What's happening at Knapsack Reserve?

    Early in 2021, we will start to improve shared tracks and trails, replacing signage, renewing Marges and Elizabeth lookouts with updated fencing and steps and improving the overall scenic amenity within Knapsack Reserve.

    Bushwalking and mountain biking are popular activities and we want to look after these shared areas that are important to the community, as well as protect the environment.

    In particular:

    • Lapstone Zig Zag track to Siding Lookout,
    • Marges and Elizabeth Lookouts,
    • Elizabeth Lookout track to Knapsack Bridge,
    • Lovers Walk to Mitchells Pass, and
    • Marges Lookout track to Lennox Bridge

    When will work start?

    The improvements and upgrade works are planned from early 2021.

    Where can I find out more?

    The proposed improvements are in line with the ‘Scenic Eastern Escarpment Masterplan’; adopted by Council in May 2018 after a year of extensive community consultation. The Masterplan guides future use of the Eastern Escarpment – and can be found via the following links;

    www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/documents/scenic-eastern-escarpment-masterplan-part-1

    www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/documents/scenic-eastern-escarpment-masterplan-part-2

    www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/documents/scenic-eastern-escarpment-masterplan-part-3 


    Is Lapstone Zigzag track being made accessible?

    Yes. The Lapstone Zig Zag to Siding Lookout (end of Knapsack St - next to the RAAF base) accessibility upgrade will provide a new experience designed to expand opportunities for families, seniors and people with accessibility needs. This is significant for people and their carers who face mobility issues and an important milestone for the Blue Mountains community.

    Currently less than 4% of walking tracks in the Blue Mountains and none of the paths in the lower mountains, are accessible. Making this 800m long pathway inclusive is an essential step in making the bush experience possible to more people.

    The upgrade includes the construction of a new lookout platform and accessible pathway along the current track alignment. The pathway will be accessibility compliant and provide wheelchair access to the upgraded Siding Lookout; providing views to the Nepean River and Western Sydney.

    What will the accessible path look like?

    There are no final designs yet for the accessible path however there are potentially some options in regard to the surface finish. As the Lapstone Zig Zag cutting was previously a railway line, the track alignment is already wide and flat enough to accommodate a suitable gradient for accessibility, but there are also other requirements to meet the Australian Standards. Keeping the bush experience natural and intact along this path is important and when we have more information about the surface finish, we will let you know.

    Will there be any new tracks?

    No new tracks will be created, instead we want to improve and update the existing tracks that we know are important to many locals and visitors.

    Are some of the tracks being removed?

    No. There are no tracks being removed as part of this upgrade. In 2017, all tracks were reviewed and formal tracks defined and informal tracks closed down. This helps to look after the environment and allows us to focus on maintaining the tracks that protect the visitor experience.

    Will any tracks be closed?

    Yes. Once on-ground works are scheduled there will be some temporary closures on those tracks designated with works occurring. Council will program works to be the least inconvenient to reserve users and provide detours as alternatives where feasible.

    What’s been happening since Council spoke to the community a few years ago about Scenic Eastern Escarpment?

    After extensive community engagement, the ‘Scenic Eastern Escarpment Masterplan’ was adopted by Council in 2018. Council secured funding in 2019 through the Western Sydney City Deal Liveability Program to undertake some of the priorities identified in the Masterplan.

    Does that mean everything in the Masterplan will be done?

    No. The Masterplan is a detailed plan that guides future design and development. It can take many years to find all the funding to complete it. This is the first stage.

    Are all the upcoming improvements listed in the Masterplan?

    Will there be signage about its history?

    Council will be updating directional and way-finding signage in a few key locations as part of this Stage 1 Program of Works. 

    Staff will continue to liaise with relevant stakeholders about interpretation of the history of the area going forward, in order to provide an accurate and engaging representation of the broader precinct and specific sites within the reserve.

    Is parking changing?

    Yes, on this occasion with the Western Sydney City Deal Liveability funding, Council will be formalising the end of Knapsack Street with compliant accessible parking.

    Where else can I park?

    You can park at;

    • Knapsack Viaduct / Bridge carpark (bottom of Mitchells Pass)
    • Knapsack Oval carpark (Barnet St)
    • Barnet St (Lovers Walk firetrail and opposite Moore St)
    • Lennox Bridge (Mitchells Pass)
    • Olivet Street 
    • Skarrat Park (end of Knapsack St next to RAAF base) 
    • Knapsack Viaduct / Bridge (via Great Western Hwy)