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Mournes MTB Trails 'Officially' Launched!


Mountain bikers from all across the UK and Ireland have been flocking to Northern Ireland to ride over 110km of purpose-built mountain bike trails opened across four locations this summer.

Two of these brand new national trail centres, Castlewellan and Rostrevor, were officially launched in the Mourne Mountains this week by Northern Ireland’s Minister for Tourism and Minister for Rural Development respectively. At these launches, both Ministers emphasised how important these multi-million pound trails developments are both as tourism products and fantastic recreational resources for the local population.

This enthusiasm has been justified with initial visitor numbers in line to double from previous estimations for the first year alone and former Irish Downhill Champion, Glyn O’Brien, believes that these new trail developments are sending Northern Ireland right to the top of mountain bikers’ must-visit lists across the UK and Ireland. 

Mr O’Brien, explained, “I can honestly say that these new trails in the Mourne Mountains are amongst the best I’ve ever ridden. We are seeing an unparalleled surge in the popularity of mountain biking here in Northern Ireland and so it has been fantastic to witness the fruits of significant investment, skilled design and good old fashioned graft to get these World Class trails on the ground.”

On the shores of Carlingford Lough, the Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails offer an exhilarating 27km red trail and 19km black loop, both packed full of technical trail features and breathtaking panoramic views of mountains and coast. With the first two purpose-built DH trails in Ireland and a daily uplift service offered by East Coast Adventure, Rostrevor is fast becoming a mountain biking Mecca.  

The trails in Castlewellan Forest Park offer a completely different MTB experience. However with a heart-racing 19km red trail and two invigorating black options on offer this new trail centre is no less thrilling and is already receiving rave reviews. Castlewellan also boasts a 4km green trail, 4.5km blue and purpose-built pump track making it the ideal destination for all ages and mountain biking abilities.

Chris Armstrong from MountainBikeNI.com explains, “Both these trails each have their own unique selling points which have already attracted the attention of international events such as the World Police and Fire Games being held in Rostrevor this August and the Single Speed European Championships planned for Castlewellan next April.”

Mr Armstrong concluded, “Northern Ireland has always had the ideal landscape for incredible MTB trails and so we are just so excited to finally see the doors open and hear the fantastic feedback coming back from both local bikers and those visiting these shores from all across the World.”

The Castlewellan and Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails are powered by Chain Reaction Cycles and have been made possible with partnership funding from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Down District Council, Newry & Mourne District Council and Sport Northern Ireland with support from Forest Service of Northern Ireland and Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland.

Visit www.stenaline.co.uk/mountainbikeni to avail of special MTB specific offers on ferry travel to Northern Ireland.

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