Carlingford is a small coastal town in Co. Louth, overlooked from the south by Sleive Foy, and from across Carlingford lough by the Mourne Mountains. The area is ideal for mountain biking, with mountaintop trails and forested single track all within 30 minutes’ drive of the town. The perfect location then, for Mountain Biking UL’s November development trip.
We travelled up on the Friday night, to ensure fresh legs for the long day ahead on Saturday. The route we were to take snaked through the Cooley Mountains to the west of Carlingford. A cool bright day dawned, and we set off from high in the mountains around 11.30am. A six hour spin saw us cover 26km of fast technical descents, mountain-top bogs, and punishing rocky climbs.
We reached the ridge of Sleive Foy overlooking Carlingford just as the sun began to set. The amazing views with the sunset, and a final adrenaline pumping downhill blast to the hostel rounded off a brilliant day for everyone.
Tired legs on Sunday prompted a more relaxed spin, and we headed for the forested single track in Big Wood, near Newry. Once again blessed with dry weather we wound our way through the forest trails for a good four hours with the excellent downhill sections and technical trails proving popular with everyone.
We arrived back in Limerick late on Sunday night, muscles aching and faces still splattered with mud, a fitting end to a great weekend on the trails!