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The Black Paths…, built for people…, not cars,

Bike Events on the Black Paths

June 2024

Bike Week tours – 10th, 12th & 14th June


Never cycled on The Black Paths before? It joins everyone to everything. Join us, as we join the dots on an evening cycle around the best cycle network on the Island of Ireland.

limited to 30 places for each date

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Mapping Craigavon’s Black Paths
Craigavon’s active travel network – designed and built in the 1960s – is better known locally as the Black Paths. Presently, there are no maps, signage or other means to navigate this complex network of cycle lanes. As a result – the Black Paths are a mystery to almost everyone outside the immediate area.
This project (funded by the DfI's Road Safety (Safe Travel) Grant Scheme) – aims to help cyclists, wheelers, walkers, residents, newcomers and visitors understand, navigate and use this unique network more effectively. This site explains how the Black Paths connect the 3 main functions of Craigavon – community, leisure and commerce.


Brownlow comprises the residential areas of Drumgor, Legahory, Tullygally, Moyraverty, Drumgask & Monbrief. This area contains the highest density of Black Paths.


City Park

The Black Paths extend from the residential areas into Craigavon park, beyond the Lakes to Tannaghmore Gardens and toward Lough Neagh.

City park

Work & retail

Rushmere shopping centre and the four surrounding industrial estates (Seagoe, Carn, Silverwood, Portadown Rd) are all connected and accessible via the Black Paths.

Work & retail

Key features

What makes the Black Paths unique?

New Town

Craigavon was a “New Town”. The Black Paths were an integral design feature from the start. It didn’t face the problems that come with retro-fitting a Victorian town or city.


The Black Paths aren’t a series of segregated cycle lanes running parallel with the road. They are an entirely separate transport system, removed from cars through grade separation.


The Black Paths connect everyone to everything. Community, school, work, retail, rail, bus and leisure facilities are all linked through a dense network of cycle lanes and footpaths.


The cycle network alone measures around 40km. Approximately 90% of this is separated from traffic. That's longer than the entire Portadown to Newry towpath!


Craigavon's 3 functions – community, commerce and leisure – were integrated with landscaped parkland, mature trees and low density housing for health and well-being benefits.


Craigavon was designed to be a place where the very young and the very old could travel safely. A cohesive, connected place – where safety, efficiency and convenience were paramount.

A vision for a new city

Geoffrey Copcutt was the new city’s initial designer. His centralised vacuum cleaning system and civil nuclear power plant, proved to be two pipe dreams too many. However, his solution for future car dominance was more visionary.

Man and motor are usually presented as irreconcilable forces - rather than incompatible…. These are not mutually exclusive functions and one does not have to be satisfied at the expense of the other.

Geoffrey Copcutt, Chief Designer –1963

We have almost by default designed out of our city centres the extremes of age range. The very young and the very old… enter the city centre at their peril… safety, efficiency and convenience will be paramount considerations in the new concept of the city region.

Geoffrey Copcutt, Chief Designer –1963

We expect complete segregation between pedestrian and vehicular movements - noise and atmospheric consideration will be of primary consideration.

Geoffrey Copcutt, Chief Designer –1963


News, stories and links about the Black Paths

What’s in store for ‘24

Cycul | January 30 2024

We’ve been looking through the minutes of ABC’s last meeting with the Department for Infrastructure to see if we’re making any inroads on the upkeep and maintenance of the Black Paths.

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History of Craigavon and the Black Paths

Cycul | January 16 2024

We had a full house at the Brownlow Community Hub on the fascinating history of Craigavon and The Black Paths. If you missed the event you can read about some of presentations.

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Moylinn bridge update

Cycul | January 15 2024

Since the bridge at Moylinn was demolished in 2023 there have been numerous Freedom on Information requests to the Department for Infrastructure to try and understand why it was demolished.

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Pupils face increased danger

Cycul | April 09 2023

Due to the Depepartment for Infrastructure’s decision to demolish the Moylin bridge, a local school principal has spoken of the increased danger school children now face.

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DFI to remove Moylinn footbridge

Cycul | February 15 2023

The Department for Infrastructure has announced it will remove the Moylin footbridge over the weekend of Thursday 16 to Monday 20 March 2023. However, it has neither a plan or a budget to replace.

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Black Paths Cycle Tour

Cycul | June 27 2022

To celebrate Bike Week this year, several events were held on the Black Paths. With the support of Live Here Love Here and ABC Council we organised two tours of the Black Paths, intended to showcase the incredible active travel network stretching from Craigavon to Portadown & Lurgan.

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Black Paths Project Launched

Cycul | March 24 2022

Craigavon Lakes has become increasingly popular over the past few years for walking, cycling, wheeling and running, but it’s only a tiny part of a larger, traffic-free travel system, unique on the island of Ireland.

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Tullygally PS pupils take the plunge and ditch bus for bikes

Cycul | February 21 2022
Pupils at a school in Craigavon have been getting on their bikes in a unique initiative to improve their health, save money and protect the environment. Children from Tullygally Primary School have been cycling to and from swimming classes and sporting events instead of relying on the school bus.
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Minister Mallon funds Black Paths Mapping Project

Cycul | February 12 2022
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has allocated £85,000 for local road safety initiatives funded by the Department’s Road Safety (Safe Travel) Grant Scheme. Minister Mallon - Road Safety Grant Scheme. "I look forward to seeing the difference these initiatives will make…".
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The Lost City of Craigavon

Cycul | December 24 2021

Newton Emerson’s celebratory and irreverent look at the lost city of Craigavon, unearthing the original plans, meeting the evicted farmers and visiting the residents of the experimental city. Warning – contains a lot of cycling.

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Completion of £400k Craigavon Lakes Active Travel Improvement Scheme

Cycul | December 21 2021

Work on a £400,000 upgrade scheme to improve the shared footway and cycleway around the Craigavon Lakes has been substantially completed to enable it to be brought back into service ahead of the Christmas break.

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council – Active Travel Masterplan

Cycul | November 17 2021
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council have appointed Arup Consulting to prepare an Active Travel Masterplan for 2 key areas in the Borough. This project will be part of a greater Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Project funded by DfC and DfI.
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