With 14km of trails

Gortin Glen, in Northern Ireland, is set to become a Regional Trail Centre with 14km of trails and a trail hub.

Last Tuesday night, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council agreed to a £1 million investment in Gortin Glen that would allow it to be packaged along with Davagh Forest and Blessingbourne Estate to become a holiday destination for mountain bikers.

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An investment of £500,000 had already been included in the council budget to improve the forest but last week’s meeting secured the further £500,000 needed to complete the plans.

The investment will fund the development of 14km of new trails, an upgrade to the trail hub to include toilets and a cafe, and a re-vamp of the walking trails. There are currently a couple of short trails in Gortin Glen, including a downhill track that was raced in the NPS, but this investment will guarantee the park Regional Trail Centre status.

Davagh Forest mountain bike trails Northern Ireland

There’s a proper woodland feel to nearby Davagh. Photo: Laurence Crossman-Emms

The Ulster Herald reports that local mountain biker Noel Mullen, who has actively campaigned for this development over the past few years, said “This is brilliant news. Look at the trails in Castlewellen and Rostrever. They have lasted the test of time and have been added to over the years.

“There is so much potential in the Gortin Glen to host race events and attract people to the area. Visitors could spend a day cycling at Davagh Forest, stay over and then go to Gortin Glen, which will be a boost to the local economy as well.”

Mullen is hoping that further expansions will be made to the forest in future and hopes that 60km of trails, including a bike park, could one day be built.

Outdoor Recreation NI said: “This would create a family friendly outdoor recreation and regional mountain bike facility that, once constructed, could be packaged along with Davagh Forest Trails (26km) and Blessingbourne Estate (13km) to create a short break mountain bike destination.”

There will be a number of public consultations throughout the design process to allow local riders to give there input on the trails. Visit MountainBikeNI’s Facebook for more information