The Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail is already proving popular despite not yet being completed.
A section of the trail at Pisa Moorings is ready for action, though, and has been a popular destination among cyclists, walkers, dogs and parents pushing prams.
Pisa Moorings resident Annette Norgrove, who moved to the area 18 months ago from Auckland, loves the facility – and she is not the only one.
“We all enjoy it,” she said.
“Yesterday when I walked there must have been 15 different [groups] of people on bikes. It’s the most I’ve seen,” she said on Monday.
Mrs Norgrove uses the trail on a regular basis to walk her dog, Hazel, and is often joined by friend Vicki MacPherson and her dog, Delta.
“I walk it every day and I absolutely love it. It’s an absolute asset,” Mrs Norgrove said.
The 54km, yet-to-be-completed trail is part of the $26million New Zealand Cycle Trail Project, funded by the Government, the Central Lakes Trust and the Otago Community Trust.
The trail will follow the true right of Lake Dunstan from Pisa Moorings to Bannockburn, and then through the gorge to the Dunstan Arm Rowing Club, near Clyde.
Work started in June.
Central Otago Queenstown Trail Network Trust chairman Stephen Jeffery was pleased with progress, which was being made at two different parts.
One contractor, Wilson & Keen, started north of Pisa Moorings and will go to the Bannockburn Bridge and then to Cornish Point, just south of Cromwell.
A second contractor, M3, has started at Cornish Point and will continue to Clyde.
Those two contractors are doing the bulk of the trail construction. A third contractor, Cliff Care, is doing some trail construction, along with rock scaling and clip-on bridge work.
Cliff Care has started drilling holes on various sections of the trail where the bluff bridges will extend out above the lake at points where it has been identified as the most practical solution.
Once completed, the trail will form part of 536km of new trails connecting Cromwell to other Central Otago, Queenstown and Wanaka trails.