Spring is here and the evenings are drawing getting longer, so it’s the perfect weather to get some fresh air and explore the picturesque countryside. Here we have selected our 6 best walks for you and the family to enjoy. Remember it is our responsibility to adhere to all the guidelines outlined by the HSE.ie. Enjoy the outdoors responsibly and remember to practice social distancing at all times.
Castlecomer Loop - Easy
Ardra Loop: 6km/1hr30mins-2hrs
Captains Loop: 4km/45mins-1hr
Directions to Trailhead: Enjoy a forest walk in Castlecomer. Breath in the fresh air and enjoy the scenery across the wonderfully restored leisure lakes. There is a choice of waymarked walking loops which include the 1.5km Ladies Walk, the Arboretum Walk (2km), the Captain’s Walk (4km) and the Ardra Loop
Mountain Grove Loop - Easy
Trailhead: Car park, Mountain Grove Woods, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny
Distance/Time: 4km /1hr -1hr30mins
Directions to Trailhead: Start from the village of Piltown which is just off the N24 from Carrick-on-Suir and Waterford. Take the R698 northward in the direction of Owning and Kilkenny. After 2km continue straight towards Templeorum as the R698 turns left. At a crossroads after 4km veer right ñ the trailhead is less than 1km on the left. Note: The trailhead is signposted from Piltown.
Woodstock Loop - Moderate
Trailhead: Inistioge Village Car Park
Distance/Time: Woodstock Loop: 4.5Km / 1-1.5hrs
Ladies Loop: 3km/ 45mins-1hr
Directions to Trailhead: Woodstock House Gardens and Arboretum can be accessed on foot from Inistioge Village via the Woodstock Loop Walks. Woodstock Gardens are located in the south east of Kilkenny just outside the picturesque village of Inistioge. The gardens, overlooking the River Nore Valley, offer the visitor a wide variety of attractions and are a most relaxing and beautiful environment in which to spend a day.
The gardens are home to a mix of formal and informal gardens with an arboretum, walled garden, terraced garden, yew walk and rose garden providing the main interest. Also of significance are two stunning avenues, the Monkey Puzzle Avenue and Noble Fir Avenue. Also of interest is a rustic summer house, constructed from materials from the gardens and a fountain to replace the original which was sold from the gardens c.1930. The arboretum is home to many fine specimen trees from Asia and South America in particular. A number of these trees are recognised as champion trees due to their size. Nearby to the Arboretum is the Walled Garden laid out with fruit trees, a vegetable garden and a beautiful herbaceous border. Just outside the Walled garden is our stunning cast iron conservatory which houses the tea shop. Enjoy your visit.
****Please note Woodstock Gardens remains open to the public currently. Please take note of all public information guidelines in regard to Corona Virus Covid – 19 issued from the HSE when visiting our gardens. In particular, parents please pay particular attention to social distancing recommendations when children are using the playground.****
Nore Valley Walk - Moderate
The Nore Valley walk stretches from Kilkenny city to Inistioge and follow the River Nore. The walk is divided into three sections: Kilkenny to Bennettsbridge, Bennetsbridge to Thomastown and Thomastown to Inisitoge. Below you can find two sections of the walk.
Kilkenny City to Bennettsbridge
Directions to Trailhead: The Nore Valley Walk starts in Kilkenny city at the Lacken Walk. At the end of Maudlin Street there is a small car park which leads to the Lacken Walk. Follow the Lacken walk to Ossary Bridge and then continue along the Nore Valley Walk. The Nore Valley Walk is signposted from here to Bennettsbridge. After 2km along the river bank the trail heads through a laneway and onto the Sion Road. Follow this road for 1.5km then cross a green stile, through a field and back to the river bank. The route takes you through a farmland, ruined mills, woods and then to the village of Bennettsbridge.
Thomastown to Inistioge
Distance / Time: 2-3 hours
Additional info: To protect farm animals, no dogs allowed
Directions to Trailhead: From Thomastown: Starting in the town of Thomastown go south across the bridge and follow the green arrows to the Thomastown GAA pitch. Walk along the border of the GAA pitch to the river bank. From Inistioge: Approaching form the village square, arrive at the riverbank and turn left along the river.
South Leinster Way - Graiguenamanagh to Inistioge - Moderate/Hard
Trailhead: Points Rd Inistioge & Outdoor Activities Hub Graiguenamanagh
Distance/Time: 17km – 5 hours
Terrain: Country roads. woodland. forestry roads. Hillside Tracks
Gear: Walking boots, rain gear, fluids and mobile phone
Additional info: To protect farm animals dogs must be kept on leads at all times. Dog foul must be removed and disposed of.