The 4km green trail is a gentle circular trail that hugs the lakeshore and passes past under the shadow of Castlewellan Castle. The biking is very easy with only one slight gradient incline on the north side of the lake.
The 4.5km blue trail travels through woodland on singletrack with a number of rollers thrown in to make for a fun trail, perfect for those looking develop to their bike handling skills.
The 19km red trail enjoys the initial flowing singletrack and incredible views found on the blue trail before splitting off and ascending behind Castlewellan Castle and past a number of little known smaller lakes.
The fun then really begins when both the red and black options descend either side of Slievenaslat before sweeping back around to Cypress Pond.
There is a further black option 'Dolly's Chute' set to get your heart racing with 'Moorish Return' always a crowd pleaser for the homeward leg back to the trailhead.
Public roads: Off Public Road
Getting to the start: From Belfast take the A24 towards Newcastle and turn off at Clough Village onto the A25 road to Newry. Castlewellan town is approximately 8 kilometres from this junction and the Forest Park entrance is signposted off the main street.
Traffic: May encounter Forest Service vehicles or timber lorries. During the fishing season (March to November) may also encounter cars belonging to anglers
Point of interest:Castlewellan Forest Park
Terrain:Trail is on well maintained forest and mountain bike paths.
Route:The trail is signposted from the car park with a red arrow. The initial part of the trail follows the former stagecoach route known locally as the Crow Road where striking views of the northern Mourne Mountains can be glimpsed before reaching Castlewellan Lake.
Trail features -
Steps, gullies, tree roots
Moderate gradient (1:4)
Generally undefined edges
Broken surface material
Some rest areas at regular intervals
Way-finding markers at trails junctions
Distance 'To Go' markers at trail junctions
This walk is situated in a working forest environment and may be subject to diversion and closure from time to time.
Up to date information is available on the Forest Service web site - link below.
Facilities:Forest Park facilities include car, minibus and coach parking, fully accessible toilets and The Grange cafe. Please note the cafe is open at weekends from Easter to end of June and throughout September. Open daily during July and August.
Accessible toilet facilities:Yes
Accessible terrain:Flat forest paths
Publication:Castlewellan Forest Mountain Bike Trails Card.
Accessibility information:Disabled access parking for cars, minibuses and coaches is available at the main car park and car parking only at the smaller lake side car park. The toilets are immediately adjacent to the main car park.
Getting to the start by public transport:From Castlewellan the forest is signposted from Main Street.