SIGNS have gone up all over South Laois over the past couple of weeks for the Laois cycle trail. These signs are part of the 48km cycle trail which is promoted by South Laois Tourism in conjunction with Laois Partnership.
The trail encompasses a number of areas including Ballacolla, Cullahill, Durrow, Attanagh, and Ballinakill. As part of this trail, there are also four shorter trails, which take in differnt parts of South Laois. As well as the signs, Failte Ireland will also be putting map boards up in the five villages.
“The cycle trails are to attract tourists into the area,” said Michael G Phelan of South Laois Tourism. “Already there is a great interest in cycling in the area, not to mention the high nellies club in Durrow. You could see people on bicycles going around at any time of the day.” Michael said that anyone can come into the area and will be able to follow the signs which all loop around. The shorter loops range in distance from 8km to 27km.
“We are waiting on Failte Ireland to get back to us to put up the map boards. These will show the cycling routes in detail as well as places of special interest like Grantstown Lake, Gill’s Pond and Heywood Gardens. Already people are noticing the signs and talking about them.”
The signs have been provided by Laois Partnership who funded 75% of the project, while South Laois Tourism funded the remaining 25%. The project has been supported by Laois County Council as well as Failte Ireland.
As well as the cycling trails, there are a number of walking trails in the area which are proving very popular with those who love outdoor pursuits. These include Durrow’s Leafy Loop and the Cullahill trail, as well as the Gatabaun trail which is currently under construction. “The cycle and walking trails run throughout the area and as Michael says, there is plenty for people to see and the landscape is always changing.