Progress is continuing on the Grampians Peaks Trail development, with a company now signed on to complete the finishing touches to the project.
Hiking trail company Dirt Art has been appointed by Parks Victoria to complete construction of the remaining 102 kilometres on the trail, with a priority of the north and south sections to open in spring.
"This presents a great opportunity for Dirt Art to bring our skills and expertise in trail construction to a project of this scale and grandeur, partnering with Parks Victoria to create a memorable experience for future generations to enjoy," Dirt Art managing director Simon French said.
The company will build 35km from Roses Gap to Halls Gap and 22km from Cassidy Gap to Dunkeld this year, with the remaining 45km in the central section to be completed by the end of 2020.
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Dirt Art has previously been involved with the project, completing multiple upgrades to existing walks on the trail.
"Dirt Art bring a wealth of creativity, experience and craftsmanship to the Grampians Peaks Trail project, with a specialist team which is set to expand," Parks Victoria chief operating officer Simon Talbot said.
"We're confident they will deliver a world-class nature-based experience to enable us to share some of the best landscapes in the world with visitors."
A three-day, two-night trail loop which starts and finishes at Halls Gap is already open to visitors. Once complete it will be a 13-day, 12-night, 160km trail that can be experienced in sections or as one.
Dirt Art is looking to bolster its team ahead of the construction works, continuing to look towards employing workers from around the region.
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Grampians Tourism chief executive Marc Sleeman said the trail will have a massive impact for the region in several different ways.
"The Peaks Trail is the single biggest investment we have had for decades. It will be one of the premier walking destinations in the country," he said.
"It will activate investment in accomodation and help to provide economic growth through employment.
"We also expect and additional 35,000 visitors to the region annually, a lot of those being international visitors. The trail will also help disperse those visitors throughout the entire region too."
Construction will involve stone masonry techniques to install hundreds of rock steps to ensure the path is ecologically sensitive and sympathetic to the landscape in accordance with Parks Victoria's Native Vegetation Counterbalance Offset Strategy.
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