Cllr Richard Holmes has said he is absolutely delighted to see the Garvagh Forest Trails opened.
The £750k investment in mountain bike trails provide opportunities for 1.3km novice trails to 4.7km trails for experienced bikers.
“I’ve backed this project at every stage with fellow Bann Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan. At times it seemed like an uphill struggle with much opposition from Sinn Fein pushing for even more investment in The Glens.
“But the business case for Garvagh Forest Trails stacked up and we hope this will be the first of a number of trails in the council area.
“Feedback on the trails for cyclists has been tremendous. The designers have made the most of the terrain to create an exhilarating course even for experienced mountain-bikers.
“Tourism is booming around the north coast and I’ve been a passionate advocate in efforts to increase bed nights in the area and pull tourists and spend from the coast to the towns and villages sitting further inland.
“Mountain bike trails in the beautiful Garvagh Forest will help satisfy those seeking adrenaline thrills and draw tourists into the town.
“The project has drawn together Council funding with Sport NI, Ulster Wildlife and the Forest Service to deliver this great asset. But credit is also due to the local cycling associations who have pushed for it over the years.
“Now is the time to get on your bike and enjoy an adrenaline rush in Garvagh.”