Part of a €13.6m investment from Rural Regeneration and Development Fund

A total of 300km (186 miles) of mountain bike trails are to be created in four distinct locations in Ireland as part of a project to make Ireland an “international mountain biking proposition”.

>>> How to plan your Northern Ireland road trip

The money for the new trails is coming from the government’s Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. There are other non-MTB projects getting some of a €13.6m pot but it is mountain bike trails that get the vast majority of the money, approximately €10m.

The goal is to recoup the outlay surprisingly quickly, with claims that the trails will generate more than €22m per year.

Much like the UK trail centres that were strategically placed in relatively deprived areas that saw little tourism, the locations for the new Irish bike trails are described as areas where there are few other sources of tourist revenue.

The four sites are: Ballyhoura in Limerick & Cork, Coolaney in County Sligo, the Slieve Blook Mountains in Offaly & Laosi and Ticknock & Ballinastoe in Dublin & Wicklow. Ballyhoura already has some bike trails. This new scheme aims to significantly add to those.

The whole project is expected top take three years to complete. The scheme will be overseen by Coillte and Failte Ireland.