DESPITE only being open a number of months, initial visitor figures for the Davagh Forest Trails have surpassed all expectations revealing that over six thousand mountain bikers visited this corner of the Sperrin Mountains between April and June this year.
This new flagship trail centre in Davagh Forest opened to the public in April and boasts over twenty five kilometres of feature packed mountain biking trails as well as purpose-built changing facilities, toilets and a bike wash. Located in the rural townland of Broughderg, this long awaited trail development has been heavily supported by the Broughderg Community Association and is now resulting in a welcome economic injection to the local economy.
Leisure Services Manager for Cookstown District Council, Liam Glavin, explains “We are absolutely delighted with the initial visitor numbers for the Davagh Forest Trails. These figures are more than double our initial estimations however rather than rest on our laurels, we are continuing to develop this facility with work well underway on a new skills park and pump track at the trailhead.
Mr Galvin added: “Activity provider, Outdoor Concepts, has set up at the trailhead and is offering bike hire and coaching sessions as well as tea, coffee and snacks at the weekends. Such is the buzz around Davagh Forest, two of the UK’s leading mountain bike magazines have recently visited the trails and are tipping this previously untapped forest in the Sperrins as one of the next ‘must visit’ mountain bike trail centres in the UK and Ireland something which Chris Scott, Activity Tourism Manager for Outdoor Recreation NI, believes is long overdue.”
Mr Scott explains, “We have always recognised Davagh Forest as having such an incredible landscape for trails and so it is great to now see these initial visitor numbers confirming how important mountain biking can be as an addition to the wider tourism offering here in the Sperrin Mountains.
“Despite still being very much in their infancy, these trails are now combining successfully with other national trail centres in Castlewellan and Rostrevor to place Northern Ireland firmly on the mountain biking map in the UK and Ireland.”
The Davagh Forest Trails are sponsored by Chain Reaction Cycles, the world’s largest online bike store. Visit www.MountainBikeNI.com for detailed route descriptions, interactive maps and up to date trail conditions across each of Northern Ireland new mountain bike trail centres.