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Belfast Loop Epic, Antrim

An excellent 50km+ loop taking in a lot of the best Belfast riding spots. 90% off road, with a mix of single track, urban cycle paths, forest trails and open mountain riding. Some spectacular views on a fine day.

Getting There

It's possible to start this loop at a number of locations, the more popular ones being at Belfast Zoo, Belfast Castle, Ormeau Park or Shaw's Bridge.

Trail Description

This description starts and finishes at Belfast Zoo but as it's a loop you can join in anywhere.  Best to use GPS or follow the instructions below with a map in hand!

From the Zoo, cross the Motorway Bridge and take the first road on the right.  After about 100m turn right into Valley Park and follow this down, keeping right where possible, past the back of Valley Leisure Centre (there's an open gate in the fence you'll come to). Continue across the field and pop onto the road at the KFC.  Enter Barden Glen and take the steps which appear after 50m, following the singletrack along the stream to the bottom of the Glen on Shore Road. From there cross into Gideon's Green and pick up the cycle path, bearing right after the pedestrian subway to follow cyclepath along the shore, through the docks and into the City.

Pass the Big Fish and the Waterfront Hall and continue to follow the cycle path to Ormeau Bridge, crossing Albert Bridge Road along the way.  Cross the Lagan and enter Ormeau Park where you will find some good singletrack trails on your left.  When you've ridden these trails and the BMX track, head back out of the park the way you came and make your way back to the cycle path. 

Continue to follow the cycle path along the Lagan until you come to the footbridge into Belvoir.  Take this bridge and search out the Belvoir trails including the Real Cyles/MTBRider built trails.  Exit Belvoir and continuing upstream take in the trails through Barnett's Demense (heads up the steep path when you enter the gate at Shaw's Bridge) and don't missthe jumps at Mary Peters track.  Continue on further, entering Lady Dixon's park where you want to follow the river, then the trails to take you out the back the park onto Dunmurry Lane.

Turn left on Dunmurry Lane, cross the Lisburn Road and continue on to Poleglass roundabout. Turn right here, along Stewartstown Road for a few hundred metres before entering COlin Glen Park on your left.  Follow the Red Route right up Collin Glen (you can get through the damaged bridge signs) and after the roadbridge, go up the slope and up the steps to find the path on your left.  Follow this path up the Glen (going is difficult in places) until you exit the Glen into the Community Forest.  Follow the stream up to a path in a small quarry, taking this path to the left. At the larger quarry, head to the right and follow the path network, crossing the waterfall in the larger quarry, into the forest. Keep right and eventually you will come out onto the road.  Turn right then take first road on the left which will bring you to the National Trust Divis and Black Mountain property.  Follow the main road in, vearing left with the road just before the first masts.  After another 200m take the track to the right and follow this to its end.  Cross the gate and follow the fence line on your left.  Cross the stream and fence and keep on this bearing until you come to another track.  Turn right and follow this track through Wolfehill Quarry, exiting onto the road. 

On the road head down hill and take the first road on the left.  Take a left again at the end of this road and after a few hundred metres take the first road on the right.  After about half a mile take the concrete lane on your right and after another half mile take the lane that goes steeply up to the summit of Squires Hill and down to the masts.  From the masts head down hill, in the direction of Cave Hill.  Keep the small quarry onyour left before picking up the lane which will take you down to the road.  Take aleft and after a couple of hundred metres enter Cave Hill Country park on your right.  Follow the path to the summit and descend the other side, taking any choice of trails, eventually returning to the zoo, your car and a well earned rest.  Phew!!


trail head marker Trail Head

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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.