The Knowsley Forest’s Smart Track Day Visitor Area has recently had new facilities installed for users arriving in this forest enclosed environment. With this area just 800metres from the crossing point of the forest’s Smart Track with the O’Keefe Rail Trail, it is an easy wayfinding signed connection for trail users to walk or cycle to this visitor area.
To complement existing facilities such as the toilets, a gas BBQ under shelter, and various seating/tables that were installed in late 2021 adjacent to the water dam, there has been new stainless steel designer bike racks installed.
Also installed is an impressive new interpretive sign provided by Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). The outcome of the sign, with its focus on the O’Keefe Rail Trail, has been a collaborative effort between DELWP and Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail community group.
The Friends group contributed historical and informative content for the signage, while DELWP worked with a graphic artist and metal fabrication specialist to create an interesting metal art sculpture that integrates elements of the O’Keefe Rail Trail’s branding. The interpretive sign has photos of a steam locomotive at the Heathcote Railway Station, as well as cyclists on O’Keefe Rail Trail’s causeway crossing of Lake Eppalock. Descriptions cover the brief history of the former railway as well as the O’Keefe Rail Trail. A graphic designed map of the O’Keefe Rail Trail is also included in the second panel on the structure.
To also enable visitors in motor vehicles to share the space with trail users at this Smart Track Day Visitor Area, directional signs have been installed at the forest’s McIvor Highway entrances to enable easy access to enjoy this natural yet managed forest environment. The area’s users are reminded to take with them all items and any rubbish upon leaving, hence allowing others to also enjoy this forest and its facilities.