The Mourne Mountains in County Down are famous for a lot of things. Challenging climbs, gentle slopes and crystalline lakes.
Rising highest above its siblings at around 850 metres, Slieve Donard is the tallest peak. Yes, it’s a tough climb, but the views out over Murlough Bay and the small town of Newcastle are worth the effort.
The National Trust own 1,300 acres of the mountains including parts of Slieve Donard and Slieve Commedagh and the Water Comission own the area inside the boundary of the magnificent 22 mile Mourne Wall with the rest tended by local farmers still using the land for agriculture.
There are 6 peaks over 700 meters with Donard the highest at 849m and the range is crisscrossed with a multitude tracks and paths that would take years to explore fully. Rivers, lakes and reservoirs litter the area and dams have been build over the last century ensuring that the Mournes are not only a beautiful place to visit but also essential as the main water supply to the Northern Ireland capital, Belfast.
Stunning views and excellent trails is it any wonder the Mournes Mountains are one of the best locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland to go cycling? With over 50km of purpose built mountain bike trails currently under construction in both Rostrevor and Castlewellen, The Mournes will havesome of the best trails the United Kingdom has ever seen.
Rostrevor hosted the Mountain Biking for the World Police & Fire Games in August 2013. With 30km of cross-country trails and 2 purpose built downhill trails being built Rostrevor will certainly be a sought after destination for Mountain Biking in Ireland.
Castlewellen will cater for some great user friendly, all ability trails. These trails will lap the huge, scenic Lake in the local forest park. Perfect for family cycles and family days out.
With construction well underway in both locations the Mournes will offer a huge selection for off road and road cyclists alike.
Both Rostrevor and Castlewellen are only tipping the surface for cycling in the area. Cyclist’s eye’s will certainly be opened when they visit the MourneMountains. The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia will be very proud to show this spectacular area off to cyclists from around the world.
Link – visitmournemountains.co.uk