Exciting news for cyclists: Minister turns sod on new €840K Sligo Mountain Bike Trail development

Fiona Heavey

Reporter:

Fiona Heavey

Exciting news for cyclists: Minister turns sod on new €840K Sligo Mountain Bike Trail development

Sod turned on Coolaney National Mountain Bike Centre

Coillte, in partnership with Sligo County Council are pleased to announce that the Coolaney Mountain Bike Trail (MTB) project has moved one important step closer to becoming a reality, with Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring turning the sod at Coolaney forest yesterday.

 It is predicted that the project will give a major boost to existing and new local businesses and it is important that accommodation packages, food and drink offerings and links to the many other attractions are developed in tandem with the trails. The MTB project will also compliment the many existing walking routes, road cycling activity and the festival activities in the Sligo area. It further reinforces the growing reputation of Sligo county as a destination for active outdoor recreation activities.

Phase 1 of the project’s initiation will consist of 16.5km of mountain bike trails, in Sligo’s beautiful Ox Mountains. Funding of the €840,285 project is under the Department of Rural and Community Development’s 2017 Outdoor Recreational Infrastructure Scheme and was secured by Sligo County Council. In addition, Sligo County Council secured €200,000 from REDZ 2016 to assist in bringing this important tourism and amenity project to fruition.

Planning permission is also in place for a National Scale MTB Centre in Coolaney forest which, when complete, will see over 70km of trails. This is an exciting flagship project for the North-west Region and will create sustainable jobs as mountain biking is a year-round activity and not weather dependent.  

The current phase will open to the public in Spring 2019 and further details will be published nearer the time. No access will be allowed until the trails are officially opened, to allow construction activities to continue safely.

Located on the Wild Atlantic Way, the Sligo Way and the EuroVelo Route 1(EV1) route passes along the boundary of the trail centre, making it a potential National Cycling Centre for road/MTB enthusiasts and an adventure hub for outdoor tourism.