Top 5 trails and trail centers

“Cycle routes are popping up all over Ireland right now. Almost every corner of the country now has an official mountain bike trail center – it’s crazy to think of 10 years back when that wasn’t really something. on the radar, and now it’s almost becoming mainstream sport. “

As Ireland’s number one mountain biker and star of the Enduro World Series, Greg Callaghan would know. Specifically, after a year of uncertainty, lockups, ups and downs, the Red Bull athlete is here to help you and your friends find a different home ATV getaway.

Greg Callaghan riding the GAP at sunrise

© Ross Bell

“Close to us in more than one way, ticking is my local spot and where I have ridden all my life. It will always be special to me. Over the past decade it has grown massively, from a few unofficial trails in the hills south of Dublin to a whole network of official trails. The beauty of this place is that it is so close to the city so if you are there for a weekend you also have the added benefit of going to the sights by bike.

“The runners will have a real mix of challenges here. The proper tracks can be pretty smooth, smooth, high speed, while the nature is rougher, muddy, rocky, so you can really develop a lot of different skills on a hill.

Greg Callaghan riding the GAP at sunrise

Greg Callaghan rides the GAP regularly for his workout

© Ross Bell

“The main loop is fun for everyone, whether it’s me coming on my racing bike or a novice rider renting a bike from the guys from Vé Beginners can take it as slowly or as quickly as they want. Once you roll it’s manageable, and if you pick up a bit of speed there are some fun jumps. “
“It’s easy to spend a day up there. There’s a really cool place called The trail café to keep you in shape. Once you are done riding the bike there is the Blue light pub at the foot of the mountains, a really nice place with outdoor seating and a view of the city.
View of Dublin from the Gap

The views over Dublin and beyond are unbeatable

© Ross Bell

“Here’s a tip: get up at sunrise to avoid the crowds at Ticknock, as it gets very crowded in the summer. Also, as you look east, you will have the sunrise over the sea. ‘Ireland as you ride. “

Greg Callaghan jumping the GAP at Glencullen Adventure Park

Beware of the GAP

© Ramsey Cardy

“If you make it a weekend in Dublin, one day riding Ticknock then another riding The hole, which is on the other side of the same mountain, is a great way to do it.

“A former golf course turned into an ATV park, the most popular thing about this course is that they offer lift service, so you can throw your bike onto a trailer in the back of a van, get in said van and spare you a bit of lung capacity when you go up to the top of the hill. They have a lot of groomed and professionally built tracks, so you have everything from big jump lines, really technical tracks to tracks for complete beginners; it really caters to everyone there.

Greg Callaghan on horseback in Glencullen Adventure Park

Greg riding in Glencullen Adventure Park

© Ramsey Cardy

“Each trail is different, with tips for all levels of rider. With the full range of trails from blue to black, this is truly a great place to progress.”

“There’s a great pub up there called Johnnie fox, which is not only 200 years old but also apparently the tallest pub in Ireland. Granted, there are several pubs that claim to be Ireland’s tallest pub, but trust me it’s really good. They do live music and great food making this a great place to toast a day on the trails.
Greg Callaghan and Friends at Johnnie Fox Pub, County Dublin

Greg and his friends relax at the 200-year-old Johnnie Fox’s pub

© Ross Bell

“In addition to the good hiking trails in the area, all the thrill seekers in your group may want to plot a route for Zipit. It’s a zipline in Tibradden Wood where you can climb among the trees and cross them at ridiculous speeds. “

“The Rostrevor mountain bike trails are located in a beautiful part of the world. The course itself has a great setup and like the GAP they also lift. You will find a wide variety of trails, full downhill trails which elite runners will train on a nice official loop which is fun but gentle enough for beginners.

The hill overlooks a vast expanse of scenery, with incredible 360 ​​degree views out to sea and then over to Carlingford Lough. On a good day, Kodak Corner is one of the best mountain biking spots in the country.

MTB rider Greg Callaghan takes a turn during the 2018 Red Bull Foxhunt in Rostrevor, Northern Ireland.

Greg Callaghan sliding in the dirt

© Duncan Philpott

“It’s definitely rockier terrain here compared to what I train on in Dublin. Some of the trails are nestled in beautiful forest while others are in the open, hugging mountains and views. I spent years touring here for racing Downhill trails are some of the best My best experience here was Red Bull Foxhunt [above in 2018], when I became the fox – an experience hardly anyone has. It was one of the funniest races I have ever had, and everyone involved came away with tons of personal stories. “

“If you are staying for a weekend and want to go a little further, there is a campsite nearby with glamping pods. Book with East Coast Adventure and you can also try paddleboarding, rock climbing, kayaking, wet river bouldering, archery and even jet skiing in the area.
“Across the lough there is an amazing place for food called Wildwood Cafe, offering gourmet cuisine in a relaxed setting, with some great vegan options as well. “
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Ballyhoura has nearly 100 km of incredible mountain biking trails

© Ballyhoura Fáilte

Ballyhoura Trails Center, Ireland’s first trail running center, now has almost 100km of trails and is another place you can make it a real weekend.

“With such a vast trail network, there is a lot to explore, from narrow technical trails to big ups and downs. You will quickly understand why the 2015 Irish Championships took place here.

Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails

Discover a wonderland of the Ballyhoura Fáilte forest

© Ballyhoura Fáilte

“While Rostrevor or Ticknock feel in touch with a city, here it feels like one with nature – it’s such a vast area. You can really explore the local hills, which is really cool.”

“If the weather is favorable, it would be wise to tack on a trip to Ballyhass Lakes Adventure Center, which manages all types of water sports. This is where you’ll also find Ireland’s largest cable wakeboard park, set in a quarry and a great place to learn the ropes.
A wakeboarder at Ballyhass Wake Park

There is never a bad time to wakeboard

© Ballyhass Wake Park

“There is an RV park about 10-15 minutes from the trails, although if you are looking for a B&B there are even a few mountain cabins in the area and loads of great finds elsewhere.

“There is nothing better than going to a cool place, seeing cool tracks, cool scenery, having a good day on the bike, racing with your friends and, at the end of the day, during the day, to sit down to eat a little, have a little fun, tell stories about the day, and enjoy the vacation aspect. “

Coolaney mountain biking trails only opened last year. It was a place I would be happy to load the van and spend a weekend anyway, even before the official opening of the bike lanes here. Now that there are proper networks, it makes me even more eager to have a getaway with friends here.

“As with any of these official trail centers it uses a kind of gravel surface. It makes it good in all weather so you’re not going to show up and get buried in a muddy bog if it is. it’s a rainy weekend. “

“Being so close to Strandhill – one of the best surf spots in the country – you can cycle in the morning and then hit the waves later in the afternoon. What better way to end a day?

Surfers in Strandhill, Ireland

Evening surf at Strandhill

© The Irish Content Pool

“In Strandhill you will also find some really good food and Mammy Johnston‘s ice cream, which is the best ice cream in Ireland. It’s along the Wild Atlantic Way so it’s pretty easy to make a great weekend of a visit. “

Note: Always check locations before traveling to make sure they are open and not affected by Covid measures.

If you’re looking for more things to do in Dublin this summer, check out Greg Callaghan and David O’Caoimh’s ultimate action-packed adventure at The hole and in Dublin Bay …

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Greg Callaghan

Ireland’s number one mountain biker, Greg…


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