Bike track to link popular sites in the Midlands
A major "cycling destination" in the Midlands will link a number of the country's most popular tourism sites together by bike trails.
It is expected that the attraction will include a variety of cycle trails and even a BMX track.
While the work is still in its preliminary stages, it is hoped that the cycle paths would link some of Co Offaly's star attractions, including Clonmacnoise, Lough Boora Discovery Park and Birr Castle.
Offaly County Council, Coillte and Bord na Móna confirmed that they entered into a memorandum of understanding to examine the feasibility of a network of cycling trails in the area.
The three organisations said they were preparing a study of the proposed development in Co Offaly.
They recently issued a tender notice about the project online.
The groups intend to develop a "major cycling destination" which will include long-range cycle trails both on and off road, mountain biking and a BMX track.
It is hoped that the new cycling network would make the area more attractive to tourists as a "recreation and eco-tourism destination".
Coillte and Bord na Móna have been working together since last year to develop new "outdoor recreation and tourism infrastructure opportunities".
The cycle track in Offaly was proposed given the scale of the land bank the two organisations own there.
The working group is examining the necessary level of visitor facilities needed, as well as how the new network would complement strategies for cycling trails at national and regional level.