HIKERS, bikers and anyone else who likes getting outside is invited to try out the new Centenary Trail, a 145km loop that shows off the ACT’s best assets, when it opens at the end of this month.For the October 27 opening, “Try the Trail” events are being held at five locations around the long trail: Hall Museum School, John Knight Memorial Park in Belconnen, Tuggeranong Town Park, Remembrance Park in Campbell and near Cooleman Ridge in Chapman.
The Scouts will be leading guided walks along parts of the Centenary Trail and Rotary Club stalls will have lunch for sale, while ACT Medicare Local is providing fresh fruit and trail maps free of charge as the project’s “official health promotion partner”.
ACT Medicare Local chair Dr Rashmi Sharma says the new track, which passes close to a large number of suburbs, is an opportunity for local families to be more active because walking is “the most popular form of exercise for Canberrans”.
“For years now, our local health professionals have been encouraging many of us to take up more exercise,” says Dr Sharma.
“Regular physical activity has many proven health benefits including weight loss, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, making healthier bones and reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. The best way to lose weight by walking is to take a longer, moderately paced walk (40 minutes at 60-65 per cent maximum heart rate).”
Chief Minister Katy Gallagher says the ACT Government is “trying to encourage more Canberrans to lead an active lifestyle”.
“Medical experts recommended that we participate in at least 30 minutes of regular physical activity such as brisk walking or riding every day so the trail, with its proximity to urban Canberra, will hopefully prove a popular way for people to get some fresh air and exercise,” Ms Gallagher says.The Centenary Trail’s “symbolic start point” is at Parliament House and the full 145-kilometre loop would take about seven days to walk around, or three days on a bicycle, according to the Chief Minister’s office.
The project has required 18 kilometres of new trail to be constructed as well as upgrades to various existing trails that have become part of the Centenary Trail.
A new campsite will soon be built on the border near Oak Hill, with shaded picnic tables, pit toilet, rain water tank, shade structure and bike racks beside grassy areas for pitching tents.