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RidgeWalk

Published on 22 January 2019

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Throughout 2018, Council project officers and master planning consultants explored ideas about art, history, transportation, recreation, parking and tourism with the community to help shape RidgeWalk.

RidgeWalk will provide a unique cultural experience. The 39km trail will tell a story about the environment, landscape and how artists and the community have responded to life in the Dandenong Ranges.

Further engagement on the project master plan go ahead in mid April when the plan is open for comment on Council’s website.

Events and activities will also take place to support community engagement on the plan.

The master plan will include information about the trail route and design, parking and transportation, wayfinding signage, key sites and a framework for cultural interpretation (signage).

It will also present concept designs and an activation plan for signage and artistic sites.

What will RidgeWalk be like?

The trail will lead people through stunning natural sites with heritage signage, temporary art and permanent sculptures.

It will establish new spaces for education, cultural expression and social gatherings. The project will deepen the understanding and appreciation of the rich creative communities that continue to thrive in the Dandenongs.

It will also connect townships with improved trails, accessibility, signage, and infrastructure.

Who is funding it?

The Federal Government has contributed $2.3 million toward RidgeWalk, a contribution that was secured through advocacy by Council and the Member for La Trobe.

The State Government recently committed $2 million through the Growing Suburbs Fund, which will be matched by Council.

Council has received $3.5 million from the Federal Government's Regional Growth Fund.

The project is worth $9.8 million in total.

Trail route

An early draft of the proposed trail route for RidgeWalk is available in the Related Information section of this page.

The route will include connections and upgrades to existing tracks, as well as the development of new ones.

The current draft has multiple entry points, and connects Upper Ferntree Gully, Upwey and Belgrave to Montrose and Mt Evelyn, through Ferny Creek, Sassafras, Olinda, Mount Dandenong, Kalorama, Kallista and Sherbrooke.

The trail route is a key component of the Draft Master Plan which is nearing completion.

 

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Consultants from Arterial Design and Urban Initiatives have been in conversation with community members over recent months through Council’s engagement activities for RidgeWalk.

In particular, local walkers and members of history, heritage and environmental groups have been advising on optimal route options and considerations. 

Cultural study

The RidgeWalk cultural study is a 190 page illustrated text that examines the dynamic dialogue between art and landscape in the Dandenongs. It covers the artistic styles, locations and significant events that have influenced artistic output. RidgeWalk is designed to explore these key themes and to provide a platform for new expression. 

Council commissioned Bronwyn Hanna History & Heritage to conduct the study in 2017. A summary of the study can be found under the Related documents section of this page.

If you have any questions, comments or ideas please leave a question below or email ridgewalk@yarraranges.vic.gov.au

 

Join the discussion

Please read our comments policy carefully before contributing to the site.

44 comment(s) so far...

Map looks great but a few suggestions & corrections. 1. KARWARRA GARDENS not identified on map (adjacent to Kalorama Memorial Oval). 2. Location of DUNBAR COTTAGE AND DAIRY is absolutely incorrect. Is on Falls Road but the southern side of the Tourist Road. The spot you have marked is the old Kalorama Chalet. 3. St Michael & All Angels church c1940 not marked on map - stone church on cnr of Falls Rd & Tourist Rd. 4. Olinda Public Golf Course no longer exists as a golf course. 5. Should be PEG MALTBY ...............not MALTY. 6. Historic Log Cabin restaurant c1926 not identified - cnr Ridge Rd & Tourist Rd - next door to Rhodoglades retirement Village. 7. Iconic ROSTREVOR c1893 not identified on map - close to Sassafras PS .....see Melways. 8. Olinda Primary School listed twice. 9. Olinda Police Station not marked on map.

MDDHS | 15 June 2018 03:46 PM | Report to moderator

Hi MDDHS, Thanks for your comment! We'll ensure that our future maps take these considerations on board, to ensure we have things in the right place. :) Any errors will be addressed in the final draft route. All the best, Jesse

Jesse Graham | 28 June 2018 02:19 PM | Report to moderator

One question I would like to ask. The funds to create and maintain this walk are coming from shire ratepayers. What benefit do shire ratepayers obtain from this expenditure?

Ferny Creek Resident | 01 July 2018 12:04 PM | Report to moderator

Hi there,Thanks for your comment. RidgeWalk will be a celebration of the local area and its culture. It would increase walkability of the area by connecting townships and improving trail conditions and signage. It would encourage visitors and locals to walk, instead of driving. It would also bring economic development to the region. The trails will have minimal environmental impact on the natural setting and existing vegetation. In 2012, Council commissioned a study to determine the priorities for those living in the Hills. Connectivity, namely the ability to walk and access townships, services and facilities, was identified as a major challenge for local residents.The study also highlighted local needs and gaps in infrastructure available. These included: poor walking connections to schools, limited township connections and poor path accessibility.

Anna Chisholm | 23 July 2018 04:28 PM | Report to moderator

The only community benefit I can see (according to your response) is the ability of locals to walk between townships. Living in Ferny Creek, I have no difficulty walking between townships although the path to Sassafras is impassable if you have a child in a pusher, and this section is not even on the Ridgewalk route. What does make walking difficult is the clouds of dust thrown up on the many unmade roads. However, the shire regards the Ridgewalk as having greater community benefit that local roads or pathways. Next time I have to make a dash to my local township to purchase that emergency novelty teapot, organic aromatherapy candle, or cute teddy bear, I will thank the Shire for spending my rates on such a fantastic project.

Ferny Creek Resident | 07 October 2018 04:58 PM | Report to moderator

Hi, I suggest that a downloadable GPX file be made available for the route, to assist those wanting to walk the route in its entirety, without getting lost or confused with other trails in the area. This will of course require that someone complete the walk, with a handheld GPS device, to record the trail, and that the resulting GPX file be made available via the RidgeWalk website.

Fred Tropp-Asher | 17 July 2018 09:48 AM | Report to moderator

Hi Fred, Thanks for your comment. We have taken your suggestion on board and considerations will be made at the appropriate project phase. The attached map is just a draft. While much of it is on existing tracks, the proposed new links will not be walkable until constructed. Thanks, Anna (site admin)

Anna Chisholm | 23 July 2018 04:16 PM | Report to moderator

When will Yarra Ranges co-operate with their neighbours and open up our end of the "Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail", along the Puffing Billy line from Gembrook to Belgrave? As well as facilitating and promoting healthy activity and joining conmmunities within and across shire boundaries, it would link the whole Melbourne bike-path network and potentially attract thousands more visitors to Belgrave, the Dandenongs and outer ranges, as well as Puffing Billy passengers. Currently you can walk or ride all the way from Gembrook to the Yarra Ranges border, then the track slams to a stop at the "Welcome to Yarra Ranges" sign, forcing pedestrians onto the train tracks, which is both dangerous and illegal.. Cardinia seems much better at obtaining and making good use of funds for this kind of project, without resorting to over-engineered concrete paths and expensive signage. Close the Missing Link!

Steve | 17 July 2018 11:38 AM | Report to moderator

Hi Steve, We’re completing the Paths and Trails Strategy in the next 12 months which includes details about the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail. Two lots of consultation will go ahead across four regions. If you have further questions please contact Council Recreation and Active Living project manager Leon Hassall by email at L.Hassall@yarraranges.vic.gov.au Thanks, Anna (site admin)

Anna Chisholm | 23 July 2018 02:47 PM | Report to moderator

Will dogs and cyclists be allowed on the RidgeWalk from end to end, or does it just re-badge National Park tracks they are banned on?

Steve | 17 July 2018 02:11 PM | Report to moderator

Hi there, Thanks for your question. Existing restrictions will apply for pets and cyclists. Wherever the existing tracks currently allow for cycling or dog walking then that will remain the same. Thanks, Anna (site admin)

Anna Chisholm | 17 July 2018 03:17 PM | Report to moderator

Hi there, there has recently been a footpath built connecting Kalorama Post Office to the Kalorama Reserve, but sadly it has gone no further. When can we expect the path connecting the rest of the tourist Rd to in Kalorama to Five Ways to have a footpath?

Tanja | 30 July 2018 09:27 PM | Report to moderator

I note that Singleton Reserve in Mt Dandenong is planned to be a picnic/stop point on this walk - what a great idea, BUT, it needs a little developing as a picnic/stop point. At the moment it is setup purely as a bushwalk venue within itself. It has a beautiful aspect across the valley that should be enjoyed as a stop/picnic outlook - there is no facility at this location other than buried in the bush, next to the road at present. In years past this location was a village green that people enjoyed picnicking at and gazing out across the valley, a perfect spot to recreate!

Alan Jennings | 21 August 2018 10:00 PM | Report to moderator

Hi Alan, Your feedback has been passed along to the Master Planners for consideration. Singleton Reserve has been identified for new track development, not necessarily a picnic/stopping point. A full evaluation of existing and required facilities for the project will be included in the Master Plan and would include Singleton Reserve. Thanks, Anna (site admin)

Anna Chisholm | 23 August 2018 02:48 PM | Report to moderator

Several sections of the proposed route seem to include directing walkers on to existing roads that do not currently have any pedestrian paths. Is the plan to create footpaths alongside these roads to cater for the extra foot traffic?

Rex | 14 September 2018 10:16 AM | Report to moderator

I'm more than slightly concerned about this plan in regards to where you intend to send pedestrians along these roads, as well as what sort of controls you intend to put in place to deal with the extra noise, traffic and litter that this trail will bring. It's not exactly clear what the advantage of this to residents. We already deal with cars, noise and anti-social behavior on a nightly basis with no relief from Council. I can see this becoming another "Thousand Steps", i.e. a glorified jogging track.

Vanessa | 14 September 2018 11:38 AM | Report to moderator

I have asked vic roads and council for many years to install a pedestrian refuge island on the tourist road at the five ways intersection for pedestrians to access the bus stop and cafe from the car park. But they refused, the excuse was that there wasn't enough traffic to necessitate one. Really!!!Obviously they don't come up here on weekends..... and now you want to direct hoards of walkers to cross at this dangerous intersection.

ANDY | 01 October 2018 05:00 PM | Report to moderator

I love the idea of connecting the villages in the Dandenongs. Is there anyway that Monbulk could be included? Monbulk has a very rich Aboriginal history that could be explored as part of the cultural and heritage trail The name Monbulk appears to have come from an aboriginal word Monbolloc meaning a hiding place in the hills. Monbolloc consists of two aboriginal words, “mon” meaning magic and “bolloc” a pond or lakeThis is reference to the nearby springs and their medicinal properties, thus the “ponds with magic powers”. . Modern day Monbulk is believed to be the area which aborigines used as a sanctuary, bringing their wounded and sick to be healed at the springs. Nathania Springs and Coonara Springs Restaurant remain as indications of the location of these springs. (Rowville-Lysterfield Community News)

Maggie | 06 October 2018 10:12 PM | Report to moderator

Hi Maggie, Thank you for the comments and question. RidgeWalk has a primary focus on the experience of the ridge of Mt Dandenong. However, the stories and history of the whole of the Dandenongs will be drawn upon to create the walk. There is a further Cultural Study to be completed with an indigenous focus that will look more deeply into the rich Aboriginal history you have described. Thanks, Anna

Anna Chisholm | 10 October 2018 01:22 PM | Report to moderator

Hi. Extending the ridgewalk on Sheffield road toward pavitt lane will actually fill out the missing link to the Dandenong creek trail and thereby access the wider Melbourne trail network. There are already intermittent paths along Sheffield road and a wide shoulder to work with. Moreover at the opposite end of the ridgewalk in the mt evylen reserve there is a stepped path that runs up to glenholme ave. This quiet road is just a stones throw to the Lillydale Warburton track. If Sheffield road was taken advantage of on one end and the steps were eliminated at my Evelyn the ridge track could be the link between the cbd and Yarra glen, Warburton, lillydale and Healesville. Minor incremental cost. Massive benefit. I’ve ridden this route without the benefit of a completed path many times. Hope this helps.

Larry | 20 October 2018 11:52 PM | Report to moderator

Hi Larry, Thank you for your comment and suggestions. We will be announcing some pop-up info sessions at community markets around the Dandenongs shortly. Would be a good opportunity to ask any questions you might have, and to raise the idea of extending RidgeWalk. Stay tuned to this page and more information will be available shortly. Thanks, Anna

Anna Chisholm | 22 October 2018 04:44 PM | Report to moderator

I'm only just starting to look into this so don't have all the facts. However am I correct in my arithmetic that about $6.3 million is being channeled into this trail which seems pretty small in context of the whole of the Yarra Ranges shire area. Surely it doesn't cost that much to make some tails and picnic spots with a few information plaques etc.? As others have commented, there are many much more urgent issues to be addressed across the shire. I'm sure decent trails could be developed much more cheaply AND extend further than one ridgeline?

Shazza | 05 November 2018 10:47 PM | Report to moderator

Can you please publish a clearer map of the proposed ridgewalk routes? The section through Ferny Creek seems to join the bottom of Myrtle Road where there is currently no footpath. I am very interested in this section as if this route goes ahead I will have thousands of walkers looking through my lounge window every day and flashing torches at me at night.

Ferny Creek Resident | 07 November 2018 06:22 PM | Report to moderator

Hi there,Thank you for your enquiry. We have added the most recent detailed route segments to our webpage, on the right-hand side. There's a few documents, but it gives a much greater detail to the proposed route.We are still in the planning stages of RidgeWalk and have communicated your concerns to our master planners. We intend to provide an opportunity for more specific street consultation for residents where the path will alter existing conditions later in the project.I hope this helps!All the best,Jesse (site admin)

Jesse | 14 November 2018 04:32 PM | Report to moderator

I note that at a recent community information session, when we raised the very real scenario of this becoming another 1000 steps, with all its associated noise, traffic and rubbish issues, that the response was that "we aren't expecting those sort of numbers of people". So my question is, exactly HOW MANY people are you expecting to attract? What sort of projections have you done to warrant spending $6 million on this, especially now that we know that in a lot of cases you aren't even looking at putting in new paths, just using existing roads.

Rex | 12 November 2018 03:27 PM | Report to moderator

Hi Rex, We are still in the master planning stages of developing RidgeWalk. There would be multiple entry points to the track, rather than just one. There will be new pathways, parking improvements and in some cases infrastructure such as boardwalks. There will be art and heritage and wayfinding signage across the 42km area. The project is expected to cost $9.8million. A more detailed cost plan is being completed as part of the business case to confirm the cost and to include the recently announced Federal Government grant. A transport and movement study is about to be commissioned to improve traffic and parking. The trail will encourage people to walk instead of driving. Thank you for your comment. Thanks, Anna (site admin)

Anna Chisholm | 13 November 2018 09:51 AM | Report to moderator

Thanks for the reply. At the community information session I referred to previously, it was pointed out to the consultant that funnelling people off the Kyeema Track at Bourke's Lookout directly onto Eyre Road and across Ridge Road was inherently dangerous. Eyre Road is barely wide enough for a single vehicle, let alone walkers, yet cars often travel up and down this road at excessive speeds, especially on weekends. Once they reach Ridge Road, pedestrians will need to cross to Singleton Reserve on a blind bend where cars often travel well above the speed limit. The consultant agreed at the time that a much safer option would be to cross at Osprey Road, and gave an undertaking to change this, yet the most recent map update still shows the path as coming down Eyre Road.Are you able to confirm whether this is indeed the case?

Rex | 19 November 2018 02:55 PM | Report to moderator

Hi; it would be good to have the scale shown on the map. I assume they are all to the same scale.

Fred Tropp-Asher | 12 January 2019 07:13 PM | Report to moderator

Hi Fred, There is a scale on the large map and km guide of each segment. The detailed segment maps don’t not have a scale. We will see if we can get this added to the maps. I'll see what I can do! Thanks, Anna (site admin)

Anna Chisholm | 14 January 2019 04:54 PM | Report to moderator

Hi Fred, The new maps have been uploaded to this page and all of them have the scale included. Thanks, Anna

Anna Chisholm | 22 January 2019 01:14 PM | Report to moderator

When will the street consultation be undertaken on this project?

Ferny Creek Resident | 22 January 2019 07:13 PM | Report to moderator

Good luck - they don't even respond to comments let alone consult with residents!

Vanessa | 23 January 2019 01:04 PM | Report to moderator

Hi Ferny Creek resident,There has been a significant amount of community engagement already undertaken to help us determine the route. This included 22 events and community engagement meetings with 506 people attending these last year. More than 75 per cent were local residents. There was an event held at Karwarra Gardens, four drop-in sessions across the hills, three guided walks and four pop-up stalls at local markets. Local knowledge from residents captured during the exploration of route options had a profound impact on the proposed trail. Thanks, Anna

Anna Chisholm | 24 January 2019 04:44 PM | Report to moderator

Trying to unsubscribe - link in email doesn't work

Shazza | 23 January 2019 04:03 PM | Report to moderator

Hi Shazza, Sorry about this! I have provided your email to the team and they will remove your details from the list and look at why this is happening. Thanks,Anna

Anna Chisholm | 24 January 2019 04:48 PM | Report to moderator

I expressed my concerns above in November and the response was that you intended to undertake more street level consultation. Looks like that was not the case. With regard to voicing my concerns. I did just that at the stall at Kallista Market last year. I see no benefit for the community of Ferny Creek having a path connecting to Sassafras that is 3 times longer than current path along the road and impassable to all everyone but the fittest in the community and those without young children or pushers. Personally I think my rates would be better used to repair the current path along the road as it is very dangerous in places, especially where you come down the hill toward Sassafras and the path is simply a collection of large loose rocks. I also think that the route suggested will also expose walkers to dangerous traffic around the junction of Clarke Road and Breen Terrace as this is a very busy junction on an loose gravel.

Ferny Creek Resident | 24 January 2019 07:26 PM | Report to moderator

Dear Ferny Creek resident, We will definitely be having more consultations, especially around the release of the masterplan in the coming months. We haven’t yet run the street level consultation. Once the proposed route is detailed in the master plan, the next stage of consultation will begin. This will provide further opportunity to incorporate residents’ views at the street level. We are looking at options for a proposed path at Clarke Road/Breene Terrace. If this route was included in the detailed design, pedestrian safety would be prioritised and measures would be put in place. There would be challenges with meeting Council or Australian Standards when it comes to building a footpath along Mt Dandenong Tourist Road towards Sassafras, Alternative routes have been proposed as part of the RidgeWalk project. If there are specific sites or locations on this path that need maintenance attention please let us know. Thanks, Anna

Anna Chisholm | 25 January 2019 05:08 PM | Report to moderator

So basically you are build a sub-standard path that connects Ferny Creek and Sassafras along a route that will be impassable be a large percentage of Ferny Creek population. So much for community benefit!!!! I am fed up with this Shire spending my rates on projects that benefit tourists and not locals. I have lived in the hills for 31 years and love the area. However, my road is becoming a dusty car park for joggers driving up the hill from Knox, I cannot use the facilities at the local reserve as it is packed out with cars and large groups of picnickers, and I risk life and limb every time I go for a walk with mountain bikers racing past without warning, and the wildlife seems to be disappearing with the the increase in human traffic. Can you let me know when you intend to start work on this Ridgewalk project so I know how long I have to consider selling up and moving?

Ferny Creek Resident | 06 February 2019 07:00 AM | Report to moderator

Thanks for paving the hill coming down from Ferny Creek into Sassafras. It is a lot safer now. There is another section between Clarke Road and Hilton road that also impassable when using a push as a very deep rut has formed in the path forcing everyone to walk on the grass. If you could let your maintenance team know I would be grateful. With regard to the path across the paddock onto Clarke Road, Ferny Creek. Is this path intended to be through the field with the horses or along the forest edge behind the fence? Also, is this section intended to be open to mountain bike riders as well as walkers?

Ferny Creek Resident | 03 April 2019 12:26 PM | Report to moderator

Please fix up the unsubscribe to the seamless.com emails which send me all the comments above, as currently the link to unsubscribe says Page not found.

Fred Tropp-Asher | 11 February 2019 02:01 PM | Report to moderator

Hi there,Thanks for your comment.The project, when completed, will provide a walking path between towns in the Dandenong Ranges that previously didn’t have established connecting paths, along with providing a visitors and residents insight into the artistic and cultural history of the region.Council projects have a number of benefits for residents and visitors alike – maintaining and establishing new footpaths are a good example of this, as is the construction of new and updated sporting pavilions.You can read more about our projects in the area, such as our Capital Works for the year, on our website at bigpicture.yarraranges.vic.gov.auWe expect works to start on RidgeWalk later this yearAll the best,Jesse

Jesse (site admin) | 11 February 2019 03:01 PM | Report to moderator

Following October 2018 on-site consultation with RidgeWalk and Parks officials, we are pleased to note the re-routing to avoid busy, steep Eyre Road, now crossing Ridge Road at a much safer spot for walkers at Prion Road, near the Kyeema Crash monument. The current picnic spot location ("buried in the bush" to Alan in August 21) was established wisely by Parks in 2001, not at the "valley outlook" on a dangerous, accident-prone fast bend on Ridge Road.. Its road-side location is safe, accessible and a great starting point for walks throughout the Reserve, including lovely tracks with views across the valleys towards the Bunyip State Park.

Ken for Friends of Singleton Reserve | 13 February 2019 10:15 AM | Report to moderator

Hi, when do you expect the Ridge Walk will be completed and ready to be walked?

Fred Tropp-Asher | 01 April 2019 09:33 AM | Report to moderator

Hi Fred, Construction of RidgeWalk may begin as early as November 2019 and is scheduled for completion in 2022. The order of works are currently being established and will be shared with the community once complete. Thanks, Anna (site admin)

Anna Chisholm | 03 April 2019 11:13 AM | Report to moderator

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