The Causeway Coast and Glens area is celebrating the completion of new walking and cycling trails at Garvagh Forest.

The eagerly awaited new trail network provides a safe and attractive space for walkers, runners and cyclists all within the forest.

As well as an enhanced trail head and car park, the forest now offers up to 13 kilometres of waymarked walking routes. Coupled with just over 10 kilometres of purpose built green, blue and red grade bike trail and a skills loop, the forest is well served in terms of outdoor recreation.

Speaking at the official opening of the project, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Sean Bateson said: This is not just an investment in infrastructure but an investment in health and our wider community. Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council recognises the increasing demand for outdoor recreation in our landscape and the need for this provision to be appropriate and sustainable. I was encourage everyone to visit the fantastic new facilities, enjoy some fresh air and experience this unique addition to Garvagh.”

George Lucas, Chairman from Sport Northern Ireland also commented on the project:  “SportNI is delighted to support this new facility delivering £120,000 of National Lottery funding through our Everybody Active 2020 Outdoor Spaces Programme in partnership with Causeway Coast and Glens Council and DAERA. Garvagh Forest Trails will prove to be instrumental and a wonderful environment for getting healthy in mind and body. Offering combinations of terrain for both casual cyclists and extreme mountain bike sportspersons and dedicated walking trails designed to suit all abilities, there is certainly something for everybody to enjoy.”

Chief Executive of Forest Service, John Joe O’Boyle commented “This Garvagh Forest Trails project is a ‘living, working active’ example of what has been achieved through partnership working between Council, Sport NI, Landfill Community Fund (administered by Ulster Wildlife), Forest Service and Rural Affairs Divisions. The Department’s Forest Service and Rural Affairs have worked with these partners and the local community to develop and deliver these significantly enhanced recreation facilities at Garvagh forest. Completion of the project provides local people and tourists to the area with great and readily accessible opportunities to enjoy the outdoor environment and improve their health and well-being. The project demonstrates the practical outworking of the priorities set out in the Department’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Framework”.

Pupils from Carhill Integrated Primary School, Garvagh Primary School and St Patrick’s & St Joseph’s Primary School, Glenullin, Garvagh Strollers walking group and Carn Wheelers and Agivey Cycling club were some of the first to enjoy the trails on the official launch.

The work was made possible due to funding from a range of funding programmes including DAERA’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Programme, Sport NI’s Everybody Active 2020 Programme and the Landfill Community Fund.


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Main picture:

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Sean Bateson pictured with Helen Lorimer, Ulster Wildlife Trust, George Lucas, Chair of Sport NI, Sandra Moody, Garvagh Forest Strollers, John Joe O’Boyle, Chief Executive of the Forest Service and Erin Creighton, Irish Champion Mountain Biker at the recent launch of the Garvagh Forest Trails Project.