The Slí Charman visits the rugged side of the Wexford coast.
The sea is a constant companion, glinting temptingly as the ride traverses a contrast of country roads, single track and stunning beaches. There’s even a little hike-a-bike over the sand dunes for that true adventure feeling.
Smack bang in the middle of the sunny south east, Wexford is a beloved holiday destination for many.
The sunshine, the historic sites and the many restaurants do not disappoint.
What is less well-known is Wexford’s coastal path, the SlíCharman. Spanning the full length of the Wexford coast, it is Ireland’s longest coastal path.
Route Length: 220km
Route difficulty: This route is assigned a 6 out of 10 due to the mix of rough riding.
Some single trail sections require at least intermediate trail skills.
The 220km trail was launched back in the 90’s but some of it has fallen into disrepair.
Thankfully Wexford Co. Co. has started to repair sections along the route.
At the time of writing (April 2021) much of the signage has disappeared and sections of the path have been heavily damaged by coastal erosion.
Minor sections have been resurfaced in recent years but these are mainly restricted to the outskirts of villages.
The resurfacing works have made these sections more accessible but we would argue, at a visual cost.
Fret not though, as the most of the trail still has the off-the-beaten-track feel one often seeks out on these rides.
From the world’s oldest working lighthouse at the Hook to Ireland’s longest beach at Curracloe, this trail shows just how remarkable Wexford is in its variety.
It’s advised to break up the ride into three days to get the most out of the unforgettable landscape.
There is an abundance of places to stay along the route including B&B’s, campsites as well as stunning wild camping spots.
While there are bicycle shops at the half way mark, in Wexford town, it is advised to bring supplies in case of a mechanical on the trail.
As the trail passes through nature reserves as well as special areas of conservation, we ask people to please adhere to strict leave no trace policy to keep the trail as unspoilt as when you found it.
Highlights:• Immense variety of terrain including single track, tarmac roads, forest roads and sandy beaches.• Swimming in the Irish Sea• The Raven Nature Reserve• Historic sites such as Hook Lighthouse and TinternAbbey • Curracloe beach (Ireland’s longest beach at 29km)
Trail Notes: There are many kilometres of sandy beaches and smooth dirt trails so a minimum of 700c 45mm tyres are recommended.
Suspension is not necessary on the bike as the terrain is not super rough.
Despite a few trail maps positioned along the route it is strongly advised to follow the GPX link to avoid frustration as most of the signage no longer in place.