The first phase of the Hamsterley Forest MTB centre project, that we reported on back in May, has been completed with the launch of The Loop, a £200,000 “skills trail”, and the new Grove Link, an easy, level route from the visitor centre to The Loop that doubles up as a family- and beginner-friendly introduction to riding in the forest.
It’s an impressive achievement, especially since the whole project is volunteer-driven. Local club the Hamsterley Trailblazers have managed to bring together a host of organisations and funding partners to get the work done in often terrible conditions – they had to rescue a sunken digger at one point. But it’s now finished, offering a unique short but obstacle-laden loop to let riders practice riding up steps, round berms and all those other essential trail skills.
The long-term plan is to expand the trail network (ultimately there’s a 40km loop planned) to end up with a centre in England to rival the best that Scotland and Wales have to offer and thus attract people to Hamsterley and the surrounding area. The Trailblazers are now busy getting the cash together for the next phase…
Find out more at the amazingly comprehensive www.hamsterley-trailblazers.co.uk.