Northern Ireland is becoming something of a Mecca for mountain bike enthusiasts. And it’s easy to see why, with the development of several world-class trails in recent years, and of course with Northern Ireland’s stunning scenery as the backdrop…
So where are Northern Ireland’s Top Mountain Bike Trails, and what can you expect when you get there?
Northern Irelands Top Mountain Bike Trails
#01 Davagh Forest, Londonderry / Derry
Set around 6 miles North West of Cookstown in Mid-Ulster, the Davagh Forest trails are set in the stunning woodlands and forests of the Sperrin Mountains. There are a number of more sedate trails as well as some challenging courses with rock features for the bravest cyclists.
Trails Available: Skills Course | 3km Green Trail | 7.5km Blue Trail | 16km Red Trail
#02 Rostrevor, Down
Set on the shores of Carlingford Lough, expect stunning views, tough climbs and exhilarating downhill rides at the iconic Rostrevor mountain bike trails. Hailed by some as the best mountain bike trail in Northern Ireland because of the length & challenging nature of the trail, and of course because of those views. There’s also two bespoke trails designed for those who want to test specific skills.
Trails Available: 27km Red Trail | 19km Black Trail | Mega Mission | On the Pulse
#03 Blessingbourne, Tyrone / Fermanagh Border
Set within a grand 100 acre estate in the serene Clogher Valley, the fantastic trails at Blessingbourne again cater for more levels of skill. Those new to the sport and more experienced riders will find something to delight them here. There is a particularly good Red Trail scattered with challenging features such as log rides and rock drops and a custom built Pump Track; short circular trail with rollers and berms, used by some to practice their skills before tackling the trails proper.
Trails Available: 4 km Blue Trail | 8km Red Trail | Pump Track
#04 Castlewellan, Down
Set just outside the charming village of Castlewellan, these mountain bike trails enjoy some fabulous views of the Mourne Mountains, reason enough to give them a go! But there’s also a picturesque lake and Victorian Castle to enjoy. And with trails to suit all levels of experience, you can take the whole family.
Trails Available: 4km Green Trail | 4.5km Blue Trail | 19km Red Trail
#05 Barnet Demesne, Antrim
Set just outside Belfast, the trails at Barnet Demesne are set within one of Northern Ireland’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are great options for every level of experience and an exciting Jumps Park, perfect for the thrill seekers among you!
Trails Available: 3.4km Green Trail | 3.9km Blue Trail | 1.5km Red Trail | Jumps Park
#06 Tollymore, Down
The last of the 3 trails set in County Down, Tollymore is a custom built skills course developed to help hone those skills for taking on the bigger trails. Expect a good range of features including rock sections, berms and log rolls.
Trails Available: 1.5 km Skills Course
Mountain Bike Trail Colour Codes
In case you’re new to the sport, here’s what each colour code means:
- Green = Easy – Relatively flat wide trails suitable for beginners and families
- Blue = Moderate – Suitable for those with some mountain bike experience with some obstacles of root and rock
- Red = Difficult – Expect more mountainous climbs, tricky descents and technical features. Good fitness levels and skills required
- Black = Severe – Only for those highly experienced cyclists. High level of difficulty with dangerous climbs, descents and features
Mountain Biking in Northern Ireland – Where to Stay
We have several holiday cottages close to all of the above trails, with some set just minutes from the trails. Most of our cottages offer secure lock-up facilities for your bikes and Owners can also organise mountain bike hire for you if required.
Take a look at our collection of self-catering accommodation in Northern Ireland.
For lots more useful info on Northern Ireland’s Mountain bike courses take a look here: www.mountainbikeni.com