Forrest MTB Detailed Design Project - Update 1

24th April 2019 - The Forrest Mountain Bike Detailed Design Plan project will complement the 2015 Forrest MTB Strategic Plan and the 2018 Forrest MTB Economic Analysis; so that the Forrest MTB Network and supporting community infrastructure is considered ‘shovel ready’ and an immediate investment opportunity for Government. The project has been funded through a Federal Government Grant of $100,000 with matching funds and in-kind support from Council.

To deliver the project Council has formed a Project Working Group which is led by Council and made up of representatives from the community, the Forrest MTB Club, DELWP and Barwon Water. Following a tender process, Dirt Art Pty Ltd has been appointed to deliver the Forrest MTB Detailed Design Project (DDP).

While the project is focused on the MTB network, the aim is to deliver outcomes for other recreational pursuits, the community, the environment and visitors too.

To read the full project update and view the community engagement plan please just click this article!

Trails Fund

Our goal is to keep the Forrest MTB trails as some of the best in Australia. To do this we have to apply for state & federal funding and we have to match them dollar for dollar. So we can continue to improve our trails the Forrest Mountain Bike Club has started a Go Fund me page.....if you can contribute a little bit to assist would be much appreciated!

We are a small club in a country town. The tracks are also vital income to this small but forward thinking community. In the past we have run many successful rides, including The Forest 6 hour and Red Carpet Repeats. Funds raised will be used for maintaining and improving the 16 graded tracks. Mountain biking is an ever increasingly popular sport however the upkeep is an ongoing issue. We all love well maintained tracks, so if we all do a little, a lot can be achieved!

Thanks very much for your support....please click the link below to help!!

Forrest Mountain Bike Trails Detailed Design Plan – Contractor Appointed

28/02/19 - Last year the Federal Government committed $100k from Round 2 of the Building Better Regions Fund for a ‘Forrest Mountain Bike Trails Detailed Design Plan’. With the Colac Otway Shires matching funding ($100k cash & $20k in-kind) we have $220k for Precinct Masterplans, Detailed Design And Preplanning Works.

Council is very excited to announce that ‘Dirt Art Pty Ltd’ has been formally appointed as the contractor for the Forrest MTB Detailed Design Project. Council would like to thank the Project Steering Group and Tender Evaluation Panel who have assisted developing the project plan and appointing Dirt Art. Furthermore we need to thank the Forrest MTB Implementation Committee, the Forrest community and the Forrest MTB Club members whose passion for the trails keeps us all heading in the right direction.

Dirt Art has a 10+ year history of developing successful mountain bike destinations. Unlike many other companies in the industry who only focus on building trails, Dirt Art have a market-leading understanding of the broader destination market place, including visitor behaviours and market trends, and commercial and business development. Through the company’s Maydena Bike Park project, and other large-scale destination projects, Dirt Art has demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the broader adventure tourism sector, which is a critical component of successful destination development. Dirt Art was one of the first companies to work in the destination mountain biking space and was instrumental in developing the early concepts and design packages for what eventually became Blue Derby. Blue Derby is now widely regarded as one of Australia’s top mountain bike destinations.

The Detailed Design Plan will complement the Forrest MTB Strategic Plan and the 2018 Forrest MTB Economic Analysis; so that the Forrest MTB trails are considered ‘shovel ready’ and are seen as a ‘must have’ investment opportunity for both the Federal and State Governments.

The new All User Skills Park opens just in time for the Christmas holidays!!

19/12/18 - Thanks to our friends at Forest Fire Management Victoria the new All User Skills Park has opened just prior to Christmas! Forrest Fire Management Victoria engaged trail building company Trailscapes to design and construct the skills park, in consultation with members of the the Forrest Mountain Bike Club.

The park allows riders of all ages and abilities to sharpen their skills on a trail loop of obstacles mountain bikers encounter on the 60 kilometers of trails around Forrest township. It includes more than 500 meters of track, with constructed features (such as ladders, rollers and berms) and different trail surfaces (such as gravel and rock). The park is located adjacent to the trail head car park on Forrest - Apollo Bay Road.

Image Courtesy – DELWP Barwon South West

The new ‘All User Skill Park’ is about to become a reality!!!

3/10/18 - Forrest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV), as part of the DELWP Visitor Assets and Information Program, has recently committed to spending $171,000 over two years on the Forrest MTB trail network to meet priorities laid out in the Forrest Mountain Bike Strategic Plan. This includes a new toilet block, an All User Skills Park and various existing trail enhancements.

In 2018/19 FFMV will turn soil on the new All User Skills park, the facility been designed and will be constructed adjacent to the trail head carpark on the Forrest-Apollo Bay Road. In terms of mountain bike skills parks, this will be an exciting facility which will cater for all ages and skill levels, allowing riders to hone their skills, test their abilities and learn new proficiencies. The continual evolution of mountain biking has led to a recent boom in the popularity of bike skills parks. The Forrest Skills Park will be a standout community component of the Forrest Mountain Bike Trails network which will provide a managed arena for beginners and experts alike.

Funding Win - $200k for a Forrest MTB Design Plan

2nd July 2018 - Forrest MTB application to Round 2 of the ‘Building Better Regions Fund (Community Investment Stream)’ for $100k was successful. So with Councils matching ($80k cash & $20k in kind) funding we have $200k for precinct masterplans, detailed design and preplanning work.

As we’ve experienced, funding is harder than ever to get and the expectation from the State and Federal Governments is that projects need to stand out. So for the Forrest MTB Strategic Plan, Council considers that these funds and other recent undertakings like the ‘Macro Plan Economic Analysis’ are essential activities to build our future case for investment.

A full list of successful round two projects under the Community Investment stream are available at

Thanks for everyone’s assistance with this application!

Fund our trails by purchasing a Manky Map

Another way to support our trails is to purchase our new “Manky Maps” for $14.00.

What is a Manky map? Manky (mang-kee) noun, plural, who knows·kys - a map that loves the great outdoors.....just like you!'ve never heard of a manky map before? The Forrest MTB Trails manky map is indestructible, reusable, washable, you can write on them, polishes your glasses or phone screen.....what an awesome gift idea.......oh and you can use them as guide to find your way about.

All profits go to the Forrest Mountain bike Club's "Trail fund” for the betterment and maintenance of our trails for everyone.

The maps are available in Forrest from the Corner Store in Station Street and the General Store in Grant Street, at the Colac Otway Shires Visitor Information Centres in Apollo Bay or Colac and from Degrandi cycle and sport in Geelong.
The Forrest MTB club would also like to thank Paul Miller for kindly organising and donating the first batch of these awesome maps to the club, in order to raise much needed funds for further trail works!!

Thanks for your support!

Forrest Mountain Bike Trails Strategic Plan

The Forrest Mountain Bike Trails project will develop new trails, upgrade existing trails, create critical road safety infrastructure with township connections and establish an all user skills park. These enhancements will secure Forrest as a key mountain bike and tourist destination in the Great Ocean Road region, Victoria and Australia in a planned and coordinated manner with lasting outcomes.

The Forrest Mountain Bike (MTB) Strategic Plan project was coordinated and supported by COS and guided by a Project Working Group comprising representatives from key Council departments, Regional Development Victoria (RDV), DELWP, Barwon Water and key local stakeholders. Extensive public consultation including public meetings, reference groups and online engagement informed the Forrest Mountain Bike Strategic Plan. The Forrest MTB Strategic Plan was prepared by Thompson and Berrill Landscape Designs PL in Association with Simon McArthur & Associates in February 2015. The purpose of the plan is to provide strategic guidance and recommendations to present a sustainable future for Forrest's mountain bike trails. The Forrest MTB Strategic Plan was adopted by COS Council on 25th March 2015.

Forrest MTB Implementation Committee

One of the key governance action from the Forrest MTB Strategic Plan was for key agency representatives (from Colac Otway Shire, DELWP, Barwon Water, Parks Victoria and community and business stakeholder),to meet, discuss and provide direction for ongoing maintenance, management and funding options for the MTB trail network.

In mid-2015 Colac Otway Shire Council, DELWP, Barwon Water, Parks Victoria, the Forrest MTB Club and the Forrest & District Community Group formed the Forrest MTB Strategic Plan Implementation Committee. Together all stakeholders are committed to actioning the MTB Strategic Plan to strengthen Forrest’s offerings; when the plan is implemented ‘Forrest’ will be one of the best destination to visit, dine, work and play in the Great Ocean Road region. The overarching aims of the strategic plan are to enhance the historical value of Forrest, to protect the pristine environment, to establish a flourishing economy and ultimately, to provide a safe, unique and world class MTB experience for a broad range of riders and visitors.

For further information about the Forrest MTB Implementation Committee please contact Adrian Healey E:

Our Vision - New Trails Infrastructure

An ‘All User Skills Park’ will be designed and constructed adjacent to the trail head carpark on the Forrest-Apollo Bay Road. In terms of mountain bike skills parks, this will be a large and exciting 3,600 square metre facility which will cater for all ages and skill levels, allowing riders to hone their skills, test their abilities and learn new proficiencies. The continual evolution of mountain biking has led to a recent boom in the popularity of bike skills parks. The Forrest Skills Park will be a standout community component of the Forrest Mountain Bike Trails network which will provide a managed arena for beginners and experts alike.

The Forrest Mountain Bike Trails will also undergo significant redevelopment to cater for a greater range of age groups and rider abilities. An additional 7.1km of new works will be developed, which include:

New trails alignments:

• 'Forrest Flow' is an exciting opportunity for a new 2.5 – 3.0km singletrack flow trail down the large east-facing slope of Forrest. This trail will be coded ‘Blue’ to provide a long flowing single track, with excellent constant gradient for a challenging and enjoyable downhill ride close to town, with loops back to the township and the Forrest trailhead. This new trail opportunity specifically meets a major objective of the Forrest MTB Strategic Plan to enhance the intermediate to advanced trail offer closer to Forrest township, for convenient and diversified mountain bike product. The trail will also have many advanced ‘Black’ B-Lines to offer advanced riders a stimulating and challenging downhill ride where the B-Line is an alternative route from an existing trail. The ‘Forrest Flow B-Line’ will feature a number of wooden structures, berms and jumps. There will be ample room to ‘go big’ or to go around larger features and select less risky, parallel features

• In the Forrest MTB Strategic Plan, 'Boundary Rider' is identified a major risk issue due to the requirement for riders to travel up and down Boundary Road. The track itself is comparatively uninteresting and a hard and exhausting ride which creates a major disincentive for riders to access Yaugher from Forrest. It is also dangerous due to vehicles using the road at high speeds alongside weaving riders. An exciting opportunity exists to create a new climbing and descending trail running beside Boundary Road, on DELWP managed land, creating a safe and enjoyable alternative to Boundary Road which will in turn be permanently closed

• ‘Vista’ is the least used and longest trail at Yaugher with estimates of fewer than 15 riders a year. The trail has recently been significantly modified for fire access. A synergistic opportunity exists to convert Vista to a dedicated equestrian trail, giving the horse riding community an excellent long ride.

Our Vision - Trails Enhancements

Upgrades to existing trails:

• The current design and alignment of ‘The Rollercoasters’ will be upgraded to decrease speed as it is a fast ride which can cause accidents and is not conducive to the 'first ride' experience for mountain bike visitors

• ‘Follow the Dog’ is identified in the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) guidelines as a ‘Blue’ run due to its terrain and degree of technical difficulty. However, due to the physically demanding qualities it is considered by riders as a ‘Black’ run and will be upgraded to such

• Red Carpet’ will be realigned to diversify the existing route in order to make the ride more interesting. The steeper side terrain of the long slopes will be used to create more challenging ‘Black’ B-Line runs for advanced riders.

Our Vision - Underpass for Trails Connection

Critical road safety infrastructure will be put in place including a road underpass. Detailed design and the construction of the tunnel underpass (south of Boundary Road) and realignment of the trail will occur. Currently the crossing of Birregurra-Forrest Road (which serves as a link to Boundary Road and access to the Yaugher trail network) is at the apex of a curve with the road currently designated at 80kms/hr for vehicles. This presents significant safety crossing challenges and dangerous risks for cyclists, drivers and passengers.

Our Vision - Rebranding, New Signage and Brand Positioning

Signage improvements will involve reviewing and consolidating the existing signage in addition to removing confusing and duplicated signage in other areas. This work will include:

• Developing and designing key visitor directional and historic signage at a key public open space site and destination, to be determined in consultation with the community
• Undertaking a design upgrade to township interpretation signage - the form and materials used will reflect the genuine country character and historic qualities of the township.

An updated brand positioning works and marketing plan will take place. Brand positioning works for the Forrest Mountain Bike Trails will be conducted so that the trails messaging framework interacts with GOR master brand disciplines and the Otways brand positioning works. This work would be facilitated by Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism (GORRT).