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24 May 2022

New cycleway and novice cycle trail to be developed in Offaly

New cycleway and novice cycle trail to be developed in Offaly

The map shows the route through Kinnitty Wood for novice cyclists

FUNDING to develop a new cycleway and pedestrian path along the R421, between Kinnitty Village and the entrance to Kinnitty GAA has been secured by Offaly County Council.

This will be known as the ‘Route to the trails’. The monthly meeting of the council was informed.

In addition a novice cycle trail of approximately 2kms will be situated in the woods surrounding Kinnitty Castle known as the ‘Kinnitty Woods Loop’. This trail will be suitable for families, smaller children and others. No tree felling is envisaged to facilitate the trails.

Funding for the construction will come from the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) 2020.

The ‘Route to the trails’ will provide linkages between Kinnitty Village and the Mountain Bike Trails.

The ‘Kinnitty Woods Loop’ will provide a training area for younger children and inexperienced cyclists to build cycling skills and confidence which will allow eventual progression onto the Mountain Bike Trails.

The ‘Route to the Trails’ cycle and pedestrian path is situated along the public road between Kinnitty Village commencing at the Community Centre and extending along the regional road, to the entrance on the public road to the Kinnitty GAA pitch. The route is primarily bound by detached dwellings and farmland.

The novice cycle trail is situated in existing mature woods located between Kinnitty GAA playing pitch and Kinnitty castle.

Councillor John Clendennen said: "It’s a very welcome direction in an ambitious plan over the last number of years to maximise the potential of the Slieve Blooms and to add to the recreational facilities that have already proved to be of huge benefit.’’

Cllr Clendennen said it will establish the Slieve Blooms as a "European and world-class facility.’’ But he said it’s by no means "the last chapter in the book."

"I think it’s imperative on us to continue working with local landowners, stakeholders and agencies such as Coillte who have been actively involved since the very start of the project."

He said the work needs to continue to introduce facilities such as signage, furniture, bike stands, bike wash, information and so on and to compound on what is already there.

Councillor Peter Ormond said: "I would like to compliment the staff at Offaly County Council who have worked with the local community. It's wonderful to see images of huge crowds gathering in the village and on the mountains availing of the new facilities. This is the missing link and I look forward to it happening on the mountain."

Councillor John Leahy said: "I am very supportive of the efforts of all involved. It's the epicentre of Cllr Clendennen’s clinical base. From the time he got elected, he always spoke of the potential the Slieve Blooms had. That vision is really coming true now."

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