Work has begun on building the longest purpose built mountain bike trail in the Lake District this month.
A 19km trail – which will feature plenty of rocks, drops, steps, jumps and rollers – will be built and forms part of a £500,000 project to improve the visitor facilities at Whinlatter Forest Park, near Keswick.
The trail is being built by trail builders Clixby’s, who previously constructed singletrack mountain bike trails for the Forestry Commission at Dalby forest in North Yorkshire. They also built the recently upgraded sections on the Follow The Dog trail at Cannock Chase in the West Midlands, and have just finished building the new descent line at Stainburn, near Leeds.
“It’s really exciting to see progress being made on what will become the area’s top mountain biking venue,” says Adrian Jones, Recreation Manager for the Forestry Commission at Whinlatter. “This new trail will allow thousands of mountain bikers and forest visitors to develop their cycling skills or simply go out and have fun.”
British cycle clothing brand Altura is sponsoring the trail. “This is a fantastic opportunity for Altura to be involved in what will undoubtedly be one of the best trails in the UK,” says Brand Manager Ian Young.
Hugh Clixby from trail builders Clixby’s: “We’ve a wealth of experience building bike trails in other parts of the country, so we’re looking forward to getting to grips with the Whinlatter site and making sure there’s something for everyone.”
The project will lead to the creation of 10 new jobs as well safeguarding 12 existing jobs.
The Whinlatter Visitor Centre and Siskins Café will remain open to the public throughout the work, but access may be limited. There will be a designated parking area and a temporary access route to the shop and cafe, it is hoped that all the work around the car park and Visitor Centre will be finished in time for Easter. Visitors are advised to check before travelling by calling the Whinlatter Visitor Centre on 017687 78469 or visiting: www.forestry.gov.uk/whinlatterforestpark.