Highland Perthshire Cycling secures investment for the Gravel Trails Project
Highland Perthshire Cycling has secured funding from a number of contributors to develop a whole network of off road gravel trails to the region suitable for riders of all abilities. The network will pass through popular Highland Perthshire towns.
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(Updated 11 December 2020)
Thanks to the Rural Perth & Kinross LEADER Programme 2014-2020: The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and Europe investing in rural areas, which has been match funded with £15,000 from the SSE Griffin and Calliachar Community Fund, Highland Perthshire Cycling announce the launch of the Perthshire Gravel Trails project.
The award of £9,835.20 will kickstart the development of a network of trails that will run through the Highland Perthshire towns of Dunkeld, Pitlochry, Blair Atholl, and Aberfeldy. with the project beginning in November 2019 it's aimed to finish in September 2020.
Jackie Brierton, from the project, said "Making these areas accessible to all will encourage people to explore their local areas with confidence and will have a positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of the communities involved, we are thrilled to have been able to support it."
The trails will be designed by Markus Stitz of Bikepacking Scotland, known for developing the Wild About Argyll Trail and the Captial Trail. The new trails will be suitable for riders of all and different abilities and the network will include a long distance bike-packing route.
The project will be led by Highland Perthshire Cycling Trustee Mike Stead, with the assistance of Project Manager Kat Brown. Stead says "Highland Perthshire is criss-crossed with many estate roads and forestry trails of varying quality and length. Some are only suited for mountain bikes, whilst others are suited for gravel or all-road bikes with fat tyres, which are the sort of bike increasingly used for long-distance multi-day cycling. Worldwide the trend is for people to use wider-tyred gravel bikes for cycle touring, as they open up the possibility to use unpaved roads and paths, to get closer to nature and away from motorised traffic. This project will increase visitor and resident participation in off-road cycling opportunities, it will increase local business income through accommodation, food and other visitor spend, and finally, it will increase awareness of Highland Perthshire as a holiday destination."
To start the project, consultations and an online survey will take place. The consultations will be held on the 10th of December at 7 pm in Dunkeld, the 11th of December in Pitlochry and on the 17 December at 3 pm in Comrie and 7 pm in Aberfeldy.
To take part in the survey click here
(Updated 11 December 2020)
After a year of development and investment the Highland Perthshire trail network Phase One has been completed with a hugely positive response from both trail users and the surrounding communities.
"Highland Perthshire Cycling is extremely pleased with the outcomes from Phase One of the Gravel Trails. Our vision was to establish and promote a network of trails across the region, and we have succeeded beyond all expectations, despite much of the work and launch taking place under challenging COVID-19 conditions. This bodes very well for a Phase Two and beyond, as tourism and public movement returns to normal through 2021" Mike Sead of Highland Perthshire Cycling.
A report has been published outlining the success of the first phase. If you would like to see it for yourself, follow this link www.perthshiregravel.com/resources