Of all the Coillte MTB Trails, Derroura is the most natural and has the most variable terrain. For any of the Dublin mountain bikers who train at the Leadmines, or Ticknock the first section of Derroura has a very similar feel. Natural granite single track winds through Derroura, one of the few forests in Connemara.
After the first climb which lasts about 5 minutes, you descend gently onto a wooden bridge over a stream and then climb your way out of it past a thatch cottage. It is like a seen from The Quiet Man. As you progress up to the summit the ground changes into rugged stoney ground like Ballinastoe. Ideally you should have full suspension here. At the top, a clear day will give you fabulous views of Lough Corrib.
The fun goes on as you begin your descent back to the car park. There is literally hundreds of meters of north shore on your way back down, There must be double the length of north shore here compared to Ballyhoura. The boards wind through the reeds of the Connemara bog for ages and for hardtail users like me, they are a welcome relief from the hammering of the stones. The occasional broken board ads to the excitement.
Derroura is a relatively easy trail to ride, with nothing too technical. It is however quite tiring and as you can see from the elevation graph below, there is a nice bit of climbing along the way. Bring your fly spray with you because we got absolutely eaten alive there by the midges.
What bike to use.
Good Quality Mountain bike preferably with full suspension. We had one chain snap and one puncture along the trail here. Having said this, The first man back to the car park was Joe from The Boat Inn in Oughterard, who did the trail on the most basic mountain bike of all of us. He even offered to make us dinner. It was only his second time out. I think the Connemara local’s could teach us all a thing about how to get things done!
There is car parking for about 30 cars. There is no other facilities other than trail markings and views.
The nearest village is Oughterard. Which is about 20 minutes away from the trail. Oughterard is a small town with good quality restaurant’s and a variety of shops. We recommend that you try The Boat Inn for accommodation and great food, Ask for Joe and tell him that mountainbiking.ie sent you!
From Galway, take the N59 Heading west towards Oughterard and Clifden. Continue through Oughterard, and the trail is about 6km on the right.