Mitchell Shire Council has endorsed a feasibility study that could see O’Keefe rail trail users connected to a new 78km track.
The study examined a proposed shared walking, cycling and horse riding path to weave through the shire from Wallan, connecting with Heathcote in the City of Greater Bendigo’s domain.
The Mitchell Shire has given in-principle support to progressing the rail trail plans, pending government funding and further discussions with landholders.
Nearly 80 per cent of people consulted were in favour.
However, of the 37 private landowners interviewed, 27 objected to the trail.
Study authors said opposition was largely related to access to people’s properties, rather than the concept of a trail itself.
Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said the council was open to more discussions with landholders.
“It’s important to remember that nothing is set in stone – if the trail goes ahead, the routes are flexible and do not have to follow the disused rail trail exactly and there will be no land compulsory land acquired,” she said.