NEW family-friendly mountain biking trails on Cairn Gorm are set to open later this year.
Cairngorms National Park Authority Planning Committee have approved plans submitted by resort operator Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Ltd (CMSL) to establish just under 3km of trails and a conveyor belt uplift system on the lower slopes of the mountain.
The three trails will be located between the day lodge and the mid-station of the Cairngorm funicular railway and are designed to cater for beginners and learners as well as intermediate cyclists.
Introducing mountain biking is an early step in delivering the 25-year Cairngorm masterplan, published last year by estate owner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Cairngorm Estate owner Highlands and Islands Enterprise plans to invest £691,000 to create the trails and install the uplift system.
Susan Smith, Cairngorm Mountain chief executive, said: “Mountain biking is a hugely popular family activity and will provide a great new way for people to access Cairngorm, get exercise and experience our wonderful natural environment.”
“We already offer much more than snowsports here, including excellent networks of paths and trails, ranger services, and fun facilities like our popular tubing slide and adventure play area for children.”
“Mountain biking will be a great addition to the mix of healthy, fun outdoor activities that whole families can now enjoy at Cairngorm in every season of the year.”
Dave Macleod of HIE said: “We’re delighted with today’s approval from the Cairngorms National Park Authority Planning Committee.”
“Cairngorm is a perfect setting for the kind of family-oriented biking we’re proposing, and it’s an idea that was put forward by many local people who took part in our masterplan consultation.”
“The plans were developed with a lot of input from Development for Mountain Biking Scotland and other stakeholder organisations who have been really helpful and supportive.”
“This is really the first step in delivering the long-term masterplan which ultimately aims to unlock the full potential of Cairngorm Mountain estate as both an environmental asset for the area and a key driver of the local economy, where tourism is so important.”