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Mountain Bike Skills Course Opens at Davagh Forest Trails


The Davagh Forest Trails, launched in May this year, have exceeded even the most optimistic expectations by attracting literally thousands of mountain bikers each month and providing a welcome injection to the local tourism economy. In a move to build on this success, Cookstown District Council has now opened a purpose-built skills park and pump track which is set to further enhance this flagship mountain biking venue.

Located at the official trailhead, off the Davagh Road, these new facilities are expected to further boost numbers of mountain bike visitors to Davagh Forest and add an extra dimension to this unique trails network in the Sperrins.

Speaking at the official launch of the new skills park, Cookstown District Council’s Leisure Services Manager, Liam Glavin, explained “We couldn’t be happier with how the trails have been received since they were officially opened by Minister O’Neill earlier this year. Davagh Forest is a great resource for the local population and we are also seeing an increase in tourism expenditure in the area as a result of this new trail system.”

Mr Glavin continued, “Rather than rest on our laurels, we have worked with trail designers, Architrail, and contractors, FP McCann, to develop a purpose-built pump track and skills park which we hope will encourage even more mountain bikers to come and enjoy Davagh Forest for years to come.”

Pump tracks are a popular addition to mountain bike trail centres and have already been hugely successful in similar trail centres in Castlewellan and Blessingbourne Estate in Fivemiletown. However Chris Armstrong from MountainBikeNI.com believes that it is the new skills park that will shine as a unique selling point for the Davagh Forest Trails.

Mr Armstrong explains, “Skills parks appeal to mountain bikers of all abilities, young and old. Best located at the beginning of trail centres, such as Davagh Forest, these short circular trails are designed to incorporate challenges that will be found out on the main trails. Each option is graded according to its difficulty so that mountain bikers can attempt all the various features in a safe and controlled environment before heading out on the trails.”

Mr Armstrong concluded, “Coupled with the new pump track, bike wash and changing facilities this addition to the trailhead is be sure to further raise Davagh Forest’s profile as a flagship mountain biking location. Cookstown District Council should be congratulated for again showing such initiative and enthusiasm for developing such a fantastic mountain bike venue here at Davagh Forest.”

The new facility will hosts its first event on Saturday 26th October with East Tyrone Cycling Club in conjunction with Cookstown District Council running the 'Davagh Pump Track Challenge'.

The Davagh Forest Trails were made possible with funding from the Rural Development Programme through the South Western Action for Rural Development (SWARD) fund and Cookstown District Council with support from the Forest Service of Northern Ireland and Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland.

Visit www.MountainBikeNI.com for more information on the Davagh Forest Trails including detailed route descriptions, interactive mapping, information on bike hire, coaching,  guiding and mountain bike friendly places to eat, drink and stay in the local area. 

For more information, click here.

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