New £400,000 biking trails for Davagh Forest

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WORK is to begin soon on a major £400,000 recreational trail at Cookstown’s Davagh Forest.

The 11.5kms of multi-purpose trails, which will include one of the toughest mountain bike terrain challenges in the country, are expected to become a top tourist attraction.

Cookstown District Council has leased a three metre wide corridor which meanders through Davagh Forest.

While the Forestry Service will still own the forest, Cookstown Council will create a new specially designed trio of trails - one for top class bikers, another for intermediates and a third for families, runners and others who wish to enjoy the forest.

An consultant engineer is to be appointed soon to arrange for the new capital contract and supervise the works.

The consultant will organise a consultation on the trail design.

The entire project is expected to cost around £406,920.

The Forestry Service are to retain ownership and run the forest as it is currently as a commercial timber producing forest.

However the Council is expected to take control of the specialised trail and the car parks.

The Countryside Access and Activities Network is working with the Council

The trails will be suitable for walking and mountain biking. A concept plan was completed by Dafydd Davis in 2009 and this will form the basis of the new trail system.

Work is expected to start on the scheme in the summer and the project is due to be completed by October this year.

Cookstown Council’s Projects Officer David Richardson said: “It will be a great tourism boost.”