Tomorrows Visitors Podcast Episode 4 with Ethan Loughrey, Marketing Officer, Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland.
In this episode, I talk to Ethan Loughrey of Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland. We talk about the growth of Mountain biking in Northern Ireland. We share our passion for mountain biking as a leisure and sporting activity.
So, how have mountain bike centres evolved?
We talk about the new trails at Gortin Glen Forest Park and staying at Blessingbourne Estate. If you are looking for a unique holiday then tourism providers could promote 3 trail centres. Davagh, Blessingbourne and Gortin are all different. Together these could be promoted as a package. This has happened in the 7 Stanes region in Scotland and in the Ballyhoura Region in Ireland.
Extension to Davagh Forest Trails
6.5 km of new trails will be open in summer 2021, comprising of a red and blue single-track. The site will also have an all-ability downhill gravel trail. Davagh Forest is broadening its appeal to visitors. The imminent opening of the new OM Dark Sky Observatory and the extension to the trails is good news.
Gosford recently opened
Gosford Forest Park, near Markethill, has 11km of blue and green trails. These are very suitable for beginner to immediate cyclists. The trails have plenty of twists and berns. Gosford is a great location to develop your mountain biking skills and confidence.
The old favourites
We share our love for Castlewellan and Rostrevor. These are two of the longest established trail centres in Northern Ireland. Castlewellan appeals to all mountain bikers. Rostrevor tends to cater for the more enthusiastic biker seeking bigger challenges. Rostrevor has over 30km of cross-country, enduro and downhill terrain.
Local companies 26 extreme and Life Adventure run appealing and challenge events. I have participated in the Rostrevor Adventure Duathlon. The Mourne Psycle awaits!
The Red Bull Fox Hunt and the Vitus First Tracks Enduro Series have shone the light on the region. This has helped to cement Northern Ireland’s reputation as a mountain biking destination.
We review the trails at Castleward and Barnett’s Demense with its new jump park. We finish up by agreeing that mountain biking is on the way up!
Mountain Bike Volunteers
MountainBikeNI is seeking volunteers to assist with trail maintenance. The trails are Barnett Demesne, Castlewellan, Davagh and Rostrevor. Volunteer sessions run four times a year and hosted by trail managers. Work includes making repairs to trail surfaces and cutting back on vegetation. For further information contact Ethan Ethan@outdoorrecreationni.com