First section opens of new 100km cycling trails costing €5 million

Posted on: January 8th, 2019

Slieve Bloom cycling trails

The new trails will stretch for over 100km and the first section of the project, which is set to cost some €5 million in total, has just opened for cyclists looking to check out the Slieve Blooms.


The first section of the new Slieve Bloom MTB trails has opened to the public. The short stretch has been made available to cyclists because of the demand in the local area.

With the project having been awaited for so long, and having come to fruition despite environmental concerns, anticipation has built for quite some time.

The first section which has just opened is around 4km in length, with 800 metres of singletrack.

All other sections remain closed as they are at various stages of construction. Coillte has asked cyclists to stay away from the closed sections.

The forestry agency said rutting them at this stage would make it more difficult to finish surfacing. The project should be fully completed by Easter.

To access the section that has opened, cyclists should go to Kinnitty village in Co Offaly and cycle towards Kinnitty Castle and Clonaslee.

Cyclists will pick up the blue waymarkers along the road and turn into the forest just after the GAA pitch.

Sections of doubletrack will take you into the trail system with a long road climb and singletrack descent. The blue waymarkers can be followed throughout.

The 4km stretch is part of opening phase, running at 35km. Around half will be in Co Loais; starting from a trailhead in Baunreagh valley. The other half is in Co Offaly, starting from Kinnitty village.

Already planning permission has been granted for what will be a national-sized MTB centre with trails for over 100kms in the two counties.

The two main phases will be joined by a section running along the road at Wolftrap Mountain.

Later in the project a trailhead visitor centre will be built. It will include bike hire and bike wash, toilets, showers and a coffee shop at Baunreagh, Co Laois.

In Offaly it is expected that local businesses will effectively come together in Kinnitty village and create facilities for visitors who will come into the area to ride the trails.


Slieve Bloom cycling trails

The trails are being built in an area of natural beauty, with conditions that construction cannot interfere with the wildlife.