A few mountain bike club members have been asking questions about the dumbing down of the great technical single-track around the Kelvin Heights golf club. This bit of trail has been a locals favourite for many years and although it has seemed pretty inevitable that it would be turned into a motorway after the same thing has been done to the Jacks Point and Kelvin Heights trails it is still disappointing.
The Queenstown Mountain Bike club has asked the Queenstown Trails Trust for the reasons behind the motorwaying of this trail and if there are any plans to replace the technical singletrack they they have (will have?) removed. We will keep you up to date with their response.
Within a couple of hours I had received this response from Kaye Parker the CEO of Queenstown Trails Trust (formerly Wakatipu Trails Trust)
“Thanks for your query. I’ve copied Tom in as well as we had a wee chat about this a couple of weeks ago. The work being carried out currently is being done by the KPCA [Kelvin Peninsula Community Association]who are tireless workers keeping the Peninsula in great order. I haven’t seen it yet, am due to meet with them on Tuesday. Yes, we need to improve and widen the existing trail for several reasons. Not only to finish the loop on the Kelvin Peninsula section of the Queenstown Trail, to meet the NZ Cycleway criteria but also to make available to younger and older members of our Queenstown community and visitors one of the most beautiful outlooks in the basin. The council and the Trust will look at widening this section, subject to funds next year.
Feedback from Kelvin Peninsula residents and locals about the widening of the Kelvin Peninsula trail from the Kawarau one lane bridge to meet up with the trail work carried out by KPCA earlier has been overwhelmingly positive. Several people who initially opposed the widening have said they are now pleased with it and can see that the use of the trail by older and younger members of our Queenstown community has risen dramatically. Many locals have also expressed disappointment that they or their family members can’t access the trail around the Peninsula because of its difficult terrain. We have many other suitable more difficult trails throughout the basin and surrounding mountains for cyclists and walkers who want more of a challenge and the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club has been responsible for many of these. You all do a great job. We hope everyone can come to accept that the lower basin needs to be accessible to as many of our local community as possible, especially the young and the elderly.
The Trust is extremely supportive of the QMBC and its efforts in establishing the Queenstown Bike Park. Despite us having a $5.4m Queenstown Trail funding raising and trail development programme, we gave $20,000 to the maintenance of the Bike Park last year.”
Thanks for the prompt response Kaye, I hope this answers our members questions.