New projects to boost hiking participation

HikeWest is delighted to announce three new projects to support hiking participation in WA. These three HikeWest initiatives are to be supported by grants to the total value of $86,000 under three programs administered by WA’s Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

Collie HikeFest: Feasibility study and development of business case

Supported by a grant of $15,000 under the Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program, this project will investigate the viability of holding a new regional hiking festival in Collie. The event would increase hiking participation through guided walks and will assist in putting Collie “on the map” as a trail town with high-quality hiking opportunities,  including in the nearby Wellington National Park and adjacent areas (including Bibbulmun Track; Collie River Walk, and the Jabitj, Karak, KurliinyTjenangitj and Willman Bilya Trails).

Based on HikeWest’s experience of delivering the highly successful WA Hiking Expo in the Perth Hills in 2021 and 2023, mass participation events such as a Collie HikeFest have the ability to reach a wider audience and encourage more people in WA to hike more often. A hiking festival in Collie would have the potential to draw participants from Perth, Mandurah, Busselton, Bunbury and Albany, plus local centres including Bridgetown, Nannup, Balingup and Darkan.

This project is scheduled for completion by end 2024.

Community Hiking Project 

This pilot program funded via a $46,000 grant under the Outdoors Active Recreation Participation Program is designed to encourage newly arrived migrants, refugees and people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds to participate in hiking. The project will develop new pathways into bushwalking for those communities, enabling participants to engage in introductory bushwalking activities that will get them started into safe and responsible bushwalking, build their confidence, enable them to make connections with others interested in the outdoors.

The program of walks within parklands and reserves in the Perth metropolitan area and Perth Hills will range from one hour to full day hikes, depending on the fitness levels of the walkers. Participants will be recruited via local governments and community organisations.

Seniors Hiking Program 

Funded by a $25,000 grant under the WA Hiking Participation Grants Program this HikeWest-led project is an initiative to encourage seniors to discover bushwalking and remain active and connected, initially through participation in a program of accessible, enjoyable, entry-level bushwalks. The program of walks will be delivered in partnership with HikeWest’s member clubs who opt to participate in the program.The program will aim to engage seniors (generally over 60 years of age) who may participate in urban walking, but do not currently hike or bushwalk. It will introduce participants to a range of hiking experiences, encouraging the development of bushwalking skills and confidence, and ongoing participation.

This program will be progressed during 2024. More information here.

For any queries or further information about any of these three exciting new projects or how you can be involved as a volunteer to assist in their delivery, please contact the Executive Officer at HikeWest.

(Posted 23 February 2024)

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