Officials at the Lake District National Park Authority have given the green light to plans for a new 19km mountain bike trail at WhinlatterForest near Keswick.
The trail will form a major component of a £500,000 project to enhance the leisure facilities in what is England’s only true mountain forest. Rising to 790 metres, the area affords spectacular views over the Lake District.
“We’re delighted that these new facilities will now be developed at Whinlatter,” said Graeme Prest of the Forestry Commission. “Thousands of people who visit the forest go mountain biking but up to now there has been no purpose-built bike trail. This new trail will therefore be a great opportunity for mountain bikers to develop their skills or simply go out and have fun”
UK-based cycle clothing brand Altura will sponsor the red graded route which will be the longest purpose-built trail in the Lake District and will include 15 kilometres of new singletrack.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Altura to be involved in what will undoubtedly be one of the best trails in the UK,” said the company’s brand manager, Ian Young. “When I first visited Whinlatter forest, I was blown away by the perfect mountain biking landscape and amazing scenery. The location is hard to beat.”
A new retail unit and bike hire facilities will be run by Cyclewise of Penrith, who will also offer mountain bike training courses for all ages and abilities. The trail will be built by Hugh Clixby who has previously created trails for the Forestry Commission at Dalby in North Yorkshire and CannockForest in the West Midlands.
The North West Regional Development Agency will be helping to fund the construction of the trail and the redevelopment of the car park at the Visitor Centre. More information about Whinlatter Forest Park can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland.