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Tollymore Forest, Down

Badger Rating 4.2/5
Labyrinth of single track sections and fast fire-roads all throughout the forest. Has previously hosted Irish downhill championship races. Super place for a day out. Also an official skills course with approximately 1.5 km of singletrack trail, with a wide range of features, including rollers, berms, drop offs, table tops, rock sections, northshore and log rolls. The variety and size of the features ensures that there are plenty of opportunities for all bikers to develop their riding and concentrate on specific skills in a progressive manner.

Getting There

Just off the B180 from Newcastle (turn left at Bryansford).  Park in Bryansford or in the carpark up the side road to the North of the forest (SW of Moneyscalp), just off the main road from Bryansford. If going to the skills course, Tollymore National Outdoors Centre is situated in the stunning Tollymore Forest Park, just outside Bryansford village. The trails are less than one hour's drive from Belfast and approximate two hours from Dublin. 

From Belfast, take the A24 through Carryduff and Ballynahinch before turning right in Clough (signposted Castlewellan). In Castlewellan take the Newcastle Road (A50) before turning right to Bryansford village. Pass through Bryansford and you will find Tollymore National Outdoor Centre on your left hand side. 

Trail Description

Extensive forest track network with myriad single track sections throughout the forest. Has previously hosted Irish downhill championship races. Be very careful as Tollymore is a popular place for families / walkers, and safety and courtesy are of the utmost importance.

The "Tollymore Five" - 10 miles 

The run starts and finishes at Parnell's Bridge and is exactly 10 miles. It takes in the main five full runs of Tollymore from the very top to the very bottom.

Due to the nature of Tollymore and the runs most of the ride is spent climbing; you're essentially spending ages climbing to the top, then you have a DH type run down through the trees to the bottom, then you start the climb back up again.

Total climbing is about 4000 ft. None of it is back breaking, however - it's all on fire roads and is generally steady climbs, with the odd short burst of steepness.

Time moving for the average fit rider is about 2 hours. The course is perfectly doable on everything from light XC hardtail to heavy duty "all-mountain" bikes. Full-on Downhill bikes are over-kill in Tollymore, and wouldn't be too much fun on the climbs.

The trails are ridable all year round - even in the middle of winter the trails never get too boggy. Grip in the wet is minimal though, so use grippy tyres!

If anyone wants to be shown around the run let me know, I'm happy to show folk around.

(Content from Steve B, Realcycles / MTBRider )


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0 5
1= Rubbish      5= Badgertastic!
  • Great day spent in tollymore,5 of us drove from larne and spent the day on 1 side of the forest,found maybe 4 or 5 runs,steep fast techy,flat out!!It will be good to get to the other side next time we are down
  • Class day out the climbs are worth it. Some of the best trails ive been on. Some fast steep techy trails and some fast flowy ones and some jumps in there too.
    Its not getting five badgers cos its too far away from my house
  • I'm heading up to Tollymore alot now and i usually camp out, i'm going for a week in august, do you think it would be a good track to go to for someone who isn't pro
    i'm 15 but i challenge anything which i tend to do very well
    i'm just not looking forward to the climbs
  • Comments
  • Amazing single track with a choice of trails with either tight, twisting, technical runs or flat out, jumpy, open trails. Alot of climbing but it's deffintely worth it.
    A few of the best:
    Wolf Trail
    Champs course (2 Parts)
  • tollymore is a prime spot for biking, and its all in a class setting as well. bit of something here for the XCers and the DHers so its one of my favourite places to ride.
    For a class run i would recommend heading up to the back of the forest and then on up the mountain once you get onto the actual clear mountain area. its one nasty ass climb and from the top of the forest you are pushing your bike the rest of the way. takes a lot of time and effort pushing, and theres the odd wall/fence to get over but it is well worth it. your free to fly through steep fields with natural drops with ram/sheep running about, then you reach the forest for some DH antics.
    worth a try!
  • Probably my favoutrite place to ride, and the fact that it's just down the road from moneyscalp is even better..
    True, there is alot of climbing..but theres a good few runs that don't bring you right to the bottom.
    The climbing is well worth it if you do go for one of the bigger trails!
    Good variety of xc, dh, jumps drops and the rest of it..
  • Top spot for a days biking. If you can find the runs they are excellent Good singletrack some rocky sections and excellent fireroad, super winter venue usually very few walkers
  • Some good trails but I find there is too much time spent commuting between them. Lack of jumps and drops due to over zealous forestry. Good for a few miles particularly when combined with Donard.
  • Cracking runs interspersed with some lovely hill climbs. When it is muddy everywhere else, Tollymore is almost indecently dry. In fact, one of the best places to go if the weathers rubbish as it seems to have it's own micro climate!
  • Everything under the one canopy. If only people would stop straight lining many of the trails.
    Been riding there for years & years.
  • The best in Norn Irn? A great variety of jumps, drops, techy rooty stuff, the odd rocky bit, fast, flowy, decent climbs and reasonable length descents. Not a mud pit all year either. Ace.
  • Lots of singletrack, spread out around the forest.
    Most of it is technical but can be ridden on any style of mountain bike, depending on how fast and hard you want to go.

    Try riding out the back of the forest on the trail to donard forest for something new and different.
  • I love Tollymore, it's my favorite place to ride. You've got a choice of tight and technical or flat out fast. A bunch of us pretty much built all the DH trails in Tollymore over the past ten years. The main tracks you're looking for are the Wolf Trail (tight & twisty) , the Sticks (Corner run), The Single Track (Ends at Bridge) and the chute which now joins the last section of the 2002 champs course.

    The place has real DH pedigree.

NOTE: The trails on this site have been ridden before, but you should not interpret their inclusion as an indication that mountain-biking is officially sanctioned on them. Seeking permission from landowners is your own responsibility, as is conducting yourself in a manner that is courteous, respectful to the environment, and conscious of the safety of others.