Cycling and walking trail to open next month

The next piece in Otago’s ever-increasing trail network is set to open next month.

The Lake Dunstan Cycle and Walking Trail will officially open on Saturday, May 8 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Clyde followed by celebrations in Cromwell.

Beset with delays, the project was originally planned to be open at the end of last year, but that was pushed out due Covid-19 Alert Level 4 stopping work during lockdown.

It was then scheduled to open at the end of March, but additional rock face work was required to complete the last 100m stretch.

Central Otago Queenstown Trail Network Trust chairman Stephen Jeffery said the trail would take riders through scenery which would otherwise be inaccessible, past historic sites and on to engineered structures built specifically for the trail.

"The route links to the Otago Central Rail Trail and forms part of the Great Rides in Central Otago and the Southern Lakes."

Members of the public would be among the first riders on the trail.

"There are 10 spots open in the official first bunch for local cyclists to ride the trail from Clyde heritage precinct to Cromwell heritage precinct, a distance of 42km," Mr Jeffery said.

"We are accepting applications until April 21, after which there will be a ballot to select the lucky winners."

Once the official first party left, anyone else could then ride the trail from the Clyde end in what was called "one day, one way".

Festivities would shift to Cromwell for the grand opening celebrations from noon to 5pm.

Cromwell & Districts Promotion Group community relationships manager Gretchen Nightingale said live entertainment, street food and a local wine would feature.

"It’ll be the perfect spot for supporters to enjoy the afternoon while waiting on their cyclists to complete the trail."

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