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Unsanctioned Trails

Unauthorised trail construction can impact sites of environmental, cultural and community significance.

Albury is home to an extensive trail network that allows locals and visitors to explore the amazing sights from the Muray River right up into ranges that surround Albury. Despite boasting a great existing network and a vision to increase opportunities into the future, a key issue that we continue to deal with has been the construction of unauthorised tracks within areas of environmental significance.

Albury’s environmental areas and conservation zones are critically important for the long-term persistence of our Box Gum Grassy Woodlands (critically endangered ecological community), and local threatened species such as the Squirrel Glider, Sloane’s Froglet and several threatened woodland birds like the Speckled Warbler.

If unsanctioned trails are detected in areas of community significance (environmental, cultural & social), council officers will carry out an assessment and may initiate a rehabilitation program to return the area back to a natural or previous state. We want to make sure we get the balance right, so the public can utilise these areas whilst ensuring we protect our local environment so that future generations can enjoy.

What are unsanctioned trails?

Unsanctioned trails can simply be defined as trails built without landowner’s consent. These trails, jumps or other structures have not been appropriately planned for and are often poorly constructed, impacting on the values of the specific area. Some of the ways we see these impacts is through:

  • the damage or removal of native vegetation,
  • the introduction of weeds and spread of plant diseases such as Phytophthora (Phytophthora cinnamomi) which causes dieback in native vegetation
  • litter and rubbish dumping,
  • disturbing the ground layer potentially impacting areas of cultural significance,
  • excavation leading to erosion and sedimentation of waterways.

Unsanctioned trails also pose a safety risk to both riders and other users who utilise these public lands for passive and active recreation.

Assessing unsanctioned trails for rehabilitation

Once reported or detected, Council officers will carry out an inspection of unsanctioned trails. If they determine that use of these tracks has become excessive, impacts the local environment, amenity of residents or becomes a risk to public safety they may initiate rehabilitation works. Attempts will be made to notify local users so that they are aware of proposed rehabilitation works. Some of the key steps that council will take during the rehabilitation phase include:

  • assessment of unsanctioned trails (carried out by Council officers),
  • temporary signage erected to notify the community that creating bike jumps and tracks on council land without permission is unauthorised and rehabilitation works will be carried out
  • council or approved contractors will remove unsanctioned trails, jumps, litter, and other structures,
  • temporary or permanent fencing is installed to block future access,
  • restoration works that may include planting and other works to mitigate impacts.
Where else can I ride my bike?

Albury and the surrounding regions are home to an extensive trail network that allows residents and visitors to find an option that suits their ability or desire. We have purpose-built BMX tracks, several pump tracks, an extensive shared path network and formal mountain bike trails whilst planning is underway to expand the network into the future. Click the links below to discover opportunities around our local region.