Phoenix Park cycle tracks

The Phoenix Park is one of the largest enclosed urban parks in Europe at 707 hectares / 1752 acres. It houses Dublin Zoo; Áras an Uachtaráin, the residence of the President of Ireland; and the US Ambassador’s Residence. It includes the people’s flower gardens, the Wellington Testimonial, playing pitches, woodland, and its own herd of wild dear.

THE ROUTE

Where: Phoenix Park, Dublin 8.
Type: Off-road mostly, with linked on-road cycle lanes
Detail: Grass buffer between roads and tracks, with long stretches between junctions
Length: Main avenue about 4km each way, 3.8km loop off the main avenue and around the main playing pitches, 1.2km on the west end of North Road, and some smaller branches.

View Cycle routes: Phoenix Park in a larger map

ROUTE RANKING

[0] Overview: Good surface quality, long lengths of uninterrupted cycle track, and great views. But there are flaws with the designs and sometimes too many pedestrians on the cycle tracks.

[1] Accessibly and connectivity: For a park of its size it’s surprising that there are no off road cycle tracks and few on-road cycle lanes linked with the park — this however is counterbalanced by the parking within the park, reasonably proximity to railway stations and bicycle rental within the park. There is no cycling crossing over the main road for the whole length of the main avenue. See below for details of access.

[2] Design: Poor design is saved by long stretches without junctions. At junctions along the main roads cyclists are wrongly told to yield to lesser roads. Conflict with pedestrians is increased given location of some parking spaces, lack of dedicated footpaths beside some of the cycle tracks, lack of clear signage, and a lack of enforcement by park rangers.

[3] Surface quality and maintenance: Surface quality and maintenance is good to excellent overall — the main problems are not with the off-road tracks but the on-road cycle lanes and generally on road.

[4] Lighting and security: Park rangers patrol the park and there is usually no obvious anti-social behaviour on main routes is poor lighting in the park at night.

[5] Environment: Overall great views of the park, and sometimes also with great views of the surrounding city. A chance to spot deer, but also large amounts of traffic.

ACCESS 

Cycling on road: Access from Parkgate Street, North Circular Road, Castleknock and other gates. Although there is currently no segregated link to the park.

Cycling off-road: 550m by road from the Royal Canal tow path at Ashtown Railway Station.

Bike rental: Bike rental inside main gate at Parkgate Street, see phoenixparkbikes.com for details. (Note: Since Summer 2015, a new bicycle rental company is based at the park gates; the company previously based at the location is looking t0 relocate, see: phoenixparkbikehire.com).

DublinBikes: Nearest station at Parkgate Street.

Train stations: Heuston‎ Station is a little over 500m from the main gate of the park, while Ashtown Station is about 550m from the Ashtown Road gate entrance to the park — switch at Connolly / Tara / Pearse to get to Ashtown‎.

Parking: The off-road cycle tracks are close to all the car parks in the park