The City of Greater Bendigo says automated counters installed on each of the key walking and cycling corridors in the municipality show a 100 to 120 per cent increase in usage during April, compared to the same time a year ago.
Council's active and health lifestyles manager Lincoln Fitzgerald said walking and cycling have proven to be a way for residents to enjoy some safe physical activity despite the COVID-19 restrictions.
"More than 12,600 people were recorded crossing the Back Creek counter by foot or bike in April, which is a new record for our trail counters," Mr Fitzgerald said.
Bike Bendigo president Nicola Dunnicliff-Wells said cycling is a terrific way to stay active and connected with your local area.
"I would definitely recommend beginner riders check out some of the local off-road trails," Ms Dunnicliff-Wells said.
"The Back Creek Trail is hugely popular and one of a number of trails available if you are wanting to stay out of the traffic."
Visibility and bright clothing are important for riders of all experience levels, particularly as winter approaches.
"Visibility is the most important thing," Ms Dunnicliff-Wells said.
"When I am out and about and on roads, I have front and back lights flashing.
"It is crucial riders don't underestimate how much of a difference a flashing light will make."
With school students expected to return to class in the coming days and weeks, Ms Dunnicliff-Wells said now is the perfect time for families to acquaint themselves with riding to school.
"I think this is a great time to explore quiet local streets and trails as a way of getting to school," she said.
Bendigo's first protected cycleway in Ellis Street registered 64 bicycles per day in its first week in operation last month, on par with the early counts on the Back Creek Trail, according to council.
"This is a strong start considering the main trip generators, the University and school, are currently closed," Mr Fitzgerald said.
"It's a new concept for our residents and it will take time for them to adjust to the new setup."