Workshop about the cross-border MTB trail system and offer in the Kőszeg Mountains
On 17 March 2022, the VELOREGIO partners held the Kick-off workshop of the cross-border MTB trail system and offer preparation in the Kőszeg Mountains at the Írottkő Hotel in Kőszeg. Within the framework of the project, a study entitled "Section survey and MasterPlan for the development of mountain bike connections in the Írottkő Nature Park" has already been prepared, which presented mountain bike route plans in the Írottkő Nature Park and outlined their cross-border connection. Nevertheless, in 2021, the planning of an MTB trail system on the Austrian side of the mountain in Burgenland started with provincial funding, which gave a new impetus to the topic.
After the welcoming speeches and the presentation of the project, Martin Nehrer spoke about the road construction on the Austrian side. Their aim is to create nature-friendly trails with as little interference as possible with nature. Four-season accessibility not only ensures year-round use for mountain bikers, but also creates stable jobs. Work on the trail is underway, with a soft opening expected by the end of April, then any defects will be repaired, and the expected official opening, possibly June 11, but definitely sometime in mid-June. Then the mountenbike cycle path planned during the working year of the "Iron Curtain Trail" on the Hungarian side was presented. However, the currently permitted forest trails do not offer enough of a challenge for those using it. Besides these, there are currently a number of illegal trails, which would be an important issue for everyone to sort out. Also, the opening of the trail on the Austrian side will have an impact on the Hungarian side of the mountain. A representative of the Őrség National Park Directorate assured cyclists of openness, but also pointed out that they can only give their opinion and give permission with regard to the protection of natural values. Erzsébet Pénzes then spoke about the experiences of MAKETUSZ about the muntenbike trails. Finally, Harald Popofsits presented the operation of the MTB park in Burgenland on behalf of Südburgenland Tourismus. After the presentations there was an active exchange of views between the different participants. It is important to find common values with authorities, managers, owners and to discuss the use of complex areas. The event ended with a dinner together.