The much anticipated 4.2 mile Divis Ridge Trail has officially opened.
This new trail is set to entice over 50,000 visitors to Divis and the Black Mountain, as they enjoy the cityscape and panoramic views of the Mourne Mountains, the Lake District and Scotland.
The Ridge Trail has been developed by Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland and gives walkers access to previously inaccessible parts of Divis and the Black Mountain.
Welcoming the opening of the Ridge Trail, Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill said, “As DARD Minister, I have a keen interest in any project which will protect and enhance our rural landscape and contribute to sustainable rural development. “
“Funding from my Department of £223,000 towards the total project cost of approx half a million pounds demonstrates what can be achieved when various organisations work together in partnership. The Ridge Trail is an important countryside development on the edge of Belfast and will encourage people to enjoy outdoor recreation in a rural environment in harmony with nearby farmers on the Belfast Hills.”
Heather Thompson, National Trust’s Director for Northern Ireland, commented, “Since the National Trust started looking after Divis and the Black Mountain, it has been our objective to regenerate this once inaccessible landscape into a destination for outdoor recreation and enjoyment. The development of the Ridge Trail is an important milestone in meeting this objective and represents a significant investment in this part of Belfast. This is a very special place and we hope to welcome many visitors to take in these spectacular views of Northern Ireland and beyond.”
Although situated high in the Belfast Hills many local people and tourists will be able to enjoy walking the 4.2 mile circular Ridge Trail due to its relatively flat paths on tarmac, boardwalk and stone pitched gravel. The Ridge Trail is one of four trails on Divis and the Black Mountain.
Find out more here.