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New mountain biking track to be built near Cairngorm Mountain

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The Cairngorm Resort has revealed plans to create a new mountain bike track to keep visitors coming back year-round.

Plans for the 1.8-mile track have been lodged with Highland Council as part of the centre’s 25-year masterplan for tourism.

If approved, bikers will be able to explore an area in Coire Cas, to the south of the Cairngorm Mountain.

Zones along the track will include one for beginners to improve their skills and more advanced, technical areas for more accomplished cyclists.

The new project is part of the 25-year masterplan for the Cairngorm Mountain resort, published in June 2020 by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Lots of potential for healthy outdoor fun

Public consultation on the resort’s future showed strong support for mountain biking to attract more families, and the team believe it is a unique offering in the area.

The resort is keen to expand its reach to more people throughout the entire year when snow is not readily available on the Cairngorms – plugging the gap left by the funicular, which closed in 2018 due to structural concerns.

The railway made the mountain-side an attraction year-round as it is the highest railway in the UK with over 260,000 visitors to the mountain in 2018 the last year the railway was operational.

Reopening of the railway has been pushed back several times with HIE estimating reopening in the latter half of this year.

Susan Smith, Cairngorm Mountain chief executive, said: “While snowsports remain hugely important for us, Cairngorm already offers much more, including excellent networks of paths and trails, ranger services, and new facilities like our popular tubing slide and adventure play area for children.

The new mountain track aims to appeal to more families when no snow is available for winter sports. Picture by Kris Miller

“We see a lot of potential in offering a great range of healthy, fun outdoor activities that whole families can enjoy, in spring, summer and autumn as well as winter.

Mountain biking can be a great way for people to access Cairngorm, get exercise and experience our wonderful natural environment.”

Dave Macleod of HIE added: “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.”

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