The Davagh Forest Trails, local businesses and event organisers have topped Northern Ireland’s Annual Mountain Bike Awards List as voted for by members of the public.
Despite narrowly missing out on the prestigious ‘Trail Centre of the Year’ award, Davagh Forest’s Red Trail, Run Ragley Run, won the award for Northern Ireland’s Favourite Trail Section.
Colin Doyle and The Shepherds Rest also picked up two accolades as Northern Ireland’s Favourite MTB-Friendly Non-Serviced Accommodation and Best Spot for an Apres-Ride Pint.
Finally ,the Davagh Enduro, organised by local mountain biker Michael Regan, rounded off another successful year for the trails by clinching the award for Best MTB Event of 2014.
These awards for 2014 were hosted by MountainBikeNI.com in partnership with Chain Reaction Cycles and turned out to be the closest yet with over eight hundred people casting their votes and only a handful of votes separating each category winner.
Chris Armstrong from MountainBikeNI.com explains, “These awards are fantastic recognition for the Davagh Forest Trails and the high standard of services offered by local businesses and tourism providers in the surrounding area.”
Mr Armstrong continues, “For the trail centre, local businesses and events to top four of the eight categories in these country-wide awards is a massive public vote of confidence for Davagh Forest and shows just how popular this outdoor recreation venue now is amongst both local mountain bikers and visitors alike.”
These accolades have also been welcomed by Cookstown District Council Chairperson, Cllr Wilbert Buchannon. Cllr Buchannon explains, “We couldn’t be happier with how the trails have been received. Davagh Forest is a great resource for the local population and we are also seeing an increase in tourism expenditure in the area as a result of this new trail system, it is great to see local businesses benefiting from this investment.”
Ulster Unionist Assembly Member for Mid-Ulster, Sandra Overend, has congratulated the Davagh Forest bike trail team on their recent success.
Mrs Overend, who is the Assembly Private Secretary to the Minister for Regional Development, said,
“I would like to congratulate the team behind the Davagh Forest Trails on their success at the Northern Ireland Mountain Bike Awards ceremony. Of the eight possible prize categories, Davagh came out on top in four, which is a resounding success by any measure. I imagine it tops off a year where they have seen the development at Davagh grow and flourish, attracting people to Mid-Ulster from all over Northern Ireland the British Isles.
“This has been a boost for the local area, both in terms of recreation provision for local people, and inward tourism potential, which has delivered for the local economy. It has also been matched by increase in people taking up cycling as a past-time, with local cycling clubs making use of the Davagh facilities.”