Work on a £336K investment programme to create a series of new mountain bike trails in Davagh Forest is now underway.
The development will enhance those trails which are already established at the forest, bringing an additional 6.5kms of red and blue trails, with a jumps park also included.
The work will also see the first purpose-built gravity trail created here, which is a constantly descending trail which can be used by both four and two wheeled bikes, providing all-ability riders with the opportunity to take part in off-road mountain biking.
Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) through its Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme and by Mid Ulster District Council, the trails open up greater opportunities for local people to enjoy the outdoors, according to Chair of the Council, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan:
‘Davagh is already renowned for the quality of its mountain bike trails and while this investment will cement its reputation as a must-visit destination for mountain bikers, it will also open up much greater access to the forest generally, whether for families who’d like to try mountain-biking out for the first time or for those with access issues who would still like to have the thrill of a downhill, off-road biking experience”.
DAERA Minister Gordon Lyons, MLA said: “This project at Davagh is another example of how my Department, through the TRPSI Programme, develops partnerships to maximise investment in rural communities. It is very important for people’s health and wellbeing to get outside and enjoy the natural environment.
“The Covid pandemic has increased demand for such opportunities, therefore it is great that work has started in Davagh on these all-ability trails. Forest Parks provide great venues for people to visit and exercise and when complete, Davagh Forest will be a wonderful example of the enhanced facilities my Department are providing through the ongoing Forest Park Enhancement and Community Trails Development Scheme”.
Trail designer, Pete Laing added: “I am delighted to be involved in the next phase of the Mountain Bike Trails in Davagh Forest and look forward to this exciting phase of work being completed. This will offer a wider range of activities to local Bikers and those from further afield.”
The project contractor is Jones Construction and the trail designers are Dark Earth Trails.
The new trails are expected to be completed at the end of April 2021.