MOUNTAIN BIKING AND DOWNHILL IN IRELAND – 4 GREAT TIPS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE (OUTSIDE DUBLIN)

Last updated on February 6, 2024

Mountain bike parks are becoming increasingly popular in Ireland and Northern Ireland and new ones are being added or existing ones expanded all the time.

Photo: trailriders.ie
Photo: trailriders.ie

Intro

Some are smaller and offer fun for half a day or a day. Others have already built a very impressive range of trails and are easily suitable for a longer weekend.

In the following, I will introduce you to trail parks in Ireland that are not near Dublin, but where you might pass by as part of a round trip.

By the way, we live in Ireland (second home) and run our motorbike rental business here in the summer months (www.easycruiser.tours). We also have nice guest rooms (www.the-view-accommodation.ie). We have travelled the island again and again over many years and therefore know it very well.

Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours
Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours


#1 Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails

The list starts with a “BANG”: Ballyhoura is perhaps one of the best trail parks in Ireland and certainly the biggest. There are now over 100km of trails here!

From easy to difficult descents to great long endurance routes, there is a lot on offer here. The trails are also well marked and there are always trail maps along the way.

You will find Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails south of Limerick, between Ardpatrick and Rockspring.

There you will also find a MTB hire shop: see: www.trailriders.ie . Entry to the park costs €5 and a rental MTB costs €40 including helmet for the day.

Photo: trailriders.ie
Photo: trailriders.ie


#2 Coolaney Mountain Bike Trail

This park is near the town of Coolaney in County Sligo, on the north-west coast.

The park in the Ox Mountains is still quite new. About 30km of trails have been developed and many more are planned. In the end, there should be 80km of trails.

The trails are largely gravelled, so you don’t have to sink in mud even in wet weather. Up on the hills you have great views of the coast.

I’m not sure if they have MTB rental, but if you’re travelling with your own bike, Coolaney is definitely a hot tip.

Map of Mountain Bike Trails and Rental Stations
Map of Mountain Bike Trails and Rental Stations (map: Google Maps)



#3 Bike Park Ireland / Bigwood

The Bike Park Ireland is located in the middle of Ireland, in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. You will find it southwest of the town of Birr on the Old Birr Road.

It is a downhill park with numerous tracks of varying difficulty. You can pedal up the mountain, or use an uplift service to take you to the top.

You can rent an MTB there for 70€ a day and the uplift service for the day costs 40€. More information can be found on the website: www.bikeparkireland.ie.

Photo: sbmbc.midirelandadventure.ie
Photo: sbmbc.midirelandadventure.ie


#4 Slieve Bloom

Slieve Bloom has long been an insider tip for hikers and is now becoming a hit on the MTB scene: Currently 35km of trails have been built, with plans to end up with 100km of trails!

There are two entrances, at Kinnitty and at Baunreagh. The trails are marked, there are currently easier and intermediate trails. The more difficult trails are at Baunreagh.

Mountain bikes for hire are available at: https://sbmbc.midirelandadventure.ie/rental/. For example, a MTB hardtail for 6 hours costs 55€, with front and rear suspension 85€.

Ad for our own business The View Accommodation
Ad for our own business The View Accommodation

Conclusion

The mountain bike scene in Ireland is still comparatively young, but is experiencing rapid growth. There are already several great MTB parks in Ireland and they are constantly being expanded. So if you’re travelling to Ireland by car, you can easily fit in one or more mountain bike days along the way!

I wish you lots of fun!

More interesting articles for you

MOUNTAIN BIKING AND DOWNHILL IN IRELAND – 3 GREAT TIPS NEAR DUBLIN

MOUNTAIN BIKING AND DOWNHILL IN NORTHERN IRELAND – 4 GREAT TIPS

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BICYCLE TRAVEL ROUTES ON THE ISLE OF IRELAND – WHERE ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AREAS?

Photo credits cover photo: Curvy mountain road in Ireland, photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg (www.easycruiser.tourswww.the-view-accommodation.iewww.irland-insider.dewww.ireland-insider.com)

Uli Written by:

Hello and welcome to my blog. Originating from Germany, my family and I now live in Ireland (at least part time). We have travelled this amazing isle many times and know many parts of it very well. In this blog, I would like to share valuabe tips and information for your next trip to Ireland with you. Enjoy the content, yours, Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg