The popularity of mountain biking in WA is growing faster than the number of places to ride, prompting a surge in illegally constructed tracks that risk damaging the environment, spreading biological threats such as dieback and exposing landowners to liability.
More than three-quarters of single track mountain bike trails in the State are unsanctioned, according to a new report, meaning they were either illegally constructed or recreational trails intended for other users such as bushwalkers or horse riders.
Sanctioned trails are under pressure from overuse, with infrastructure such as carparks struggling to cope with demand.
WA's first mountain bike project, funded by the State Government and peak biking groups, has recommended establishing a Statewide network of trails to better cope with the sport's growing popularity.
Department of Sport and Recreation director-general Ron Alexander said the strategy, released last week, was a response to the "massive increase in mountain bike riding".
The report says nearly 120,000 mountain bikes are bought in WA every year and 19 per cent of people in the State own a mountain bike.