Following the increasing popularity in Mountain Biking for recreation and sport, Coillte (a State owned company managing most Irish forests)  introduced planned mountain bike trails in several of its forests. Ballinastoe in Wickow was the first of these and provides a trail system offering a variety of challenges for bikers.

Mountain Biking

Ballinastoe MTB Trail

Almost 14 kilometres in length, Ballinastoe takes the rider through some beautiful forest with views east over Calary Common and the Sugarloaf with the sea beyond. At the top of the trail,  Lough Tay and the mountains beyond give views worth the effort of the climb. The trail accesses many types of terrain from open heather moor land on the top through thicket spruce and Scot’s Pine on the lower section. The trail is quite exposed on the upper slopes and can be very windy in poor weather.

Each single trail section here has a slightly different flavour. Some sections are rocky with gentle uphill which interrupts your natural progression along the route. Other sections are sheltered forest paths which are relatively flat. Whilst one particular descent runs seamlessly along and includes some berms and gentle twisting single track. The bends along this stretch send you into a thoughtless trance. All you feel is the trail as your speed gradually increases and slows effortlessly.

 

New to mountain biking or just out of practice? Before you take to the hills why not remind yourself of those old skills or maybe learn some valuable new tips & tricks with Mastering Mountain Bike Skills by Brian Lopus and Lee McCormack