Ulster is a great destination for cycling enthusiasts looking both for staycation and day trip inspiration. With incredible scenery and diverse terrain guaranteed to excite any cyclist, there is something for everyone waiting to be discovered in this beautiful part of the island. Read on to find out more about our top local cycling recommendations, including trails, facilities and things to do…
Did you know that there are over 150km of bespoke MTB trails in Ulster alone? With so many purpose-built routes it’s easier than ever to immerse yourself in the world of mountain biking, thanks to these top MTB destinations..
Rostrevor, Co, Down
Located on the shores of Carlingford Lough in Co. Down, Rostrevor is home to some of the biggest bespoke MTB trails in the whole of Ulster. With a number of fantastic loops paired with some awe-inspiring coastal views, Rostrevor is truly a haven for any mountain biker!
Immerse yourself in the action with a 19km black loop, a 27km red loop, and two downhill runs, perfect for any experienced MTB enthusiast. The red trail starts off with a tricky ascent towards the heights of magnificent Slievemartin, before descending towards Yellow Water.
If you’re looking to avail of a convenient bike hike service, then Life Adventure Centre and Cloughmor Extreme Adventurers are located nearby. You’ll also find a number of accommodation options and eateries located in the village itself.
Bawnboy, Co. Cavan
A forest trail which is located at the foot of Slieve Rushen, the Bawnboy loop is a moderate 5km in length. With a steady 130m climb, the route promises a fantastic viewing spot at the top. Popular with cyclists and walkers alike, the blue way markers make it simple to follow the route, which will take you through the conifer forest.
The nearby town of Ballyconnell and the surrounding area has a range of accommodation options on offer from hotels to lodges. If you’re happy to venture out a bit further, the county town of Cavan is a hub of activity and provides all of the necessary amenities you require.
Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark, Co. Fermanagh & Cavan
Experience some of the finest landscapes on this whole island at this geopark, which is nestled between counties Fermanagh and Cavan. Combining history, community, and progression at its heart, this unique geographical gem also doubles up as an ideal setting for cycling enthusiasts.
Lough Navar Forest is a hotspot for such cyclists visiting the geopark. This is in part due to its jewel in the crown, the Cliffs of Magho, which promises spectacular 360 degree views across several counties, thanks to its steep 300m height.
Don’t miss out on a visit to the 340 million year old Marble Arch Caves either, a nearby archaeological place of interest.
You’ll also find that there are a number of bike hire services located throughout the geopark to avail of, including Corralea Adventure Centre and Lakeland Bikes. With over 50 sites to discover in the park alone, many people opt to stay overnight in Enniskillen to make the most out of it.
Find out more about the geopark and its range of amenities by viewing the visitor’s map, available here.
Sliabh Beagh, Co. Monaghan
An area of unspoiled countryside, the mountainous terrain of Sliabh Beagh features five different cycle routes varying from 29 to 60 kms in length. These fully signposted routes run through counties Fermanagh, Tyrone and Monaghan, so it’s a great way to explore some of Ulster’s hidden gems.
Sliabh Beagh Adventures facilitates a range of fun outdoor activities which are suitable for all the family, including orienteering, target archery and human table football. They also offer a bike hire service which can be pre-booked online in advance.
Why not also stop off in the county town of Monaghan where you can learn about some local history at the Monaghan County Museum? The showstopping Castle Leslie Estate is also only a 15 minute drive away, a hotel which has welcomed politicians, poets and plenty more throughout its incredible history.
Now you’re up to speed with the best cycling hotspots in Ulster, why not take a look at what Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands has to offer?