Local Lions at work on enhancing the Lake Dunstan Trail are from left Ian Stuart, Pete Moen, Grant Burnard, Dave Moreton, Andy Andrews, Megan Philips, Don Cocks, Russ Fowler and Pete Carroll. Image supplied

It’s the Lake Dunstan trail’s first birthday, and last week’s exciting announcement the trail has been awarded Great Ride status means it is set to provide even more benefits for the district.

Central Otago Queenstown Trail Network (COQTNT) Trust chair Stephen Jeffery says the award is a significant achievement for the region, meaning the trail will be promoted widely.

“Even the Trust (COQTNT) is staggered by the trail user numbers. The economic benefits for Central Otago in Lake Dunstan’s first year of operation is calculated to be in the millions.

Additionally, cycling and walking offer considerable health benefits, and are considered low-impact tourism.”

General manager at The Gate in Cromwell, Glen Christiansen, agrees the trail is a huge asset for the community and couldn’t have come at a better time.

“I am a huge fan of the trail; what an asset.

“I would be on it, either running or biking every week. As a business, we have enjoyed looking after the trail users.

“I congratulate all those involved and look forward to supporting its managed growth.”

COQTNT executive trustee Janeen Wood says it is wonderful to see community organisations including Rotary, Lions, the Lake Dunstan Charitable Trust and the Mōkihi Reforestation Trust working to enhance the environment around the trail.

“It’s fantastic to see local people working to beautifying the environment along the Lake Dunstan trail, improving this wonderful asset that in turn benefits us.

“Coming up, there will be many opportunities for people to be involved with the next stages also, from sponsoring bridges through to helping with native plantings.

“As a Great Ride, the trail will bring even more people here. People that want to be here, stay here and enjoy all we have to offer.”