Following a very positive Feasibility Study (Summary here) into the proposed Yarra Valley Trail, the Shire of Yarra Ranges in May officially agreed to move to the design phase.
In doing so the council has committed the substantial sum of $550,000 for the design task.
This committment is due to the report finding the Yarra Valley Trail would attract more than 210,000 people annually, generate 222 new jobs and more than $30m for the local economy.
Completing the design will allow sourcing of the funding to construct the Trail, which the study estimates will cost $10.6 million.
The trail is an exciting concept that would eventually create a loop through the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. It will involve the long awaited extension of the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail from Lilydale to Yarra Glen. By a combination of quiet roads, riverside trails and even aqueduct trails it will go on to Healesville, then to Woori Yallock, where it would join back up with the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail.
It is envisaged that the trail would be a major tourism draw card, attract new business and help to position the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges as a cycling, running and walking destination.