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St John’s to Kirk Michael Heritage Trail

Following the recent completion of improvements to the Heritage Trail between Peel and Douglas, a further project is planned for the refurbishment of the St John’s to Kirk Michael Heritage Trail which runs along the west coast of the Island. Part of the works proposed are the reinstatement of bridges at Glen Wyllin, Glen Mooar and across the A1 near Ballaleece St John’s, and will provide accessibility for walkers, runners, disabled users, cyclists and horse riders.

In addition to the reinstatement of bridges, the surface of the trail will be upgraded making it available all year round and stimulating long-term health benefits by encouraging people to become more active on a regular basis.

Officers from the Department of Infrastructure delivered a presentation on the plans at Michael School on the evening of Wednesday 12 August.

 St John’s to Kirk Michael Heritage Trail
For further details please see the FAQ's set out below:


Q. Could a narrower path and grassed area be incorporated in conjunction with a fine dust surface used for cyclists and wheelchair users?

A.  The Heritage Trail only widens where drainage is required. There are constraints on what materials are available at the quarry, and this also needs to meet Health and Safety requirements and provide access for all at all times.


Q. Will litter bins be placed along the trail?

A. Litter bins will be provided. Picnic areas are being trialled on the Douglas part of the Heritage Trail and are being considered for inclusion on this phase of the Trail.


Q. In addition to pedestrians and cyclistswill usage of the trail also include horse riders and other users, and will this be incorporated on the signage?

A. The intention is to open up the Heritage Trail to as many users as possible such as walkers, runners, cyclists, horse riders, people with pushchairs, and disabled users. Signage will be updated to reflect this.


Q. Will quad bikes and scramble bikes be able to use the trail?

A. In addition to the answer provided to Q.3 above, electric bicycles and mobility scooters can use the Heritage Trail. However, other vehicles such as quad bikes and scramble bikes etc cannot use the Trail.


Q. Could boardwalks be used as an alternative on flat boggy areas of the trail?

A. The Department is looking at putting into place boardwalks in certain areas.


Q. Will the surface be suitable for wheelchairs to be pushed easily and will there be provision for car parking in close proximity to the Trail?
A. This is being looked at and the Department will endeavour to utilise the best and most compact material for the trail for all users. There will be access in close proximity to the Heritage Trail.


Q. Will it be possible for more signage to be erected so as to encourage more usage of the Trail?

A. The Department is in discussions about signage.


Q. Will maintenance works be carried out?

A. The Department is aware that regular maintenance will be required and a maintenance programme will be put in place.


Q. Will there be access across the bridges for horse riders?

A. There will be access on and off bridges for horse riders and there will be riding blocks on each side if you want to dismount.


Q. How much vegetation clearance works are being done?

A. Going forward, the Manx Wildlife Trust is liaising with the Department to provide advice on when to carry out vegetation clearance works throughout the year and the Department will only undertake this work with their approval


Q. Has planning permission been obtained for the reconstruction of the bridges?

A. The proposals for the three main bridges at Glen Wyllin, Glen Mooar and across the A1 near Ballaleece St John’s have been submitted to planning for approval.


Q. Is it not worth carrying out drainage works and then leaving the trail as it is?

A. The idea is to improve the trail to provide access for all. This will require some levelling, vegetation clearance and widening of the route as well as drainage improvements.


Q. Are there any plans for Poortown Station such as a history board at the Station and signage?

A. Yes, this has been looked into. Chainsaw woodcarvings have been added and a point of interest interpretation board is scheduled to be erected.


Q. Will there be a speed limit on the trail?

A. No. Signage will be used to ensure cyclists are mindful of other users.  

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