The Sperrins Sprint
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Cookstown Visitor Information Centre
Burn Road, Cookstown, County Tyrone,
Mrs Mary McKeown
(028) 8676 9949
A scenic and wonderfully traffic-free route.
A scenic and wonderfully traffic-free route through mid-Ulster, this is one of the most romantically wild areas in Ireland. The Sperrin Mountains are both rugged and curvaceous with many stopping places of interest particularly for those with an interest in neolithic stone circles.
From Cookstown, which has the widest main street in Ireland, take the B162 for long but gentle inclines up the slopes of Mount Sawel. The real fun begins with the descent along the picture-postcard Glenelly Valley.
At Oughtboy Bridge cross on to a minor roadand follow the river along its south bank until a T-junction signposted Plumbridge to the right and Gortin to the left. Take a left here to join the B48 and follow the trail until another left turn before crossing the Owenkillew River. You are now on part of Route 95, a section of the Network. The route follows the Owenkillew River eastwards and climbs back into the Sperrins before descending into the wider valley of the Ballinderry River and on to Cookstown.
The cycle up the Owenkillew Valley is a great ride with easy gradients and good views.
Recommended are off-circuit trips to pretty Plumbridge and down to Gortin Glen and the Ulster American Folk Park. Wellbrook Beetling Mill provides an insight into just how hard it was to make genuine Irish linen in the old days.