What's happening at Knapsack Reserve?

    Work will commence in 2021-22 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.

    When will work start?

    • Work on Lapstone Zig Zag Track to Siding Lookout is due to commence in November/December 2021, but has been delayed due to rain. 
    • Work on the following upgrades is due to commence at various stages over the next six months with a planned completion date of September 2022.
      • Lapstone Zig Zag to Siding Lookout (called Top Points Lookout)
      • Marges and Elizabeth Lookouts
      • Elizabeth Lookout Track to Knapsack Bridge
      • Marges Lookout Track to Lennox Bridge
      • Lovers Walk to Mitchells Pass (Whitton Memorial Place)

    Council will provide as much onsite notice to reserve users as is possible and will program works to be the least inconvenient to reserve users, providing detours as alternatives where feasible.

    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:

    What community consultation has taken place?

    Extensive community consultation took place in 2017-18 for the Scenic Eastern Escarpment Masterplan that is guiding this work.

    The eastern escarpment offers a wide range of recreational activities, supports a rich diversity of vegetation communities and showcases important Aboriginal and European heritage.

    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 four per cent 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.

    In fact, the Lapstone Zig Zag to Siding Lookout track was first identified as a location that could be made accessible in 2008.

    The current 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?

    The Lapstone Zig Zag to Siding Lookout track will follow what was previously a railway line and the works will keep the bush experience natural and intact. Final designs are now available and the community is invited to have its say on the surface finish of the accessible path.

    What will the new accessible path be made from ?

    The new path will be constructed from asphalt.

    Asphalt is used on many other similar shared paths and has been chosen for this project following evaluation against essential design criteria.

    Will heritage items be impacted?

    The new accessible path will not impact on heritage items.  It will provide access to these important heritage items, so more members of the community can enjoy them.

    Will there be accessible parking?

    Council will be formalising parking at the end of Knapsack Street with compliant accessible parking. There will be two accessible spaces, plus one shared space. View the proposed plan here.  

    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)

    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.

    Will all works outlined 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?

    Yes the upgrades are listed in the Masterplan. You can also view the adopted Masterplan on the Have Your Say page through links below:

    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.