As the former president of NHAG, the Northern Horse Action Group that successfully lobbied for riding trails within the Caldera National Park, it was always my dream, and that of the group, to have riding trail links between the towns of the northern rivers and eventually links to the national park trails.
Even though our initial plans to use Crown reserve roads (paper roads) for horse trails was frustratingly abandoned in all but a few localities thanks to a few landholders’ objections (legally we could have insisted on our right to use what is actually public land but basically withdrew from the conflict), we continued to support TOOT in the ideal of bringing back rail transport despite the potential for the rail line as a rail trail.
Now, however, is the time to go full steam ahead. Realistically the return of rail in the immediate to long term is dead and the only way of preserving the rail corridor for any future return of rail, however unlikely, is to utilise it now and preserve the corridor. It is time and it will be an incredible resource for walkers, cyclists and horse riders alike. I hope the community gets behind this 100 per cent.
Mac Nicolson, Ocean Shores