State forest mountain bike course in New Italy set to expand

The 20-kilometre network of public mountain bike trails in Doubleduke State Forest at New Italy is set to double in size, with the Northern Rivers Dirty Wheels Mountain Bike Club starting construction of the first stage of an additional 20 kilometres of trails.

Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Partnerships Leader Holly James said the network of trails in Doubleduke State Forest, known among mountain bikers as New Italy Mountain Bike Forest was one of the only free-to-ride, large scale, single track mountain bike facilities between Grafton and Nerang.

“The Northern Rivers Dirty Wheels Mountain Bike Club has a permit to construct and maintain mountain bike trails in Doubleduke State Forest. As part of this arrangement, the trails are made available to the whole community to use and enjoy for free,” Ms James said.

“The club has built up and maintains an amazing free community facility here in the forest, with around 350 riders visiting the facility on the opening day alone and countless more since. We’re thrilled to support their work to expand the trails and welcome more mountain bikers into the forest.”

Northern Rivers Dirty Wheels Mountain Bike Club President Dave Hegerty said the club had received a $10,000 grant from the NSW Government Community Building Partnership program and a $3,600 grant from Richmond Valley Council’s community financial assistance program to expand the network of trails.

“Mountain biking is a fast-growing sport and the facilities in New Italy Mountain Bike Forest cater for riders of all skill levels. We already have some great trails for beginners and the new trails under development will include some more difficult trails for intermediate and advanced riders seeking more technical riding challenges,” Mr Hegerty said.

“We have already met with local trail construction company, On Track Trails, to discuss the plans to take the facility to the next level. On Track Trails has done a lot of pro bono work to develop the facility and we’re pleased to have them on board to help deliver this expansion.

“It has been a lot of work to get the facility to where it currently is, but it could not have been expanded in the short term without the support of everyone who has worked with us to develop the facility.

“On behalf of the Club, I would like to say a big thank you. I know the members are excited and can’t wait to get out on the trails and enjoy the new work.”

The mountain bike trails in Doubleduke State Forest are open to the public 365 days a year. The mountain bike trails are maintained by Northern Rivers Dirty Wheels Mountain Bike Club, a not for profit community group. The club relies upon volunteers, fundraising, sponsorship and grant funds to keep this facility open.  If you would like to help out or contribute in some way contact the club.

Media contact: Elizabeth Fowler 9407 4265/ 0408 779 903