HUGE OPPORTUNITY: Paul Heymans, Graham Hayton and Ken Wilson with staff from Ottaba Llamas on the trail.
HUGE OPPORTUNITY: Paul Heymans, Graham Hayton and Ken Wilson with staff from Ottaba Llamas on the trail. Contributed

Push is on for big rail trail

WELCOME to Somerset Region: Home to Queensland's longest rail trail. That's the tourist sign Wivenhoe Pocket resident Paul Heymans wants to see in the near future.

The 65-year-old is on a campaign to have the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail completed in his region.

He said the trail had the potential to bring big tourist dollars into the area, but it was currently incomplete.

"There are two critical sections that are still missing; Wulkuraka to Wanora in Ipswich and Toogoolawah to Moore in Somerset," he said.

If completed Mr Heymans said the rail trail would stretch 166km, which would make it the longest rail trail in Queensland.

He said the State Government recently made available $3.5 million in grant funding to expand the network.

Mr Heymans said the grant provided a perfect opportunity for councils to complete the trail.

"At the moment, there isn't even proper signage... if you drove up the Brisbane Valley Highway you wouldn't know the trail was there. The trail currently ends at a cemetery - it literally comes to a dead end," he said.

As vice president of the Somerset Region Business Alliance Mr Heymans said businesses and other residents wanted the trail completed.

"Local businesses want to see it finished to boost tourism," he said.

To promote the trail's tourism potential, Somerset residents took part in a 'llama walking experience' along the trail.

Also as part of the campaign, an End-to-End Ride from Yarraman to Moore will be held on August 16.

Somerset mayor Graeme Lehmann said he was keen to see the trail complete and would apply for grant funding.

For more information about the upcoming ride phone Mr Heymans on 0417 342 854.



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