Following on from our last blog, the new sections of trail at the Ballyhouras are now OPEN!

The maps at the trail centre are yet to be updated, but pop in to have a word with Declan and the guys at Trailriders and they'll be able to point you in the right direction. Please remember - the trails will be closed to the general public on the 14th and 15th June 2014, as they are hosting the European Marathon Championships.
Another piece of good news for fans of the trails is that the long boardwalk section on the brown trail is being replaced by Ecoplastic boardwalk plus a section of trail, and the boardwalk section near the Ballinaboola crossroads on the white loop has also been replaced by trail. This is due for completion in the very near future.

Some photos of the boardwalk so far.....





Ballyhoura Forest Park in Counties Limerick and Cork, Ireland has gained a fair bit of recognition following the planning, design and development of a mountain bike trail system back in 2006. The forest is owned by Coillte, the trails were planned and designed by Trails by Dafydd Davis and the funding was put together by the community group Ballyhoura Development

The initial trails were designed to be accessible in order to grow the mountain bike market in Ireland, which at the time was relatively small, and to have low management impacts for Coillte, who needed to continue harvesting timber commercially at the site. 

With an extensive trail system of over 50km at the Ballyhouras, along with another 4 sites which were developed on Coillte land in conjunction (Ballinastoe, Derroura, Curragh Chase and Portumna - see link to map below) and other developments in Ireland, the market has since shown considerable growth.

Coillte Outdoors Map of Sites

So now it's time to step it up a bit in terms of the type of trails at the Ballyhouras. 

Phase 2 includes the construction of a new inward and outward route, a skills area near the trailhead and three new sections of more challenging trails. In addition, detailed designs are being put together for up to 13km of additional trail, to be constructed during a further phase of works.

The construction of the 3 new sections and skills area  is currently underway by Euroservices Contracts - these are to be complete in time for the European Marathon Championships 2014 to be held at the Ballyhouras on the 14th and 15th June 2014.

Happy biking :-)