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Positive Developments for MTB in Northern Ireland

21 Nov 2012 9:00 AM | Rick McKee (Administrator)
One of the stunning views that will greet riders on the Rostrevor trails in the Mournes, opening in April 2013
A couple of years ago, one could have been forgiven for considering the outlook for MTB facilities in Northern Ireland as bleak, but what a difference in that short time. A number of projects have already launched, and 2013 promises to be a great year for the sport. A quick overview and update of some of Northern Ireland's sanctioned trail locations is as follows:

Rostrevor & Castlewellan, The Mournes
Under construction, launching April 2013. Up to 40km of red and black grade cross-country and downhill trails, 25km at Rostrevor and 15km at Castlewellan. 

Davagh Forest, near Cookstown
Under construction, launching February 2013.  25km of green, blue and red trails. Includes 9km of new build x-country single track trails with technical features, and upgrade of 3kms of existing trails, with the additional 13km on existing forest roads.

Barnett's Demesne, Belfast
Awaiting final funding approval, launching April 2013. Green, blue and red grade trail system with braided sections of a higher grade to the main trail (i.e. black sections on a red trail etc), with further system of jumps.

Divis & Black Mountain, Belfast
Funding approved for 6km of off-road trail.  The Ridge Trail will lead from the Long Barn at Divis Lodge to Black Mountain and then along the ridge line of the hills. This trail will provide stunning views across Belfast.

Craigavon Trails, Craigavon Lakes
10km of singletrack MTB trails on the flat woodland terrain around Craigavon Lakes

Blessingbourne Estate, Fivemiletown
6km of green, blue and red grade singletrack trails and pump-track opened June 2011. Phase 2 application underway for a further 5km of trails.

Castle Ward Trails, near Strangford
40km of off-road trails, including 15km of singletrack through the fields and woodland of this beautiful estate in County Down.

Of great encouragement are the current signs that the popularity of mountain biking is only set to continue to grow.  This is stimulated in part by the projects above, but also drives the need for more and more facilities across the country in the next few years, as parts of the country will still have very little provision.  Thanks and congratulations are due to all of the parties responsible for driving the projects above, as the efforts behind the scenes over many years have been enormous with very little public recognition, and we look forward to more such projects in the near future.

More details on each of these projects in the coming months, but in the meantime thank you to all who have already shown support for NIMBA and its objectives.
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