About the Route


South Laois Tourism/Ossory Cycle Club

Welcome to  The Mid Summer Cycle Challenge (Ten Towns Tour). This 90k  Tour (orange line on map) which traverses both flat and hilly terrain brings you through the scenic countryside of South Laois & North Kilkenny starting from the square Durrow you will follow the south Laois cycle trail on the R639 to Cullohill where the castle built here in 1425 was stronghold and residence of Brian MacGiollaPadraigh first Lord baron of upper Ossory.

Turning right at the Community Centre you pass the ancient burial ground at Parknahown uncovered by the construction of the M8 Motorway at Oldtown Construction you again turn right where at Aughmacart bridge it will carry you over the Goul River. After passing Aughmacart Castle & Priory the route turns left at the five crossroads and continues by Shragh Hill towards Rathdowney .

The 18 hole golf course is on your right as you approach the town. Turning right your enter the square and at Meadow Meats you again take a right. As you leave Rathdowney on the R433 you pass over the Erkina River. At the Coneyburrow Junction you turn left onto the L1596 (Castletown Road) after passing Coolfin Cross continue for 4.4k to the next Junction at Kildellig where you take a Right turn for Clough a short distance on you again turn Right into Garryduff Lane at the end of which you turn Right before traveling the short distance to Clough Village.Leaving the Village turning Right uphill you pass the Church and continue for 1.4k you reach Bordwell Graveyard you again turn Right to reach Grantstown Cross Roads where you take a Left turn down hill and pass the entrance to Coolacurragh Wood and nature reserve before re-joining the R433 turning Left you reach the entrance to Grantstown Lake which was the site of a famous battle in 1156 between the O’Phelan’s and the Ulstermen.

After passing under the M8 motorway at Junction 3 on your right is the Topaz/Supermac’s Service Station you will next visit the Tidy Town Award winning village of Ballacolla. You then turn right on the R434 in the direction of Durrow and the Swan Cross the trail turns left downhill to pass Moyne Demesne. Watercastle Bridge carries you over the Nore River before you reach the Dublin/ Cork road.

Crossing the N77 and continue to Ballinakill. From Ballinakill the trail takes you through Ballyouskill where refreshments are available at The Wheel Inn. Following stopping for refreshments the cycle trail will journey to Ballyragget.

On leaving the town on the N77 you will again cross the Nore River before you approach the Glanbia plant you make a left turn and continue through Lisdowney you will now engage some hilly sections as you make your way to Gathabawn Village via Foyle Bridge where you turn right to encounter the beautiful Cullohill mountain.

At Cullohill Castle you continue to the Village to re-join the R639 (Old Cork/Dublin Road) and make the 6k pedal to the finish in Durrow.

Registration for 90k @ 9.30am The Square Durrow Start time 10.00am.

Entry Fee 20euro.

A 20k family cycle (blue line on map) is also included (Following part of Route D Laois Cycle Trails).Starting at 11.00am from the Square Durrow continuing by Cullahill, The Five Cross Roads, Cannonswood to the halfway stop at Topaz/Supermac’s service station at Junction 3 and returning to Durrow via The Red House, Harvey’s Cross and the Woodenbridge.

At the finish in Durrow a BBQ is available for all at Dec’s Bar.