A MOUNTAIN bike trail at Parkwood Springs is to officially launched at the beginning of next month.
However, it is already providing to be a magnet for enthusiasts who are travelling from as far as Hull, Manchester and Nottingham to fly down the hillside next to the Ski Village.
Mountain bikers began using the trail last October after Chapeltown-based world champion mountain Steve Peat helped to design it.
It is still being developed, with hopes that it can become the country’s first urban mountain biking centre. There is even a suggestion that the old Ski Village chairlift could be brought back into use for riders.
Steve is working on the plans with the council with a view to a bid being made to the £700m Sheffield City Region Infrastructure Fund, which provides Government funding for development projects.
The authority would like to turn the whole of Parkwood Springs into an urban country park to capitalise on Sheffield’s geography and the huge local interest in outdoor activities. But the strategy depends on securing the external funds and resolving the question of the future of the Ski Village.
The current owners say it has closed because they can no longer get insurance following arson attacks, vandalism and theft.
Council funding is being sought to improve road access to Parkwood Springs and to create facilities such as a café and shop for bikers.
John Dallow, the council’s woodland officer, said: “We are very lucky in Sheffield to have this outdoor culture - from mountain biking to climbing.”