Bruce Ridge Trail Network History
- New trails form as a result of increased recreational use from neighboring suburbs and institutions.
- In 1993 Bruce Ridge was gazetted as a nature reserve under the Territory Plan forming part of Canberra Nature Park.Its primary management objective is to conserve and improve native plant and animal communities and maintain biodiversity and ecological process;
- Increased unauthorized mountain bike trail building was identified as having negative impacts on ecological processes in Bruce Ridge;
- In an attempt to mitigate unauthorized trail building, in the late 1990’s the Department of Urban Services (now Territory and Municipal Services – TAMS) began a trial of mountain bike riding on Bruce Ridge. Mountain biking was permitted on selected shared trails with additional shared trails constructed.
2006 – 2009
- the Gungahlin Drive Extension was built along the Northern edge of Bruce Ridge that separated a section of bushland to the North West. This remains connected through a number of underpasses for wildlife and park users. This ‘Eastern Alignment’ was subject to a number of legal challenges by the local ‘Save the Ridge’ group.
- The Environment and Sustainability Development Directorate (ESDD) division, Conservation Planning and Research (CPR), conducted an inspection of the Bruce Ridge trail network in consultation with the TAMS land managers, Parks and Conservation Service (PCS). The findings of the inspection informed a public consultation process conducted by PCS that was undertaken to inform the way forward for management of mountain biking on Bruce Ridge. A balance between conservation and recreation was sought.
- Friends of Bruce Ridge (FoBR) formed as part of the consultation process to assist PCS. Guided by the joint input of TAMS and ESDD, FoBR’s primary objective is to maintain sustainable trails, rehabilitate unsustainable trails and provide community involvement opportunities.
- FoBR proposed a sustainable trail network concept plan;
- International Mountain Bike Association Report: trail assessment. This internal government report determined the sustainability of the proposed FoBR trail network and put forward recommendations;
- CPR Report: assessment of proposed alignments, new trails and descent trail. This internal government report analyzed the IMBA Report and issued further recommendations.
- FoBR began trail upgrades under the guidance of TAMS and ESDD.
- Commissioner of Sustainability and the Environment Report: Report into the Management of Mountain Bike Riding on Bruce Ridge. This internal government report investigated the management of recreation on Bruce Ridge and put forward recommendations.
- Trail network concept plan was finalized based on all reports and recommendations to date.
- Major trail network upgrades: trail names, signage, realignments new trails, and closures. All works managed and conducted by PCS in collaboration with FoBR and community volunteers.
- Trails named and over 100 signposts installed along with trailhead maps and signs.
- Interactive information page developed and released by PCS as a pilot for other nature parks
- FoBR a finalist in the 2015 Volunteer of the Year awards
- Bruce Ridge trails formally opened by the Minister Shane Rattenbury on 31 October and who was presented with a CORC riding jersey.
- Trail maintenance tools presented to FoBR by PCS and the Kowalski Brothers.
- FoBR nominated for a 2015 Landcare award.
- Trail maintenance continues to occur on the last weekend of the Month.
- Storms have caused quite a few tree falls which have required contractors and equipment to clear trails.