5 of the Best Mountain Biking Centres in Ireland

Inject a bit of adrenaline into your weekend with some awesome downhill biking activity!

Ballyhoura Mountain Biking, Co. Limerick + Cork

With biking trails starting at a manageable 6km and skyrocketing up to an expert 50km, mountain biking in Limerick’s Ballyhoura will fit the bill no matter your skill level. There’s bike hire available close by as well so if you don’t fancy lugging your gear (or don’t have any!), then you can still experience the beauty of Ireland’s largest mountain bike trail network. Design by famed trail-designer Dafydd Davis, the system has been created to get a good amount of variance in your ride including singletrack, boardwalk and forest road sections.

Ballinastoe Mountain Bike Park, Co. Wicklow

Gravely trails, steep climbs, forest thickets, single-track, narrow… whatever mountain biking experience you’re looking for, you’re likely to find it at Ballinastoe. There’s a good network of trails here and if you’re up for the climb, you’ll be rewarded by awesome views and spectacular downhill runs. There’s bike hire available on-site (these trails are only suitable for dedicated mountain bikes) and lessons for the uninitiated!

Rostrevor Trails, Co. Down

The Rostrevor mountain biking trails run throughout the Rostrevor Forest and there are four main trails to choose from: Red Trail, Black Trail, ‘Mega Mission’ and ‘On the Pulse’. On the whole, Rostrevor is best when you have a bit of experience. The Red trail is the 'easiest' of the lot and the specially-built downhill trails (Mega Mission & On The Pulse) are strictly for the experienced riders. Bike hire is available on-site and there’s even a service to take you to the top of the trails for those of you who are far more focused on the downhill portion! Before you start your rapid descent though, make sure you make the most of the insane coastal views at the top!

Ticknock Mountain Bike Trail, Co. Dublin

Just a half hour from Ireland’s capital city, the mountain bike trail at Ticknock is a looped track running around 8km long. It’s a track that is designed for the more confident riders out there and is graded a Red trail so best to tackle this one only if you have a bit of experience under your belt! The track climbs more than 150m over the 8km and you’ll get incredible views over Dublin Bay and towards the Wicklow Mountains at the top. With lots of twists and turns, this trail will keep you occupied and happy for a full day of trail riding!

Castlewellan Forest Park Trails, Co. Down

Also in County Down, Castlewellan Forest Park has all trail grades starting at the easiest Green tracks and going all the way up to Black (experienced!) options. Enjoy panoramic views, lakeside tracks, family-friendly trails, hair-raising turns, steep climbs and woodland waymarkers - Castlewellan is a great place for newbies to start on the mountain biking basics but there’s enough variation to keep the confident bikers happy too - check out our Adventure Weekend when we took to the trails ourselves!

There’s big things coming for mountain biking in Ireland with a massive government investment into creating four new centres for biking that will be built over the next three years. The trails will run through 7 counties and cover 300km. In the meantime though, check out the spots above and don’t forget to head over to our Make Life Richer Map for more things to do across the country!

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