Helen LawlessGail MartinEd McCann
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Bringing Mountain Biking to the Masses

Posted on July 19, 2011 @ 9:10 AM in Cycling

This summer looks set to help bring mountain biking to the masses (and families) with the opening of two brand new, purpose built mountain bike trails. June 8th saw the official opening of the new trails down in Blessingbourne, with over 80 guests invited down. The usual suspects invited from Extreme 26, MTB Rider, Bikedock Belles, CCAR, Trailbadger and myself (except I had to pull out at the last minute due to a work meeting :-( ). Promoted as Northern Ireland’s premier Mountain Bike venue, Blessingbourne offers testing single track riding and family friendly route combinations.

Estate owners Nick and Colleen Lowry have been working alongside the Countryside Access and Activities Network (CAAN) to develop nearly 10km of cross-country MTB trails, including a pump track and skills area.

There are nearly 10km of cross-country MTB trails, including a pump track and skills area. The trails genuinely cater for all abilities, with snaking single-track, lots of trail features including jumps, table-tops, berms, rock-gardens and drops; and chicken-runs for the kids and the faint-hearted, of course!

The trail designer was Architrail‘s Phil Saxena, who has designed trails for the Beijing Olympics and the Downhill World Cup, and they were built by Dinsdale Moorland Services, who work alongside Architrail on this and other projects.

The guys at Trailbadger got a preview of the trails before the launch and they have put on their website their thoughts and some important information on the new trails (www.trailbadger.com).

‘The Blessingbourne trails are an excellent start that the NI MTB community have been waiting a long time for. The trails have been expertly designed and built making them ideal for beginners and young families as well as seasoned pros.’

Another long awaited project that is now finished are the MTB trails at Castle Ward (Strangford). Up to 21 miles of new trails within Castle Ward Demesne opened at the start of July 2011 and the word going around is to get yourself, your friends and your family to check them out, because they are great! The trails are designed for walkers, off road cyclists and horse riders and meander through the picturesque parkland, forest and farmland on the shores of Strangford Lough.

Details for both trails (and a lot more trails) can be found on the Trailbadger and CycleNI websites.

Paul McArthur
Paul McArthur

A trail runner, orienteer, adventure racer, mountain biker, semi-retired climber and blogger.

3 comments have been posted in reply to this article

Posted by Dan Gilbert on July 29, 2011 @ 8:42 PM


I was wondering if you had any advertising or guest post opportunities available on your site? I would love the opportunity to work with you and I look forward to hearing back from you.




Dan Gilbert

Communications Coordinator

Primrose Schools


Posted by Stone on August 26, 2011 @ 4:42 AM

Real brain power on display. Thanks for that aswner!

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