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Sunday April 20 , 2014
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Ballyhoura, Ballinastoe, Derroura, Portumna
Coillte Trails

Coillte Mountain Bike Trails

Purpose designed and built mountain bike trails in Ireland. Over the last number of years, Coillte have invested in purpose built trails for mountain bikers. The trails are designed with safety in mind and are laid out in such a way as to reduce the risk of interference with other forest users and also to control the speed of the mountain biker.

ballyhoura mountain bike trail

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.

Ballinastoe Mountain Bike Trail
After over 20 years of mountain biking in Ireland, the first of five Coillte mountain bike trails is now open. Ballinastoe mountain bike trail is well designed. Each section of single track is designed to keep speed under control. The trail is marked with posts and a red MTB icon displaying an arrow. However, due to the need to have the single track merge at the correct angle with walking trails, it is quite easy to miss the entrances to the single tracks. The map is also difficult to read. We spoke to other people up there who had the same problem. Leaving this aside, it is great fun.

Derroura MTB Trail is probably our favourite Coillte mountain bike trail for a few reasons. There is the un-spoilt countryside, the natural feel of  the trails, nice mountain climbs, gentle descents, miles of north shore, and of course the sheep!(after all it is an Irish Trail) We met up with a father and son from Blarney and a local from Oughterard when we rode the trail here, so we rode a good bit of the trail with them. While we preferred Derourra, they were fans of The Ballyhoura trails. So you can take your pick really.

portumna forest trail

Portumna Forest Park is located on the northern shores of Lough Derg and formed part of the Clanrickarde family estate which was purchased by Coillte in 1948. The park offers walking trails, nature trails, Views of the lake and the opportunity to see deer and other wildlife. The Portumna mountain bike trails are almost identical. They are a bit different to the usual Coillte trails, in that they are shared with walkers.

There are three mtb trails in Portumna Forest Park, Bonaveen & Rinmaher mountain bike trails run for 10.5 km and are graded moderate. Bonaveen is marked red, Rinmaher is green. Woodland is the blue trail and it is only about 10 min long and perfect for children.

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