In recent years, mountain biking has become one of the most popular adventure sports in the UK. This has led to an increased demand for mountain biking trails and facilities, and with over 100km of new, purpose-built trails and world-class facilities, Northern Ireland is now a leading destination for both recreational and competitive mountain bikers.
Doran Consulting has been commissioned to provide project management and civil engineering design services on a number of local Design & Build projects involving the development of key mountain biking and walking trails at iconic locations across the province. We have developed a particular expertise in the design and project management of off-road, non bitmac cycling trails.
Listed below are details of some of our recent experience in this field:
Mourne Mountain Bike Trail
Doran Consulting was appointed Project Manager on this landmark Design & Build contract for the provision of new mountain bike trails in the Mourne Mountains. The project included the provision of 26km of cross-country mountain bike trails and 3km of downhill trails in Rostrevor Forest Park, and 16km of cross-country mountain bike trails including a pump track in Castlewellan Forest Park. The scale of the project has made this the largest bike trail project which we have undertaken to date and the finished sites are of world-class standard, having been used in the World Police & Fire Games in 2013 and the Single Speed European Championships in 2014.
Both of these new sites consist of off-road, non bitmac bike trails with blue, red, orange, black graded trail sections, downhill sections and a pump track. Technical trail features including rollers, berms, rock drops, boardwalks and table tops were included along with bike wash facilities at both sites. A new bridge was also constructed at the Rostrevor site.
Key stakeholders involved included Down and Newry & Mourne Councils, Outdoor Recreation NI, the Forestry Service and NIEA as certain areas of the sites used for the trails had special designations, including Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Areas of Special Scientific Interest, Sites of Local Nature Conservation Interest or are of archaeological importance. The design had to ensure that the construction and subsequent use of the trails caused as little environmental damage as possible while maintaining the technical features required to host recreational and competitive events.
All Ability Trail at Divis, Black Mountain
We were appointed as the Consultant Project Management (CPM) Team to oversee the delivery of the ‘All Ability Trail’ at Divis Mountain, Belfast. This project involved the creation of an off-road, non bitmac, all ability trail up to 1,300m in length and at 450m elevation which can accommodate all levels of ability, including wheelchair users and those with push chairs.
Doran Consulting prepared all the contract documentation to NEC 3 and provided all construction drawings and specifications required for all work elements for this Design & Build project. We also provided site supervision services for the works required, which included excavation and preparation works, surfacing, drainage, culverting and flow path crossing works, provision of access gates and viewing areas and trail marker posts and signage.
The National Trust and Outdoor Recreation NI (ORNI) were the key project stakeholders for the delivery of this picturesque trail which is located on a National Trust site comprised predominantly of a moorland/ upland habitat.
Ridge Trail at Divis Mountain
Doran Consulting was appointed Project Manager for this Design & Build project for the construction of this 6km off-road, non bitmac walking trail at Divis Mountain. The Ridge Trail starts at the Long Barn at Divis Lodge, progressing to Black Mountain and then along the ridge line of the hills overlooking Belfast. Works required for the site included stone pitching, surfacing, culverts, a footbridge and a new carpark.
Blessingbourne Mountain Bike Trail, Fivemiletown
Doran Consulting was appointed to project manage and provide a range of civil and structural engineering design services for this 12.5km (7.75 miles) off-road multi-purpose trail system with technical trail features including a skills area and pump track, suitable for cyclists of all abilities, constructed around the Blessingbourne Estate in Fivemiletown. The trail is divided into 19 sections including blue grade trails for all abilities and red grade trails for more advanced riders, a skills section and technical trail features including a pump track, berms, table top jumps, drop offs, rock causeway and double jumps.
Specific design elements for this trail included 5 footbridges and several culverts, an automatic barrier system with a pay and display machine, a concrete access road, installation of waymarking and information panels. We also provided site supervision services and had to ensure that the trail and its associated facilities were constructed in accordance with the specification to provide state-of-the-art facilities, whilst not negatively impacting on any of the other tourism and leisure activities available at this historic estate.
In addition, we have now been appointed to provide project management services for Phase 2 which will see the construction of 6km of new mountain bike and walking trails replete with technical trail features at the estate.
'Summit Trail' at Divis Mountain, Belfast
Doran Consulting was appointed as the Consultant Project Management (CPM) Team to oversee the construction of the ‘Summit Trail’ at Divis Mountain, which is a 681m long, sustainable, off-road, non bitmac walking trail at an elevation of 478m.
We prepared all the contract documentation, provided all construction drawings and specifications required for all the work elements and provided site supervision services for the works to complete the trail which included excavation and preparation works, surfacing, drainage, stone pitching, culverts and flow path crossing works, ground improvements utilising geotextile, demarcation and GPS record drawing of the trail route.
The National Trust, Outdoor Recreation NI (ORNI) and The Belfast Hills Partnership were the key project stakeholders for the delivery of this trail which is located on a National Trust site comprised predominantly of a moorland/ upland habitat.
Barnett's Demesne/ Mary Peter's Track Mountain Bike Trails, Belfast
Doran Consulting was appointed Project Manager for this Design & Build contract for 12km of mountain bike trails which start at the Mary Peter’s Track in south Belfast and are the first inner city mountain bike trails in Northern Ireland. The facilities include a green trail for beginners which runs alongside the River Lagan, blue and red trail systems with more technical features for more experienced riders and a skills and jump track which includes jumps, beams and booters.
Walking and Family Trails at Tobar Mhuire, Crossgar
Doran Consulting was appointed as Project Manager and Site Supervisor on this Design project for the provision of 3km of off-road multi-use walking and cycling trails, including an ecotrail equipped with interpretation panels focussing on the natural environment of the wooded grounds of the Tobar Mhuire Monastery.