Categories: things to do

Cycle your way to improved health and wellbeing. 

There’s nothing like the freedom of getting active on your bike. The fresh air all around you, the wind in your face, and the pedalling is well worth it for an enjoyable day of fun and fitness.  Plus, it is the perfect time of year to enjoy outdoor beauty as we take in the changing autumn colours.  

If you love putting in the miles on a road bike, Northern Ireland has spectacular scenery with terrains to suit all fitness levels and ages. However, if hitting the trails on a mountain bike is more your style, several new tracks have opened across Northern Ireland to provide epic fun without the epic trek. 

Please see the latest guidelines from NI Direct, which includes guidance on travelling to outdoor spaces. 

Here’s our list of bike trails, which can be enjoyed alone or with your family bubble. 

County Tyrone - Davagh Forest Mountain Bike Trails, (Approx. 3km to 16km) 

The mountain bike trails at Davagh Forest are a rural oasis full of rolling hills and sweeping forests, which offers gentle mountain biking and walking trails suitable for families. Start off on Davagh's gentle green mountain bike trail, then take on the faster flowing blue trail once you all have a bit more confidence. Davagh Forest Mountain Bike Trails consist of 3km green trail, 7.5km blue trail and 16km red trail, so there is something for all levels.  

County Fermanagh - Castle Archdale Family Cycling Trail, (Approx. 9.65km) 

This family cycling trail is a great outing for all ages and abilities. Starting from the Marina in Castle Archdale Country Park, it winds through the park’s secluded forest enclosure – with plenty of chances to chase each other round the trees before returning along the shore of Lower Lough Erne. When you see The Old Castle (destroyed during the 17th Century Irish Rebellion), you’re at the halfway point. It’s an excellent time to grab a quick breather and take in those spectacular views across to Davy’s Island and White Island, home to the famous carved figures.   

County Down - Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails, (Approx. 4km to 19km) 

Castlewellan Forest Park is a lovely place to spend a day. With one of Northern Ireland's most famous lakes, a stunning Victorian Castle and lots of different cycling and walking trails, you’re bound to have a great day out. Kids of all ages will love exploring the green mountain bike trail around the lake. And with blue and red grade trails, Castlewellan is suitable for mountain bikers of all ages and abilities. 

County Armagh - Gosford Family Cycle Trail, (Approx. 6.4km)  

Not only ideal for cyclists with basic off-road skills, but a wonderful forest filled with incredible flora and fauna. Gosford Forest Park is located just beside the town of Markethill, directly off the main Armagh to Newry A28 route. Combining forest roads with sections of single track, the trail was designed by Pete Laing, one of the top trail designers in the UK. The trail directs you initially through an archway at the old gatehouses before heading towards the arboretum. Once out of the arboretum cross Castle Avenue, which leads to the privately owned Gosford Castle. On the final leg of the journey, the deer park and rare breed enclosures add some interest to your cycle, before arriving back at the car park for a well-earned rest. 

County Londonderry - Garvagh Forest Trails (Approx. 1.3km – 4.7km) 

There’s a cycling route for everyone here with incredible points of interest such as the Agivey River, an actual pyramid and spectacular flora and fauna. Whether you’re out for a leisurely cycle with the whole family or are a more experienced rider that craves adventure, all routes promise captivating sights at every twist and turn. The Green Multi-use Trail (1.3km) is a circular route, which is close to the car park, catering for family cyclists and less experienced riders. If you’re looking for a longer cycle, the Blue Trail (2.8km) is a network of trails, catering for beginners and intermediate mountain bikers. Or if you’re more experienced, check out the Red Trail (4.7km), which uses the start of the blue trail before peeling off to complete a loop which circumnavigates the north western end of the forest, followed by a southern return loop back to the trail head.  

County Antrim - Lagan and Lough Cycle Way, (Approx. 33.8km) 

For the adventurous family that wants to enjoy a day of cycling with the perks of beautiful scenery, the Lagan and Lough Cycle Way is a great option. Connecting Lisburn, Belfast and Jordanstown, this mostly traffic-free cycle and walking path passes along the waterside of the waterside of the Lagan Towpath and Belfast Lough. Suitable for all ages and abilities, the cycle route starts at Loughshore Park in Jordanstown. As you pass through Whiteabbey Village, take a moment to enjoy the stunning views of Belfast Lough and continue along North Foreshore Path to Donegal Quay. With a backdrop of the Belfast Hills, follow the River Lagan. You will pass several public parks including the National Trust property at Minnowburn and the historic Giant's Ring archaeological site. As you continue through Lagan Valley Regional Park the route comes to an end at the Union Docks in Lisburn, on National Route 9. 

Enjoying a bike ride or walk in our forests or beauty spots? Please make sure you dispose of your litter in the bins or if they are full please take it home with you. Practice social distancing and remember PPE should be placed in the general waste as it cannot be recycled. 

For more information on current guidelines please check out Know Before You Go

If you are out and about and take some snaps, be sure to tag us at #MyGiantAdventure