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The timing was perfect when an 11km pathway linking the Sorell and Midway Point communities was finished in March.
With COVID-19 restrictions recently implemented and playgrounds closed, the Orielton Lagoon Loop pathway provided a much-needed chance for people to get out and active during lockdown.
Local resident Andrew Hyatt, who lives next to the pathway, estimates at least 100 people used the pathway every day during the COVID-19 lockdown.
That activity has continued even as COVID-19 restrictions have eased.
Andrew, his wife and two children ride their bikes on the pathway several times a week, and he sees many other families do the same.
“It’s great for the community to have the pathway, as it encourages families to get active,” he said.
“The completion of the pathway couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Sorell Council built the Orielton Lagoon Loop as part of its Tracks and Trails project to increase connectivity within the community.
The pathway includes a flat 700m sub-loop in Miena Park, funded by Healthy Tasmania, which people can use on its own or as part of the overall loop.
Sorell Mayor Kerry Vincent said council built the sub-loop so part of the track was accessible to everyone in the community.
“The sub-loop is flat and easy to use so it makes it possible for everyone to use the pathway, no matter their age, speed or skill, including children riding their bikes, seniors and those with limited mobility, and people with prams,” he said.
Kerry said community feedback about the pathway through social media had been overwhelmingly positive.
“The project has taught us the community will utilise pathways as part of a healthy lifestyle, so we are looking at doing more,” he said.
“The shared pathway not only provides a place for physical activity, it connects communities with each other and their environment.”
Kerry said council would consider applying for further funding to extend the pathway to the nearby Pembroke Park Sporting Complex, and to install fitness equipment and more seating.
There are also plans to establish a 5km Parkrun around the pathway.
Top image: Toby Hyatt, 12, and Lace Hyatt, 9, ride the sub-loop of the Orielton Lagoon Loop pathway several times a week.
Other photos: scenic photos of the pathway