The trails at Cockhill woods started back in 2012 when a bunch of local riders ventured up to carve out some tracks and built some aging wooden ladder features. As the story goes in Singletrack magazine issue 81, Wayne was eventually tracked down by Forestry officials at UMP Tilhill after they had discovered the illegally built trails being constructed without permission from the land owner. After discussions with both forestry and the land owner an agreement was drafted up, a fee agreed and insurance requirements outlined to make it all legitimate. At this time the trails were in no fit state to open to the public, the older wooden features had to be torn down and the rest of the trail had to be properly surfaced with drainage and sustainable for the years of riding abuse they would be getting. Months of building followed in all conditions for the committed bunch of volunteers that were involved. In ….. 2013 Cockhill trading under Dirt Trax Ltd opened to the public where news of the place spread by word of mouth and the community of regular riders slowly grew.
……2015 Cockhill was unfortunately forced to shut due to a change in management at the forestry, much tighter terms in the agreement that restricted income and with it a higher price that made the venture no longer economically viable under the revised agreement.
The only local official mountain bike area with a wide range of trails in that pine forest setting that gave you the feeling you could be in Whistler or anywhere in the world became redundant again.
Months went by with a lot of emotions for the core build team that had invested many hours and one less place to ride for the regulars who loved the place so much.
After lots of discussion a newer group of builders and regular riders, who we will tell you about below came together to negotiate with the land owner and the forestry a way forward.