The Forestry Commission that opened a series of mountain bike trails at Gisburn Forest near Clitheroe, Lancashire only last September has been overwhelmed at the success of the new facility.
According to the Burnley Express over 20,000 visitors have already explored the two existing waymarked trails but there are plans to expand with further routes and particularly car parking areas to cope with the higher-than-expected numbers.
So far, the trails consist of an easy 8km "blue" route for families and beginners with a longer and gnarlier 22km "red" track for the more experienced and experts with suitably tricky dowhill and boardwalk sections. Both the routes are set in the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with beautiful views of the nearby Stocks Reservoir.
Andy Banks, from the Forestry Commission, says: "To have such an overwhelming public response to the new trails at Gisburn is brilliant, and great reward for all the hard work put in by staff and trail building volunteers."
The trails are part of the Ribble Valley Sports and Physical Activity Alliance and were completed with the aid of a £60,000 lottery grant from Sport England. £60,000 was also contributed by the Forest of Bowland AONB, Ribble Valley Borough Council, Ribble Valley Strategic Partnership, United Utilities and the Forestry Commission.
Gisburn Forest Trail Builders, a group of enthusiastic riders from throughout the region has helped on a number of volunteer trail building days organised by the Forestry Commission. The group has contributed an estimated £15,000 of value to the project by hand building over 1,000m of new trail.
It would be good to hear from anyone who's been.