Gaye-Manning Ward and Tim Bray at work on the first section of the Snells Beach to Warkworth walking/cycleway, which links Hamatana Road to Grange Street.
A new trail society was formed this month with the goal of enriching Mahurangi’s transport links.
The Mahurangi Trail Society, which comes under the umbrella of the Matakana Coast Trail Trust, aims to have walking and cycling trails connect to kayaks, boats, ferries and water taxis.
The new society has emerged from a Snells Beach Ratepayers and Residents Association subcommittee, which has been active in developing a walkway/cycleway between Snells Beach and Warkworth.
Mahurangi Trail Society chair Gary Heaven says the split from the Ratepayers and Residents Association was amicable and it allows the new society to operate on a broader scale. It also recognises that the goals of the society might not always coincide with the association.
Mr Heaven says a key goal of the trail society is to continue to progress the cycleway between Snells Beach and Warkworth.
At the same time, it wants to establish further walking and cycling connections across the whole of the Mahurangi East peninsula, including the area’s new regional park, and to link the peninsula to Matakana.
If the vision is realised, those travelling down the Mahurangi River on the Jane Gifford to Dawson’s Landing could return to Warkworth via bicycle. Alternatively, bikers from Warkworth could pick up a ferry to Auckland at Snells Beach, should a terminal be built there as suggested by the Mahurangi River Restoration Trust.
Mr Heaven remains undeterred in these ambitious goals, despite having suffered recent setbacks in connection with the Snells Beach to Warkworth walkway/cycleway.
A detailed impact assessment report on the proposed route, which runs near Duck Creek Road, highlighted that major engineering works would be required and a walkway/cycleway in the area posed a significant threat of spreading kauri dieback.
Mr Heaven says the trail society now has no option but to consider alternative routes, which will involve discussions with private landowners.
Nevertheless, the first section of the Snells to Warkworth trail, from Hamatana Road to Grange Street, has been completed.
Mr Heaven says completion of the first section was a good learning exercise in trail construction and dealing with the paperwork required by Auckland Council.
Info: Gary Heaven firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 896 698.