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Cascades - NPWS Stupid, Dangerous and Ugly

Daz's picture

By Daz - Posted on 28 April 2008

Rode the Cascades yesterday and was quite shocked at the stupidity of NPWS attempts to keep bikes out.

Next to the gate at the top of the Heath Track are some nice thin steel fence posts just waiting to impale someone. Two posts have white caps on them to be more visible, but there are two more with no caps. To make it worse, some logs have been placed along the side as well. Not only for bikes, but runners/walkers in poor vis could easily trip over these logs and impale themselves on the unmarked fence posts.

At the bottom of the Heath track where the single track exits, there is another fine example. Three steel fence posts are installed across the single track. The middle post has a no bike sign, the two side posts have no capping but some pretty thin pink and yellow ribbon strung to nearby trees. Now this would make a fine piece of modern artwork in the Guggenheim, but in a National Park, it looks bloody ridiculous. Should the ribbon come away from the posts it's another accident waiting to happen. Bikers and walkers veering around the middle post may not see the side ones and whamo! Impalement!

Meanwhile, fallen trees lay for months on the perimeter track at Terry Hills, impeding access for emergency/fire vehicles.

Very clever NPWS. Wake up!

Justin's picture

Are you talking about riding down the illegal single trail?

Stuart M's picture

at the top of Heath track are there to stop you from falling into the ditch beside it. Yeah Ok they aren't likely to stop you but they do give some warning / protection from it. Unless of course I'm thinking of a different gate.

Rob's picture

... before you go off on one a public forum!

We had a constructive talk with NPWS a while back and are trying to establish a raport with them so insults like this don't do anyone any favours, least of all the author.

That said, it's a bit distressing that when we talked they said that their main concern was the Oxford Falls area. I specifically asked about other areas they were worried about and they said that it was just Oxford Falls. Do we now guess they are going to systematically go round closing everything off?

I haven't been to Cascades for a few weeks but on the last few occasions have bumped into motor cross riders. Unlike MTB, MX riders have no legal access here and rip up the trails like nothing else. They have clearly been in the bottom of the single track after the last lot of heavy rain.

So again, think about what is happening... yes, perhaps they haven't done the best job possible, but perhaps it's only a temporary job, and if it keeps MX out and lets us in (the legal stuff) then perhaps we can hold back a little and be more understanding?

Daz's picture

Ok, perhaps the tone of my rant was a bit OTT, but I do have a real concern with these kind of haphazard structures. They are simply dangerous and could very well seriously injure someone - rider, walker, runner.

I stopped on the way up the Heath at the gate to let another rider come down past the gate and that's when I noticed how potentially dangerous these metal stakes could be. To have 2 of them without any kind of safety capping? The tree logs, ends perched upon a few rocks to make an ideal trip hazard into the stakes? Irresponsible might be a better word, be it by NPWS or maybe some kind of vigilante action!

They are fencing stakes - not hazard alert devices or anything else.

Sure keep the MX bikes out and 4wds and alert to hazards, but it should be done responsibly and properly.

The ribbon on the "illegal" track is terrible. Again, if it is to be closed off, it should be done responsibly and properly and with a duty of care. As it is, I consider it potentially dangerous and an eyesore!

This is not about access for bikes, but the basic duty of the NPWS to act responsibly and to maximise safety in their actions. I sincerely hope the NPWS would see it this way and not as an affront to any lobbying regarding bike access. If I was a walker, I'd post the same on a walking site.

Rob's picture

Please see here:

Rob's picture

Didn't notice anything on the single track, but work has been done on the Heath Track gate. Took this picture today:

Heath Track Gate

I'd imagine if someone was determined enough they would soon push through to bush to the left as we look at this, but let's hope they take the hint and don't bother.

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