Mountain biking is really starting to take off in Ireland and when you see the existing trails around the country but also the potential for even more exciting trails with rugged mountain peaks and untouched valleys you’ll get excited too.
From beginner tracks to more technical challenges, this list of 5 excellent mountain biking trails will give the insider knowledge on where to go in Ireland. All you have to do is read this list, pack your biking bags and base at a yourself somewhere clean and comfortable like Travelodge Ireland to get busy mountain biking in Ireland!
1: Ballyhoura Mountain Biking in Limerick
Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails are currently the centre of mountain biking in the Republic of Ireland and when you get there, you can see why. Set in the Ballyhoura mountains which cover south Limerick and north Cork and designed by Dafydd Davis, one of mountain biking’s real innovators, these are international-standard trails for determined bikers to pant up and down on. It’s also the largest off-road mountain biking trail network in Ireland with 98 km of trails and Ballyhoura gives the mountain bike rider tough forest road climbs and a combination of single track and boardwalk sections as well as encompassing tight turns and technically demanding rocky sections. The Castlepook loop is one of the most popular trails and a tiring one at just over 50kms in length.
2: Derroura in Galway
Further up the western coast, the Derroura Mountain Bike trail is a great examination of your tenacity and stamina. This is a circle of large climbs, some up to 350 metres, and large descents along miles of singletrack trails in County Galway. If you can take your eyes off the steep and rocky trail for a few minutes, the views of the Twelve Bens and Lough Corrib will really repay your attention. This is tough place to be on a mountain bike when the weather gets nasty as the trail takes in some very remote and very exposed spots.
3: Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails
Another tough mountain bike ride, this time around the County Down shores of Carlingford Lough, the Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails has 27 kilometres of red trails and 19 kilometres of black ones to tempt and test riders of every level. The fantastic coastal views are balanced by the challenge of single track descents that demand your utmost attention. One of the most acclaimed mountain biking spots in Ireland, the Home Run is a particular favourite for adrenalin junkies.
4: Ticknock Mountain Bike Trail in County Dublin
The Ticknock Mountain Bike Trail is a loop around the Dublin Mountains and give riders amazing views of Dublin city and Dublin Bay. While this trail is accessible to the beginner rider, there is enough on the trail to keep the experience one equally interested and Ticknock is very handy to reach and only a half an hour from Dublin city centre. There are forest climbs to negotiate, twisty turns and big descents to manage and it can be very windy in some spots along this 8 kilometres of mountain biking trail.
5: Ballinastoe Mountain Biking in County Wicklow
Ballinastoe Mountain Bike Trail has about 14 kilometres of track for the rider to explore in the heart of the Wicklow mountains. And there is plenty to explore here with tight and twisty single track vying with forest road descents and ascents over terrain that is made for mountain biking. The varied surfaces of the trails at Ballinastoe are a particular strength with rocks, mud, gravel and loose stones all to be ridden over. There are also long climbs up fire roads and a circular route where your attention never flags.