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Lead Mines & Helens Tower, Down

Badger Rating 4.1/5
Lots of technical drops, rocky sections, etc in lead mines. Link with Helens Tower for a good XC loop and some nice single track. Also the now popular "Dufferin Trail" and the Sunday Breakfast Run.

Getting There

Off the A21 Bangor Newtownards road, just north of Newtownards. Park at the Somme Heritage Centre, Whitespots Country Park.

Trail Description

The Lead Mines are popular with Motorbike Trials riders due to the vast array of technical drops, rocky sections, etc. Linking to Helen's Tower a good XC loop is possible.

Helens Tower contains some nice sections of single track around the tower.

The Dufferin Trail from Conlig

The Dufferin Trail is now causing some excitement, gettin a mighty 5 stars in the reviews. Visit the link for the map etc, and you should be able to work it out from the satellite image on the Google Map. Features short flowy singletrack which can be done as a loop or part of a longer trail - follow the yellow markers.

The Sunday Breakfast Run from Conlig

A good XC ride can be to follow the Ulster Way down to Helen's Bay / Crawfordsburn for a well deserved breakfast / ice-cream!


trail head marker Trail Head

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Movies of Lead Mines & Helens Tower, Down


Reviews for this trail

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0 5
1= Rubbish      5= Badgertastic!
  • A lot of tree felling recently and storm damage on the Dufferin trail,most have been cleared or new by-passes in place,The " trailfairies" are planning some nice new bit's to make it more fun and hopefully it will be remarked to show you's round,more boarded sections will in place to clear the worst boggybit "you'll know where that is" a few new hiden bits are also in the pipe line, ;- ]
  • Firstly, I am upset that there is another Feavster! Hence the "English" to differentiate myself from t'other one. Anyway, did the Sunday Breakfast run in the week while visting family in NI. It's a ride of 2 halves: The first half is "Badgertastic" (around Helens Tower - technical and steep. It's what avery trail rider wants.) As soon as you cross the B170 it turns rubbish. All straight along farm tracks and the Ulster way. Helen's Bay - rubbish. I decided (due to time pressure) to not bother with the perimeter around the north of Helens Tower on the return in favour of heading up to the rocks and trails of Whitespots - which are challenging. If the motioin based link to the Lead Mines worked I would like to try that...
  • This is my local spot. Plenty of trails to suit all different types of riding. Pity the DHer's keep wrecking trails to build massive jumps, ruining everybody elses runs. If you wanna jump get a BMX and feck off elsewhere!!! Watch out for walkers and motorbikes.

    P.S please take you litter with you, its becoming a problem
  • Been here once with snow and ice on the ground.Very good trails here with something for for everyone.Downhill..Xc..Jumps...single track has it all..
  • SMBR has evolved --> Bap Munchers, Saturday at 8.30am Pitstop Cafe, Balloo Road. Depart 9.00am and still do the various Helens Tower to Helens Bay stuff. Still check out mtbrider rides section.
  • !!!Watch out for Trail Bikes and scramblers!!! If U follow one of their trails and they're coming the other direction ur arce is going home in an amblance. I move to the golfie or lower tower when they're about.
  • Ignore the videos they're out of date. A couple of decent trails for the local guys but unless you're going for the 'jump park' not worth traveling to far for.
  • Did the breakfast run yesterday morning and was very impressed. It was difficult going at the begining but the trail soon starts to flow nicely and there was nothing i couldn't get through(i'm a bit of a novice). It would be handy if there were some decent markers on trees as it would be very easy to get lost in there and this is my only reason for not giving it a 5.
  • Leadmines is a real good track(s) some good drops and jumps
    just some aren't very long
  • Dufferin trail - adds something different to the usual run down the middle of that section of woods.
  • Novice's point-of-view: went round Helen's Tower / Lead mines on a fixed-fork, slim-rim bike, and it is a great place. There's no doubt that to get the best out of it you'd need a half-decent MTB, but it would suit any level of bike or ability. Had a good enough time to decide that it's time to invest in something a bit better! From the house I can be in the Lead Mines in under 5 minutes, so this was something of a revelation - I know where I'll be spending a good deal of the summer :)

    dufferin trail,
    xc loop
  • Great mix of trails - good xc singletrack for beginners like me.
  • lord wardens: several good single track loops,very flowy and fast in places,couple of obstacles built in for good measure

    lead mines: as technical as you want to find,from a few feet of rock descent to rock gardens/drop offs/technical climbs

    helens tower: descents from the tower,single track,fire road,couple of more hidden descents,mix and match as you please

    join all together,stopping in crawfordsburn for a fry and you have the perfect sunday morning run.....
    (approx 17 to 23 miles depending where we go..)
  • For what I want - easy interesting XC this is great. I can get a nice 1-2 hour loop all off road and all from my house in Bangor. Really like it. Looking forward to checking out some other trails on the site as I am new to mtb riding.
  • Something for everyone here. The leadmins have lots to offer especially if you use your imagination.
    Some very good XC loops and downhill runs in and around Helens Tower and Lord Wardens. Definatly try to link up with our Sunday Breakfast run. This can take in the full range on offer and can be up to 20+K
  • Loads of wee good tracks for a range of abilities. Can spend hours going round there.
  • Outside of the Clooneys and Rostrevor, the XC trails around Helen's Tower and Lord Wardens are the best in the north of ireland. Add the trails along the Ulster Way down to Helens Bay and you have 20+ km of pure MTB pleasure.
  • Nice XC ride through Beechill/Lord Wardens. Plenty of rocky stuff in the lead mines. Plenty of variety.
  • Do's: The sunday morning breakfast run (see rides section). The guides know the place like the back of their bacon baps.
    Donts: Ignoring the SMBR.

    Some short DH blasts available from helens tower, xc stuff in the leadmines/lord wardens. Nice mixed terrain, easy to get totally lost though, its a maze in there!

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.