COOKSTOWN District Council has just announced that work has officially commenced on the eagerly awaited Davagh Trails project.
The picturesque forest, located in the west of the District is to benefit from over £400,000 of investment which will result in the establishment of up to 20km of walking, cycling and mountain bike trails.
Tuesday August 14 saw the arrival of the first works on site.
It is estimated that the project will take six months to complete, with trails varying in design to accommodate a range of users including green, blue and red grade trails. The green trail will be most suited to walkers, families and beginner cyclists.
The blue trail will be slightly more challenging and will be most suited to walkers, runners and mountain bikers. While the red trail will have lots of technical trail features to challenge the most experienced mountain bikers.
The project also includes an upgrade of car parking facilities tailored to the needs of the trails user.
Local contractor, FP McCann will undertake the construction of the trails shortly creating employment for the surrounding area.
Trail designer Phil Saxena, is world renowned for designing trails for the Beijing Olympics and the Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup and has spent the last number of months finalising an exciting and challenging trail design.
Speaking on behalf of Cookstown District Council, Chairman Tony Quinn, warmly welcomed the commencement of works.
He said, “This new facility will place Cookstown District at the forefront of activity tourism within Northern Ireland and is a shining example of what can be achieved when a range of agencies work together.”
Cookstown District Council has been working in partnership with Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland with support from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Forest Service.
The design and construction of the trails represents investment from a combined partnership involving the Rural Development Programme and Cookstown District Council.
Getting active and exploring the great outdoors has taken on a new dimension at Davagh Forest.
The new trail system centres largely on the development of the purpose built trails.
All the trails start at the main trailhead in the car park, and users can choose walks and cycles of varying length and abilities.
The development of the trails is expected to attract many domestic and international tourists into the area and bring direct benefits to the local community.