Mayor welcomes progress on International Appalachian Trail improvements
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has visited part of the International Appalachian Trail overlooking Magilligan where improvement work is helping to enhance the renowned walking route.
Alderman Mark Fielding joined contractors Campbell Civils at the picturesque Gortmore Viewing Point to see progress on the installation of new trail furniture.
Funding of £141,684 has been secured to carry out improvements along the trail’s 114 mile stretch in Causeway Coast and Glens as part of a cross border cooperation project within the Rural Development Programme.
The works include replacing signage, way marking, information boards and repairs and upgrading of trail infrastructure at locations across the Moyle Way, Causeway Coast Way and North Sperrins Way.
New sections are also being created to improve access for the public, with work expected to be completed this summer.
Commending the work, Alderman Fielding said: “I am delighted to see the development of this project, especially at a time when so many people are rediscovering the benefits of spending time exploring our Borough’s stunning environment.
“We want our visitors to enjoy positive experiences which will encourage them to explore more of our beautiful outdoor spaces and this scheme will help us to achieve this.”
“The views from Gortmore Viewing Point are simply breath-taking and I’ve no doubt that it rivals any other route of the International Appalachian Trail around the world.”
The IAT is one of the largest networks of its kind in the world with sections in a range of countries including the United States, Canada and throughout Europe.
The Irish section stretches to 302 miles (484km), running from West Donegal to Larne, passing through six different Council areas. Starting at the spectacular Slieve League cliffs, the trail goes through Glencolmcille and traverses the Bluestack Mountains in County Donegal before crossing into County Tyrone where it picks up the Ulster Way, taking in the Sperrins before moving on to the stunning Binevenagh, Causeway Coast and the Glens of Antrim.
The Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-20 is part funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the European Union. The funding is administered by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
As well as improvements within Causeway Coast and Glens, five other councils will carry out similar projects on their own sections as part of works costing over £600,000 in total.
Significant investment being directed towards a project to promote the trail, worth almost £120,000. Marketing campaigns in Ireland and North America will be executed by Outdoor Recreation NI, an organisation with extensive experience in promoting walking trails to locals and tourists, towards the end of 2021.