Mark TaylorDavid FlanaganGareth Beckett
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Four Trails Centres in Four Weeks

Posted on May 7, 2013 @ 7:14 PM in Mountainbiking

A quick word from the team at Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland

It's been quite a month for mountain biking in Northern Ireland!

After the opening of 4 key trail centres in as many weeks, Northern Ireland now boasts over 100km of exhilerating mountain bike trails across 3 national trail centres in Davagh Forest, Castlewellan and Rostrevor which includes two simply epic downhill trails on the shores of Carlingford Lough. With 16km of cross-country trails across the regional centres of Blessingbourne Estate and the newly launched Barnett Demesne Trails we now also have the first and only official dirt jumps park in Ireland as well as a purpose-built MTB Skills Course at the Tollymore National Outdoor Centre.

Castlewellan View

With approximately 50,000 mountain bikers expected to use these brand new facilities in the first year alone, we are in a position to make the most of Northern Ireland's incredible natural landscape which has always been ideally suited for mountain biking. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?!

Needless to say, a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into these projects behind the scenes to indeed make this a reality! The fact is that these developments would never have been possible without strong partnerships from land owners, funders, councils, trail designers, consultants, contractors, local mountain bikers and the team at Outdoor Recreation NI. In truth, there are far too many people to mention individually here but they all can and should look back with a great deal of pride in what has been achieved.

Barnett Demesne Trails

Never content to rest on our laurels, we have now launched MountainBikeNI.com and are kick starting a marketing programme with official trail sponsors Chain Reaction Cycles, who themselves have been instrumental in the development of mountain biking in Northern Ireland over the last decade. Having this strong endorsement and marketing support from such a world renowned brand offers us an unparalleled opportunity to reach mountain bikers from far and wide and showcase what Northern Ireland has to offer!

Our team are also now working on a Phase II which will double the length of the trail network in Blessingbourne Estate (work starting June 2013) and are liaising with Omagh District Council re: potential developments in Gortin Glen Forest Park. Any future projects will be an outcome of Outdoor Recreation NI's Mountain Biking Strategy which is currently under development!

Mountain Bike NI Jacket

For now though, we are looking forward to a great summer ahead on Northern Ireland's very own network of MTB trails! Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support throughout the years - you know who you are!

 

Chris Armstrong
Chris Armstrong  Mountain Bike Officer

Chris looks after all things mountain biking in Northern Ireland ...it's a tough job but someone's gotta do it!

3 comments have been posted in reply to this article

Posted by Don on May 12, 2013 @ 1:44 PM

Anything being planned for the Glens of Antrim?

Posted by Chris on May 14, 2013 @ 12:52 PM

Hi Don,

Glenariff Forest Park is very much on our radar for mountain biking developments moving forward! We will be sure to keep you up to speed with progress in the coming months.

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