Limerick Walking Trails suitable for social distancing

Limerick Walking Trails

Limerick walking trails are some of the finest in Ireland with some of the most amazing scenery including Lough Gur. Photo: Cian Reinhardt.

Limerick Walking Trails suitable for social distancing

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Orla McCarthy

PLEASE AVOID CONGREGRATING CLOSELY IN LARGE GROUPS AND MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING IF UNDERTAKING ANY WALKS.

With daily schedules and routines turned upside down due to Covid-19, it is important to note social distancing does not mean staying housebound but includes stepping outside for some fresh air which can make a huge difference in improving your physical and mental health. As long as you maintain social distancing and avoid large groups, keeping at least two metres away from another person, adapting your routine to include walking will provide valuable moments of escape during this time of uncertainty. Here are just some of the beautiful places in Limerick to explore by foot. 

Lough Gur

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During winter, lakes are golden in Ireland ✨

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Lough Gur is one of Limerick’s most remarkable archaeological landscapes featuring evidence of the Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Early Christian, Medieval, Early Modern and Modern eras. Lough Gur has breath taking scenery of a magnificent lakefront and hills along with a fairy trail and tree trail for younger and young at heart visitors with walking trails and bike paths suitable for all ages and abilities. Note Lough Gur Heritage Centre is closed until March 30th in line with government guidelines during the Covid-19 outbreak. Further updates related to opening times will be posted on their page.

Where: Lough Gur, Co. Limerick.

Admission: Car park is free of charge.

Distance: Up to 3km.

Level: Suitable for all ages and abilities.

Terrain: Tarmac roads, gravel tracks, stepping stones and field paths.

Curraghchase Forest Park

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Nature and fresh air ✔️💚🦆🦢🍶

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Curraghchase Forest Park is a woodland estate and lakes set around the shell of the 18th century Curraghchase House, home of poet Aubrey de Vere. It covers 313 hectares of mixed woodlands, parkland, and lakes which together provide a rich habitat for a diverse range of animals and plants and is a fantastic amenity for all the family to enjoy. There are a number of looped waymarked trails in the park to suit all visitors. They vary from the multi-access trails suitable for wheelchair users and family walkers to the longer Curragh and Glenisca trails suitable for those looking for more demanding walking and cycling options. Gates close automatically at 9 pm summertime and 6.30 pm winter time. It is recommended that you check gate closure times when visiting the Park. 

Where: Coillte Forest Park, Kilcornan, County Limerick.

Admission: €5 in coins per car on entry. 

Distance: Over 300 hectares of parkland, trails, mixed woodland, lakes, and an arboretum.

Level: Suitable for all ages and abilities.

Terrain: Tarmac and gravel paths.

Ballyhoura Way

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The Ballyhoura Way is an attractive and varied route through the lush pastureland of the Golden Vale. It is part of the O’Sullivan Beara trail and stretches 90kms from John’s Bridge in North Cork to Limerick Junction in Co. Tipperary. The terrain consists mainly of tarmac roads, forestry tracks, and open moorland and field paths with this specific route consisting of yellow arrows on marker posts to aid guidance. Some of the road sections are busy and should be used with care and some of the upland sections can be very wet. While much of the Way is rough underfoot, it should be suitable for family groups. 

Where: Ballyhoura Failte, Main Street, Kilfinane, Co. Limerick.

Admission: Usually €5 in coins on entry but is now open for free during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Distance: Choice of different loops varying from 3km-10km.

Level: Suitable for all ages and abilities.

Terrain: Tarmac roads, forestry tracks, open moorland and field paths.

Adare Village and Riverbank Walk

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Situated on the river Maigue, a tributary of the River Shannon, Adare is steeped in history dating back to 1200AD. This 2km walk takes walkers on a tour of the historic buildings in Adare Village taking around 45 minutes and suitable for all ages and fitness levels with its terrain riverside pavement walk. The route takes you down the Station Road and then onto the paved riverbank and back up to the Church of Ireland and onto the main road leading back into the village.

Where: Adare Village, Co. Limerick.

Admission: Free of charge.

Distance: 2km. 

Level: Suitable for all ages and abilities.

Terrain: Riverside Pavement Walk.

Foynes Woodland

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Foynes is a pocket of mixed woodland of just over 17 acres located on the banks of the majestic River Shannon. There are some twisty paths to explore that offer fantastic views out over the estuary. Shoreline access is waymarked. If you are in the mood for a scenic drive, the N69 is a beautiful coastal route taking in Loughill and Glin. For the nature enthusiast, the range of tree species includes; beech, sycamore, birch, Douglas Fir and Scot’s Pine. From Poultallin Point you can scan the waters for bottle-nosed dolphins.

Where: Foynes, Co. Limerick.

Admission: Parking lay-by is free of charge.

Distance: Just over 17 acres located on the banks of the River Shannon.

Level: Suitable for all ages and abilities.

Terrain: Twisty paths with shoreline access waymarked.

Knockfierna

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Steeped in local history and folklore, Knockfierna can be accessed by a number of tracks and pathways which start in Ballingarry. As you ascend the mountain, you will pass a number of reconstructed cottages that were abandoned during the famine, as well as a famine memorial. From the top, you can see all of County Limerick and the Shannon Estuary. On the summit of the hill is Donn’s Cave and cairn. While not very challenging,  Knockfierna provides great views and a variety of different walking paths. 

Where: Knockfierna, Ballingarry, Co. Limerick.

Admission: Free of charge.

Distance: up to 9km.

Level: Suitable for all ages and abilities.

Terrain: Field paths.

Clare Glens Woodland & Loop Walks

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Irish Wilderness ☘

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The Clare Glens is a wooded area along the banks of the Clare River, which separates counties Limerick and Tipperary. The scenery is breathtaking, with wild dense forest combined with amazing crystal clear waters. The Glens consist of a picturesque red sandstone gorge through which the Clare River flows and displays numerous waterfalls. These loop walks are part of the network of National Looped Walks and are marked using the standard National Looped Walk directional arrows.This particular walk is short and easy, only about 4 km, and therefore a great option for beginner hikers and families and is only a 15-minute drive from the city.

Where: Murroe, Co. Limerick

Admission: Free of charge.

Distance: 4km.

Level: Footpath route easy but muddy and suitable for all ages and abilities on the Tipperary side. Proper gear required if you are going down to the river.

Terrain: wooden footbridges, sandy woodland paths, several narrow paths that are steep and muddy.

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