Mountain Biking

Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Trails

There are currently 35km of new mountain bike trails (MTB), with trailheads at Kinnitty and Baunreagh. These trails, which are waymarked in one direction and designed specially for mountain bike use, vary in difficulty. They range from the grade trails: ‘blue’ (moderate, with some single-track sections) to ‘red’ (difficult/severe, with challenging climbs and tricky descent).

The trails have been developed by Coillte in partnership with Offaly and Laois County Councils and are funded by the Dept of Rural and Community Development.

There will eventually be 100km of biking tracks to explore on the Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Trail, so keep an eye on the site for new developments!


Kinnitty MTB Trailhead

Kinnitty MTB trailhead map

The Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Trailhead Kinnitty, which starts and finishes in Kinnitty Village, is 14.5km, graded blue and takes approximately 90-120 minutes to complete. You’ll zoom past sights including the Camcor River and through impressive forest avenues, while also crossing walking trails and forest roads. There is 306 metres of climbing, which will lead you into twisty single tracks with fast descents. And, not to mention, panoramic views across Kinnitty Castle and the surrounding countryside. An adrenaline rush like no other!

Trail Description

  • Trail Waymarking: Mountain Bike Blue | Difficulty: Moderate
  • Start / Finish: Kinnitty village | Time: 90 to 120 minutes
  • Distance: 14.5km | Climb: 306m

This first trail loop is an open, flowing trail that constantly twists and turns and rises up and down with numerous tight, technical or challenging sections throughout (blue grade trail).

Leaving Kinnitty village the route shares the public road, so caution with traffic is needed. Turning right into Kinnitty GAA club, pick up the wide ‘dual direction’ trail leading riders onto the singletrack loop above. Riders will also travel this same trail in the opposite direction on their way back.

Riders beware of cyclists approaching in their direction. A long forest road climb gains elevation to bring you into the main singletrack and these sections are narrow, sometimes steep and up to 800mm in width, with variable surfaces including rock, roots, mud, loose stones and gravel that may become slippery when wet. The singletrack also crosses walking trails and forest roads at a number of points so watch out for walkers here.

The waymarked route joins and descends a short section of public road, where all riders must obey the rules of the road at all times. The remainder of the loop is on forest roads and you should expect to encounter vehicles and other forest users at any time on these parts of the loop.

The trail is exposed on the upper slopes and can be very windy in poor weather. Please make sure your mountain bike is in good working order and that you have an appropriate level of fitness and skill level to undertake these trails. All riders should be appropriately dressed and wear a helmet at all times. Please ride with consideration for the many other forest users and control your speed.

Kinnitty MTB Trailhead Location

kinnitty

Baunreagh MTB Trailhead

Baunreagh MTB Trail map

The Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Trailhead Baunreagh, which starts and finishes in Baunreagh Car Park, is slightly more challenging due to constant ups-and-downs, fast-and-flowing rocky trails, upper slopes and numerous difficult sections. Heaven for thrill-seeking cyclists! It will take approximately 60-90 minutes to complete the 6km route, which also crosses walking trails and forest roads, and you’ll experience fantastic views over beautiful deep forest valleys and Baunreagh.

Trail Description

  • Trail Waymarking: Mountain Bike Red | Difficulty: Difficult / Severe
  • Start / Finish: Baunreagh Car Park | Time: 60 to 90 minutes
  • Distance: 6km | Climb: 170m

This is a challenging trail throughout as the trails vary from fast and flowing to tight, technical and rocky, with numerous difficult sections along the route. The trail constantly twists and turns and rises up and down. This trail tests all a riders skills and abilities and is not for novice riders (red grade trail).

Over half of the loop is singletrack and these sections are narrow, sometimes steep and up to 800mm in width, with variable surfaces including rock, roots, mud, loose stones and gravel that may become slippery when wet. The singletrack also crosses walking trails and forest roads at a number of points so watch out for walkers here.

The remainder of the loop is on forest roads and you should expect to encounter vehicles and other forest users at any time on these parts of the loop. The trail is quite exposed on the upper slopes and can be very windy in poor weather.

Please make sure your mountain bike is in good working order and that you have an appropriate level of fitness and skill level to undertake these trails. All riders should be appropriately dressed and wear a helmet at all times. Please ride with consideration for the many other forest users and control your speed.

Baunreagh MTB Trailhead Location

Baunreagh

Mountain Bike Hire

The Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Centre offer guided mountain bike tours of Kinnitty and the Slieve Blooms, MTB Rental and Mountain Bike Core Skill lessons for beginners. Choose from a selection of Full-suspension, Hardtail or Electronic mountain bikes. All our Mountain Bike Leaders are qualified through Cycling Ireland and are certified Remote Emergency Care First Aid Responders, so you’re in safe hands.