Trailblazing Sperrins mountain bike course pedals off with top awards
Have you ever heard of Davagh Forest?
It was once a quiet rural landscape of rolling hills at the top of the Sperrin Mountains.
Now its forest is alive with the sound of people as it leads the charge in Northern Ireland's growing revolution in mountain biking.
Our emerging mountain biking scene has been drawing thousands of adventure tourists after a number of major new trails were launched in recent years, including Davagh.
And now the course has won several accolades at the annual Northern Ireland Mountain Bike Awards. Of its eight categories, Davagh lifted four including favourite trail section and two for the hospitality services at the nearby Shepherd's Rest pub.
The gruelling Davagh Enduro, organised by Draperstown mountain biker Michael Regan, won best event.
Mr Regan said the annual Davagh Enduro has been a sell-out for the past three years and a major boost to tourism in the Sperrins area. "It boosts local businesses," he said. "We've had riders from Spain, France, Poland and a big field from the south of Ireland. We hope to have an even better event this June." For more information, visit the Davagh Enduro Facebook page.
Craig McCullough from Outdoor Concepts, the adventure company which manages the Davagh trails and offers bike hire, tea, coffee and brownies on site, told the Belfast Telegraph what makes the forest so special.
“Davagh has got something for everyone,” he said.
“There is a beginners trail for families, an intermediate trial and red runs for people who are more advanced.
“People keep coming back and it wins awards because it has some of the best trails in Northern Ireland.”
See Twitter @davaghtrailhead or call call 028 9073 7271.