Due to the explosion of trail building In the last few years, Ireland’s mountain bikers now have a trail network to compete with those in Europe.
Perhaps the jewel in the crown is the web of trails at Ballyhoura which weaves across the borders of counties Limerick, Tipperary and Cork. In total there are 98km of tracks including forest road climbs, twisty singletrack and 'North Shore' style sections where elevated boardwalks get you over obstacles like rivers and ditches.
There are also two world-class trails located on Dublin's doorstep. The Ballinastoe trail system is located in the shadow of Djouce Mountain in Wicklow and Ticknock, the new kid on the block, is within cycling distance of the city centre.
In the West, the Derroura trails offer you some incredible mountain biking against a backdrop of inspiring Connemara scenery. Looking north you’ll see the Maam valley and to the west lie the impressive Twelve Bens. Bikers can look forward to long climbs and thrilling descents with great views overlooking the entire Lough Corrib from the half-way point of the trails.
And the trail in Portumna Forest Park, Co Galway, is ideal for those looking to get the family started on mountain bikes.
If you don’t have your own mountain bike or feel nervous taking to the trails for the first time, don’t worry, help is at hand. There are plenty of providers that can provide advice, bikes, guiding and lessons on the trails.