BICYCLE Network Victoria is pushing for a rail trail to be built in the Yarra Ranges.
Following the official opening of the 134-kilometre Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail this month, BNV believes a Lilydale-Yarra Glen rail trail should be next.
"Rail trail users often have time, money and a determination to explore and experience new places and this part of the world has so much to offer," BNV chief executive officer Harry Barber said. "This is a classic case of 'build it and they will come' - but first you have to build it, and that's the message for Yarra Ranges in all of this."
Ghostriders Cycling Group organiser Dennis Dawson welcomed the push for a Lilydale-Yarra Glen rail trail.
The Ghostriders tackle the Lilydale-Warburton track once a week and Mr Dawson believes the creation of a new rail trail will complement the existing Warburton trail.
"I think, based on the success of the Warburton trail, that it is a good idea.
"There are many businesses in the Warburton area that have done well since the trail opened. Anything that helps get people out and about and active is a good thing."
He said he had heard the idea mooted before, and had also heard of the Warburton trail being linked to Yarra Glen.
"When the federal government spends billions and billions of dollars on freeways, the amount of money it costs to build a well-built bike track is peanuts by comparison."
Yarra Ranges Council said the concept of a Lilydale-Yarra Glen rail trail was supported in its Hike and Bike Plan 2005 but the proposal would require significant resourcing from federal and state governments and other parties.
A steering group has been established with representatives from the council, VicTrack, Public Transport Victoria, Bicycle Network Victoria, Rail Trails Australia and the Yarra Valley Railway. "The next phase is to seek funding for a feasibility study and the group is preparing a proposal to source funding from agencies for the study," mayor Graham Warren said.