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Cong Woods, Mayo

Badger Rating 4.0/5
Huge area of woodland with miles of forest road.  Used for Connaught League XC races.Cong Wood is a fine forest track, not very technical, and no serious ascents to talk about. But the woods offer the opportunity for some nice free flowing cycling.

Getting There

Famed for it's appearance in The Quiet Man - Cong is very busy tourist spot. It can be difficult to get parked in the village. The handiest spot is the church carpark in Abbey Street, however the place is so busy its unlikely you'll get a spot there. Therefore, If approaching from Clonbur, drive through the village, following signs for Ballinrobe, just on the way out of the village is a larger car park by the river. If you are coming in from the Ballinrobe/the Neal side of the village, then you'll see the carpark on your right as you come in.

Trail Description

The wood is used mainly by people walking, and it's busy. The tourist attract of Cong is the Quiet Man cottage and it's location at the entrance to the woods means you get a lot of people walking the woods. You also need to be on the lookout for horses as treks take place through the woods, the horses also leave other "hazards" behind them.

If you come into the woods through the Abbey grounds an over the old footbridge you have a choice of the marked walks to take. You can follow any of these OR turn left following the first main trail and you will soon see the "MTB" signs marking the Mayo XC series track, follow this and you will see fewer walkers. But be aware that even this MTB marked way criss-crosses the other nature walks and you MUST give way to walkers.

The Cong woods join neatly into Clonbur Woods. Clonbur is in a Gaeltacht area and as such is often signposted as "An Fhairche". Clonbur is a nice village where it may be easier to park away from the main tourist bustle of Cong. The routes are short enough that you could easily cycle the various loops of both Cong and Clonbur all in a single afternoon.
In fact the area is small enough for you to just explore and have a bit of fun, you don't necessarily need to follow any of the marked paths. When you get bored, simply pick a coloured path and follow it to get back to the entrance gate.

If you feeling adventurous, be on the lookout for the "Pigeon Hole" a large sink hole used on occasion for abseiling and climbing.

Epic Possibilities
Cong Woods lie along the North shore of Lough Corrib while Clonbur woods lie on the Southern shores of Lough Mask. Both loughs offer fantastic scenic loops that could be explored by road taking in a number of other MTB trails along the way. Some of the road riding is every bit as demanding as the off-road, with some very challenging ascents.

Useful Maps & Links

West of Ireland MTB Trails -

Coillte Trail Map (PDF)

Cong has a bike shop in the middle of the village as well, right beside the petrol station. Bikes can be bought, fixed or hired out

Other nearby trails include
Derroura - Lough Boffin
Rosscahill - Lough Ross (Brigits Garden)


trail head marker Trail Head

Movies of Cong Woods, Mayo


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  • Lots of walkers here, so be careful. Follow the MTB signs to stay off the main walking areas.

    Good large area, lots to explore.

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.