Mountain Bikers Flocking To Castlewellan Forest Park
DESPITE only being open a number of months, initial visitor figures for the Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails have surpassed all expectations revealing that over four thousand mountain bikers are visiting this flagship trail centre each month.
Officially launched this summer by Minister for Tourism, Arelene Foster, Castlewellan boasts over twenty-seven kilometres of cross country mountain biking trails geared towards everyone from families and beginners right through to mountain bike enthusiasts.
Director of Down District Council’s Recreation Department, Michael Lispset, said: “We are absolutely delighted with these initial visitor numbers which are more than double our estimations for the trails here at Castlewellan Forest Park.
“This initial success has resulted in a welcome economic injection to the local economy with mountain bikers spending money in pubs and cafes and those visiting from further afield staying with local accommodation providers in the area.”
Such is the buzz around Northern Ireland’s new trail centres in Castlewellan, Rostrevor and Davagh Forest, three of the UK’s leading mountain bike magazines have recently visited the trails and are tipping this previously untapped landscape as the next ‘must visit’ mountain bike destination in the UK something which Chris Scott, Activity Tourism Manager for Outdoor Recreation NI, believes is long overdue.
Mr Scott explained: “With such an incredible landscape for trails, it is great to see these initial visitor numbers confirming how important mountain biking can be as an addition toNorthern Ireland’s tourism offering. Despite still being very much in their infancy, these trail centres are already putting Northern Ireland on the mountain biking map and have been strongly backed by our trail sponsors, Chain Reaction Cycles.
“Large scale events are also taking notice of these new flagship trail developments and we are already looking forward to hosting the Single Speed European Championships here in Castlewellan next spring, another fantastic opportunity for local tourism providers.”
The Castlwellan Mountain Bike 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.
Outdoor Recreation NI
The mission of Outdoor Recreation NI is to develop and sustain a vibrant outdoor recreation culture in which responsible and well-informed people enjoy high quality, sustainable and appropriate activities in an accessible, well managed yet challenging environment: where landowners and managers are welcoming and where there are accompanying benefits to local communities both in social and economic terms. For more information visit: www.outdoorrecreationni.com
Chain Reaction Cycles – the proud sponsor of MountainBikeNI.com
Established in 1984, Chain Reaction Cycles (CRC) has grown to become the world’s largest online bike store. Still based in Northern Ireland, we’ve supported grass roots mountain biking and the development of new facilities since day one.
Our two stores in Belfast and Ballyclare continue to serve the local cycling community with a huge product range and unrivalled expertise. With over 90,000 products in stock we stay true to our core values of selling quality products at the best possible price and always being on the end of the phone or email when you need us.
There’s always a happy-to-help friendly face in our stores too. Everyone in CRC is excited at the recent off-road developments, so we look forward to seeing you on a trail very soon!