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Mountain biking

An international mountain biking proposition for rural Ireland

This project will establish Ireland as an international destination for mountain-biking. It is ambitious, grounded and based on the experience gained by Coillte and Fáilte Ireland in examining how other countries have successfully created similar propositions. The project will develop an international mountain biking proposition for Ireland by creating a vital critical mass of trail centres on the island. It is based entirely on state-owned lands and will use these lands as the platform to deliver growth in rural communities in Ireland.

The project comprises the development of an international mountain biking proposition comprising four national centres and 210 kilometres of new Mountain Biking looped trails, to drive economic growth across rural Ireland:

• Ballyhoura (Limerick and Cork)
• Coolaney (Sligo)
• Ticknock/ Ballinastoe (Dublin and Wicklow)
• Slieve Blooms (Offaly and Laois)


The project will build on existing investment and success stories (like Ballyhoura MTB centre) to deliver the following investment for rural Ireland:

1. Deliver incremental visitor numbers of over 1.3m visitors over a 10 year period.

2. Potential to deliver 608 jobs per annum to rural Ireland.

3. Deliver an economic benefit of €22.5m per annum (€225.2m over 10 years).

4. Support and benefit nearly 20 communities around the country.

The main objectives of the project are as follows:

1. Deliver an economic benefit through both employment and revenue generation to a large number of rural towns and villages around the country.

2. Engage and support local communities and businesses to work together and to leverage the investment not only in their areas, but across all sites for greater impact.

3. Increase access to Ireland’s natural heritage and amenity through the use of state lands for recreational purposes with rural development and health benefits for local communities.

4. Create a compelling and motivating reason for visitors to come to Ireland to mountain bike by delivering a project of national scale, with international appeal for local impact.

5. Improve the regional and seasonal spread of visitors.

The vision

All four centres still require significant investment to bring these up to a national standard and to deliver a proposition of scale to the international market as follows:

Over 80km of trail (minimum two days of riding to encourage an overnight stay)

A mix of trail type, length and challenge to allow for maximum flexibility and to encourage riders to return again.

Visitor facilities with changing rooms, showers, parking etc.

Less than a three hour drive or 180km from a ferry port.