In response to the increasing demands for recreational forest use by mountain bikers, the Irish forestry company Coillte have developed a small number of purpose built mountain bike trails in some of their forests around Ireland. There has been widespread recognition throughout Europe of the importance of recreational forest use. So to some extent this box has been checked now by Coillte. We at MountainBiking.ie have ridden these trails and bring you reviews of Ballinastoe, Derroura, Ballyhoura and Portumna Trails and their facilities aswell as GPS Maps and Directions.
This unattractive hilltop is everything urban. Some great views of the coast but that is about it as far as the landscape goes. It is a busy spot and is never quiet at any time. It is rugged and patchy where the forests have been ripped out of the landscape. However it is a much needed recreational resource in this part of the country. Unfortunately It is very underdeveloped in that regard. The terrain is hard and rugged. Unlike the rolling green hills that you see in Wicklow for example, this mountain just stands there like Arnold Schwarzennegar.
These two forests areas together make a true gem in my opinion. I love this area. Great views and the general area is of historic interest. Having said this, The actual area covered is very small, so you may need to do a few laps. Know locally under a number of names, 51281 is has a prominent is landmark. There tends to be a large amount of walkers in the area so if you do mountain bike in this area, please bear this in mind. Busiest times for walkers are Saturday and Sunday afternoons especially if the weather is good. You will also come across horse riding in the area. The walkers tend to use 51281a more frequently. 51281a faces out towards the coast where as 51281 B is further inland. So if we take them one by one, we will start with 51281 A.
Colour coded brown, the Mountrussell loop is considered by our forum members to be the best Coillte MTB trail to ride in Limerick. The Mountrussell loop takes about 2hrs to ride at a relaxed pace.
The five Ballyhoura MTB Trails begin at the car park and turn back individually at various points to form individual loops. The Mountrussell loop is the second shortest loop and we measured it at 15km. It is an easy trail to cycle because the ground is well compacted and smooth. However there are some technical areas which may not be suitable for beginners. The total climb is 162m this compares to 210m for Ballinastoe MTB Trail over a similar distance.