion control, removal of dangerous trees, initial trail remediation and a commercial harvest operation.
Together, the Fire Recovery Plan and the Cudlee Creek Forest Trails Fire Recovery Strategy including the Fox Creek Bike Park, developed through extensive community and user engagement, will see the area built back better to produce enduring benefits for the community and user groups and to improve resilience to future natural disasters.
Stage 2 activities such as widening fire breaks, improving fire tracks, fire track signage and emergency response infrastructure will commence in December 2020.
Fire salvage harvest operations are ongoing and expected to conclude in early 2021. Unfortunately a long, wet winter experienced at the site has caused some delays. As visitor safety is paramount, this has meant the reopening of trails is taking longer than expected.
Excitingly, during 2021, an integrated pine and trail re-establishment plan, based on an international sustainable forests model, will be rolled out at the site. Trails in plantations areas will be reinstated first, with pine trees planted around them, rather than the other way around as traditionally occurs. This is an exciting step in sustainable recreational management of ForestrySA forests with multiple social, economic and environmental outcomes. Cudlee Creek Forest Reserve will continue to support extensive community use as well as the long-term sustainability of the forest and forest products industry in the Mount Lofty Ranges region.
Dedicated volunteer Fox Creek mountain bike clubs, the Human Projectiles and Foxy Creakers, have contributed countless volunteer hours to site clean-up and trail remediation in recent months, however, there is still a lot of work to do. This includes further trail remediation and slashing of seasonal grass growth along the edges of trails.
ForestrySA, with its partners, is committed to reopening the Fox Creek Bike Park where possible, as soon as it is safe to do so, but as yet no date has been set.
Which trails will be opened to the public and how will access be managed?
ForestrySA will provide advice via the ForestrySA website and Facebook page once the site has been made safe and can re-open under Stage 2 of the Recovery Plan.
During the first few weeks of re-opening, an information booth will be on-site to inform and guide forest users. Maps and temporary signage will direct users to available trails. A dedicated website, Facebook and Instagram accounts will also provide up to date information.
Car parks will be reopened and ForestrySA is working with the Adelaide Hills Council to improve traffic management at both car parks and to enhance the top car park.
Trails to be reopened during Stage 2 include:
- Ant Logic
- Dirty Little Secrets
- Easy Rider
- Green Smoothie
- Dream Weaver
- Blue Groove
Work is currently underway on trails requiring professional remediation including The Ducks Guts, Fox Long, Patterson’s Curse, FAME and Fox Bowl. Some trails require major repairs and will be addressed in 2021, including Middle Earth, Climbing Ivy and Fox Fast.
The Mawson Trail has remained open during the fire recovery due to a reroute. The Heysen Trail will reopen once harvesting is complete.
A new visitor centre is also in development in partnership with BikeSA.
A comment from Christian Haag, Chief Executive Officer, Bike SA:
The Fox Creek Bike Park is SA’s mountain biking jewel in the crown and Bike SA looks forward to continuing our partnership with ForestrySA around the many new developments currently being planned for the facility as well as running our 20th anniversary edition of the Dirty Weekend 24hr.