Work on the new Yarra Glen River Circuit is due to start early in the new year.
Yarra Ranges Council has finalised the concept plan for the project’s first stage, based on the Yarra Glen People’s Panel recommendations and further input from the community for an improved walking trail along the Yarra River.
It will include a pedestrian underpass connecting Yarra Glen to the river under the Vasey Houghton Bridge alongside the river.
This will link up with the existing walking trail.
The council will install lighting and new signage sharing Yarra Glen’s story along the trail, there will be seating and platforms with river views, and new plants will replace weeds.
The council will build an outdoor gym near car parking to provide more opportunities for exercise.
Future opportunities include improvements to the canoe launch and the popular ‘beach’ site.
The old Yarra Glen Show woodchop area has been identified as a potential site for a future ‘outdoor gallery’.
The future Yarra Valley Trail will link to the Yarra Glen River Circuit, eventually creating a full circuit walk with connections back to Lilydale.
Councillor Fiona McAllister said the underpass had been designed to meet the access needs of people with disabilities.
“Our plans for the underpass from the Yarra Glen Railway Station into the reserve have been designed with Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant shallow slopes and handrails,” she said.
“The underpass path will be three metres wide to allow people to easily pass one another.
“We would like everyone in the community to be able to enjoy this improved trail and benefit from keeping active and enjoying the natural beauty of the Yarra River and its surroundings.”
Yarra Glen resident James Wood said he was looking forward to using the all-inclusive trail.
“Having to use a wheelchair often restricts where I can go,” he said.
“The trail will allow me to access many parts of Yarra Glen that that I have never been to despite living in the area for many years.
“It means I can take part in staying healthy and active like everyone else.”
The council will also add more seating along the trail with views of the river so people can enjoy short walks and find places to rest.
The new rest areas will cater for people with disabilities and provide easy access.
Visit yarraranges.vic.gov.au to view the concept plans.