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Majura Pines forest to be turned over for recreational use

Shane Rattenbury at the construction of the Majura Parkway that has cut the popular Majura Pines recreation area in half.

Shane Rattenbury at the construction of the Majura Parkway that has cut the popular Majura Pines recreation area in half. Photo: Melissa Adams

It's been sliced in two by a motorway and is coming to the end of its working life but a Canberra pine forest where Cadel Evans once raced mountain bikes is to be spruced up and reopened for recreational use.

The 91-hectare Majura Pines has for decades been a working forest and a popular location for mountain biking, orienteering and running.

ACT Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury hopes the Pines will be open for business again later this year after work on the Majura Parkway is completed. An underpass will ensure both parts of the Pines are easily accessible by recreational users.

Mr Rattenbury said more than 500 people had made submissions to the government on the future of the Pines since a public consultation process began two weeks ago.

"I think that just underlines the popularity of the area and the enthusiasm of people to turn it back into a great recreation site,'' he said. "People have been asking for new trails, drinking water points, directional signs. The broad idea is to re-create mountain bike riding opportunities with a good set of trails, the parking to go with that and of course connections through to Hackett and Ainslie on the other side of the mountain where a lot of people come from.''

The Majura Pines hosted Australian mountain biking championships in the 1990s.

It is also used by the nearby Guide camp and has previously hosted police training exercises.

The current forest was planted between 1985 and 1987 and is coming towards the end of its viable commercial life.

The ACT's 7500 hectares of pine trees are progressively logged with the proceeds used to maintain the viability of the forests.

About 10,500 hectares of pine plantations were destroyed during the January, 2003, bushfires.

11 comments so far

  • The NEW Canberra International Dragway right through the middle is a fine idea.
    Its about time the drag racers where taken notice of after years of ACT governments
    bending over backwards to minorities.

    Date and time
    February 18, 2014, 7:19AM
    • There is a new dragway right through the middle, it's called the Majura Parkway and it opens later this year.

      Stir the pot
      Date and time
      February 18, 2014, 8:51AM
    • You got me Stir the pot, problem there is it is already behind time and over budget.

      Date and time
      February 18, 2014, 9:21AM
    • Let the dragway go already. I get it, the GOvernment here does seem to build stuff for a alot of smaller groups all the time, but really we already ahev the race in Kowen forrest, plus Summer Nats - the car sector does well as it is in Canberra.

      Date and time
      February 18, 2014, 10:02AM
    • I suspect you'll find that families looking for outdoor recreation facilities, mountain bikers, runners, horse riders, and dog walkers far out number drag racing enthusiasts.

      Date and time
      February 18, 2014, 10:28AM
    • Private enterprise is the only solution for the dragway. And setting it up in an area that will bring money to a struggling community is part of the solution.

      Goulbourn ticks most of the boxes and is on a motorway too.

      Dragon Inn
      Date and time
      February 18, 2014, 11:28AM
  • Hmmm. An underpass. Just the thing for solo women to want to use in a forest. But I can understand there's really no other option. I hope it's going to be well-lit and wide enough to cater for both the mountain bikes ripping through it and people on foot.

    Gungahlin Girl
    Date and time
    February 18, 2014, 8:06AM
    • I'm really pleased that Majura Pines is going to be maintained as a recreation facility. I've been going there since the early 1990's and it's always been a wonderful friendly place to run or ride with friends, kids and dogs. It was built up organically and occasionally annihilated by forest thinning activities etc but always bounced back. I hope that early spirit of the place is maintained and it doesn't become just another place where dogs are unwelcome, kids get yelled at for being too slow, you have to ride in one direction, and everybody is taking themselves far too seriously. Governments tend not to value unofficial community built things like the Pines, and I was really sad when they rammed Majura Pkwy through the middle of them, so it's nice to hear that the ACT Government is planning to rebuild them as a recreation facility.

      Date and time
      February 18, 2014, 10:35AM
      • Will this be open to dirt bikes with full registration? I don't see why not.

        Date and time
        February 18, 2014, 10:52AM
        • Motor sports don't mix safely with people walking, running, cycling and riding horses, nor do they go well with kids. A single pass of a trail bike does more damage to a trail than hundreds of passes by a mountain bike - trail bikes are heavier, more powerful, have bigger knobs on their tyres, faster, and are more polluting. Back before Stromlo pines burnt down trail bikes would occasionally get onto the horse riding trails and mountain biking trails there and rip them completely to pieces in a single pass if there had been any recent rain. And there's no historical access to or usage of the Pines by motor vehicles. So there's a few reasons why they shouldn't be given access.

          Date and time
          February 18, 2014, 3:49PM

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