Gisburn History

History of the Trails.

Gisburn has undergone a massive evolution in it’s trails over the last few years and is continuing to develop. For a long time there were three pretty basic and mainly fire road routes, good for stretching the legs but not the most exciting riding. At the other end of the scale was the downhill sections and cheeky trails that the locals had been quietly building and using. This changed in 2008 when Martin Colledge, the Beat Forester for Gisburn with help from Nigel Pilling started to hand build some new singletrack. They quickly realised they needed help and a volunteer group was set up to speed the trail construction. At this point a master plan was born with the expert guidance of Rowen Sorrel from Back on Track. Possible lines were were walked and marked out (you may still see odd pieces of Marzocchi tape hanging from the trees) and a master map of how the trails could look was created.

Gisburn Forest planned trails - 2008

In 2009 a significant injection of cash from Sport England (£ 60k), along with £ 60k provided by Forest of Bowland AONB, Ribble Valley BC, Ribble Valley Strategic Partnership, UU and the FC meant things could really start to change. The FC also contributed the equivalent of another £ 60k in materials. This all allowed contractors to add around 6km of singletrack to the 1km the volunteers had already laid. Since then the volunteers have continued to build and have now opened a total of 2.5km of hand built trail. Hope Technologies have also been involved and generously funded the Hope Line.

Gisburn Forest - walking digger

The trails continue to evolve with ambitious plans for a new car park with better facilities, skills loops and a pump track. Plans also exist for ever more singletrack, extending the existing trail north beyond Hully Gully and to remove even more of the fire road. Whilst Martin continues to provide the gravel the volunteers will continue to build.

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