Walking & Hiking in the Slieve Blooms

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Walking & Hiking in the Slieve Blooms

The Slieve Bloom Mountains are a mountain range in the midlands of Ireland that span through Offaly and Laois. The highest point is a modest 527M but the scale of the mountains are extensive. The mountain range is bordered by towns such as Kinnitty, Mountrath,  Roscrea, Rosenallis, Clonaslee, Cadamstown and Mountmellick. The Slieve Bloom mountains are amongst the oldest in Europe and once they stood at 3700M before weathering and erosion reduced them to the current size of 527M.

The Slieve Bloom mountains are amongst the most unspoilt and least explored mountain ranges in Ireland. For this reason, they are now attracting many walking and hiking enthusiasts to the region looking for some ‘off the beaten track’ adventures.

There is even an annual Walking Festival held in the Slieve Bloom Mountains each May and an Eco Festival held in July! You can traverse the mountains by foot, bicycle, horse back or car. If hill walking or hiking is what you are after, then venturing to the Slieve Bloom Mountains is a must! You will be in awe of the magnificent scenery when you walk through the gentle slops of the Slieve Blooms!

In 2007 a series of looped walking trails were set up in the villages surrounding the Slieve Bloom Mountains. The variety of walking trails cater for every grade of walker, no matter what your fitness level is! If you are looking for a challenge, or just a light stroll to appreciate the scenery, there is a walk waiting for you!

The walking trails range from looped walks, long distance way-marked walks or unguided walks but don’t forget a map and compass if you are not going as part of a group! Organised walks are held every week by the Slieve Bloom Mountains Walking Group and it’s a great way to learn the full mountain history from the local experienced guides.

You can even get private guides if you are looking for a more intimate experience with a loved one! For more information about the Slieve Bloom Mountains, Click here.

Walking Looped Trails

You can start the looped walk trails from 5 different villages surrounding the Slieve Bloom Mountains. The trails include Kinnitty Forest Trail Head, Cadamstown Trail Head, Clonaslee Trail Head, Glenbarrow Trail Head, and Lough Boora Trail Head.

Kinnitty Forest Trail Head

Glinsk Castle Loop – 8km | 3hrs | Moderate
Kinnitty Castle Loop – 4km | 1hr 30m | Easy

Cadamstown Trail Head

Giants Grave Loop – 14 Km | 4 hours | Hard
Paul’s Lane Loop – 8 Km | 2hrs | Moderate
Silver River Nature Trail – 7 Km | 2 hrs | Easy

Clonaslee Trail Head

Glendineoregan Loop – 13km | 3hrs | Hard
Brittas Loop – 8km | 2hrs | Moderate
Rickets Rock Loop – 6km | 1hr 30m | Easy

Glenbarrow Trail Head

Old Mill Loop – 10km | 3h 30m | Strenous
Flat Rock Loop – 3km | 1hr | Easy
Waterfall Loop – 7km | 2hrs | Moderate
Eco Walk – 10km | 3h | Moderate

Lough Boora Trail

Mesolithic Loop – 9km | 2hr 30m | Moderate
Farmlands Loop – 7km | 1hr 30m | Easy
Sculpture Loop – 3km | 1hr | Easy

Long Distance Walks

There are a series of trailhead walks available for the long distance hiker. The Slieve Bloom Way has a series of 5 walks which are 60 km collectively and this walk can take 3 days. The Offaly Way also has a series of 5 trailhead walks and the distance you would cover is 38k collectively. The walks are very scenic, and take you through sections of riverbanks and streams, stretches of bogland, forestry tracks, heathery ridges and dips, green mass paths and quiet country roadways to name but a few of the sights you will see!

The Slieve Bloom Way

Trailhead 1 – Glenbarrow Carpark to Clonaslee
Trailhead 2 – Clonaslee to Cadamstown
Trailhead 3 – Cadamstown to Kinnitty Forest
Trailhead 4 – Kinnitty Forest to Monicknew
Trailhead 5 – Monicknew Forest Car Park to Glenbarrow Car Park

Offaly Way

Trailhead 1 – Cadamstown Carpark to Kilcormac
Trailhead 2 – Kilcormac Riverside Park to Lough Boora Parklands
Trailhead 3 – Lough Boora Parkland to Turraun Wetlands
Trailhead 4 – Turraun Wetlands to Lemanaghan
Trailhead 5 – Lemanaghan

If you plan on walking in the Slieve Bloom Mountains, and are looking for accommodation in the local area, please click here to book b&b or glamping accommodation in Kinnitty. Or you may prefer to explore the Slieve Bloom mountains by Bike, please click here to find out more information about hiring a bike in Giltraps Bike Hire.

Happy Walking!

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