Rotorua is famous around the globe for its world-class mountain bike trails. We caught up with the Trails Manager, Damian Clarke to find out more about what they do and how they do it.
Q. What is the purpose of the Rotorua Trails Trust?
We build, rebuild, maintain and advocate for MTB, walking and equestrian trail network in the Whakarewarewa Forest as well as the Rainbow Mountain trails, Te Ara Ahi network and Western Okataina trail. We are also involved with the Urban cycleway project. The Whaka network alone runs into over 200km of trail to maintain so it's a big job, and of course with the forest being a working forest there is always rebuild work to undertake after logging.
Q. How is the Rotorua Trails Trust funded?
We are funded through a combination of contracted work for the council and fundraising activity such as grant applications and membership donations. We also rely heavily on our brilliant volunteers - from the Trustees to the 'on trail' volunteers. Finally, we have a lot of great sponsors.
Q. What is the process of building a new trail?
All trail building requests go through the Forest Recreation Management Group made up of Iwi landowner representation, Rotorua Lakes Council and Timberlands. The Rotorua Trails Trust presents new trail ideas to this group for approval. From there we decide on how the trail will be funded and whether we will build the trails ourselves or contract the work out. Any trail being destroyed by logging can be rebuilt automatically once we are given the OK by Timberlands to go back in.
Q. What else would you like to share?
Maintaining more than 170km of MTB trails and building new trails takes a fair bit of help in cash, and people power, so please take a minute to join the Rotorua Trails Trust through our web page at www.rotoruatrailstrust.co.nz and donate a little bit of hard earned cash for guaranteed good trail karma. Also, like our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Feel free to contact us through Facebook messenger, email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop and have a chat in the forest :)
If you would like to participate in the working bees, check out their Facebook event page here