BYRON TRAILS AUTHOR: Mairéad Cleary. Christian Morrow

New Byron Trails book reveals Byron’s natural treasures

BYRON Trails, the anticipated guidebook of walking trails accessible from Byron Bay launched last Thursday night at the Secret Garden in Byron Bay.

The book contains 50 coastal and hinterland walks from Tweed River to Richmond River and inland to the national parks accessible from Byron Bay.

Mairéad Cleary, the book’s author, successfully crowdfunded the book seven months ago thanks to sponsors like blk superwater, Crystal Castle, The Bay Retreats and Santos Organics, as well as the wider community.

“I would really recommend crowdfunding to others looking to write a book,” Ms Cleary said.

“The six-week crowdfunding process pushed me into constantly engaging with the community. It was also an ideal way of building a social network and raising awareness.

“It was one of the most satisfying parts of the process and one of the most important things for me that the community take this on and own it, because the trails are community trails.”

Originally from Ireland Ms Cleary has been walking the trails of Byron Shire since arriving here from Melbourne eight years ago.

During the writing of the book she also unearthed a couple of hidden gems.

“I found some really lovely walks over in Nightcap and I didn’t know about the Ballina Coastal trail until I put this book together. It’s now probably my favourite walk,” she said.

She would like the guidebook to be the first step of a longer-term project that would lead to an expansion on the current network of walking trails in the area.

“Walking in nature is extremely good for us mentally as well as physically, and we need it more than we realise,” she said.

The guide is available in local bookshops or go to the website.