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Meet your Trailhead Provider: Davagh Forest

Posted on August 15, 2014 @ 10:52 AM in Mountainbiking

Davagh Forest Trails: Outdoor Concepts

Outdoor Concepts is a leading outdoor activity provider specialising in mountain biking and multi-activity adventure across Northern Ireland. They opened their mountain bike specific trailhead services at the Davagh Forest Trails in the summer of 2013 and offer a range of bike hire and tuition courses not to mention some of Northern Ireland’s finest brownies.

We caught up with Managing Director of Outdoor Concepts, Craig McCullough (pictured middle) to find out a bit more about Davagh Forest’s official trailhead provider.

Outdoor Concepts

So Craig, how has Outdoor Concepts settled into its new role as official trailhead provider at the Davagh Forest Trails?
We have had a great first year. First and foremost mountain bikers come to Davagh because of the excellent trails - hopefully we add to people's visit by providing some trail advice, selling some basic supplies and of course providing bike hire. We have really enjoyed getting to know a lot of the regulars and generally most folks come to over to us and have a chat over a coffee either at the start or end of their session. 

Outdoor Concepts

Why Davagh Forest? What was it about this particular trail centre that grabbed your attention?
To be honest it was not somewhere I had biked before. The first time I came here with a bunch of friends not really knowing what to expect - and we were all blown away by how good it really was. Cookstown District Council and Architrail have produced fantastic trails for all abilities in a stunning location. Yes, for a lot of people it is a little bit of a drive but once you get here you realise it was well worth it for the smile factor!

What is the most unusual request or obscure issue that your team has had to deal with since opening here at Davagh Forest?
We have had people email us to book their brownie, just to make sure there will be some left by the time they finish their biking! 

Outdoor Concepts Brownies

Are there any highlights that really stand out from your first year operating at the Davagh Forest trailhead?
The main highlight without a doubt has been the people! Whether it is the regulars who always call over for a chat or the first timers looking trail advice, there is a real buzz around the trailhead car park at the weekends and it is great to be part of that. 

Have you found more people wanting to get started in mountain biking since the trails have opened here at Davagh Forest?
Definitely - with the trails open now for over a year and a half you will still regularly hear people saying things like, "my mates told me I had to give this mountain biking a go" or "we decided as a family to go and get some mountain bikes". We regularly hire out bikes to first timers who just love it and want to go out and buy their own bike. 

Boundary Rock Davagh Forest

Can you describe the Davagh Forest Trails in three words?
Long Flowy Reds

What future plans do you have for Outdoor Concepts @ Davagh Forest?
We will be bringing out our third fleet of bikes in September so keep an eye out on Facebook for the announcement selling the old fleet! We want our clients to have the best possible experience so in line with other trail centres in England, Scotland and Wales we plan to keep updating our fleet regularly. We will expanding our trailhead stock and watch out for some more courses and events coming up over the autumn months. 

Outdoor Concepts offer bike hire from as little as £20 per person (half day) as well as a range of tuition courses on the Davagh Forest Trails. With 15" to 21" frame sizes, they cater for all those aged 11 and upwards. They also offer tea, coffee, ‘unbeatable’ brownies and some basic bike spares from their trailhead HQ at weekends. Visit www.outdoorconcepts.co.uk for more information.

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!

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