Curragh Chase Forest Park, Limerick
Curragh Chase Forest Park is located 22km west of Limerick on the N69 coast road close to Kilcornan and Askeaton.
Nature lovers will be spoilt for choice with so many habitats and associated flora and fauna. The main jewels are the Yew woodland, the lake and its feathered residents, the bats who reside in the big house and the many specimen trees in the Arboretum.
There are a number of looped way marked 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. There are many wonderful features of the de Vere estate dotted around the Park for you to find, including; the impressive Arboretum, a pet cemetery and a memorial cross.
There are two extensive playgrounds in the Park and lots of picnic tables and BBQ stands to use at the main car parking area. A permanent orienteering course has been laid out in Curragh Chase with controls spread out across the Park. This is a great way to see Curragh Chase while keeping fit and honing your navigation skills.
Amenities include toilets, boat launch, orienteering, walking, cycling, gardens.
Cashless payment available for car park. Opening hours 7am – 9pm (1st April to 31st October), 8am – 6pm (1st November to 31st March)
Farran Forest Park, Cork
Farran Forest Park is located 20km west of Cork city and just north of the N22 towards Macroom.
Farran Forest Park has ample car parking, toilets, and a playground. The wildlife enclosure holds a small herd of Red and Fallow deer which can easily be viewed from the waymarked Enclosure Trail that skirts the boundary fence. Adults and children alike get great enjoyment from being able to observe these beautiful animals.
The duck pond, which was originally a ‘flighting pond’, includes duck species such as; Mallard, Teal, Widgeon, and Shoveler along with Greylag, White Fronted, Barnacle, Snow and Egyptian geese. An old shooting lodge adjacent to the wildlife enclosure has been converted into a woodland ecology display centre.
The children’s playground, just a short distance from the car park, has an adventure trail to captivate the imagination of the adventurous and energetic children. The challenge here is to get around it without touching the ground.
There are 2 waymarked looped forest trails in the park: the Enclosure Trail (1.1 kms, 25 mins, Easy) will take you around the perimeter of the deer enclosure and duck pond offering clear viewing of the mammals and birds while the Woodland Loop (3 kms, 1hr, moderate) gives the walker a chance to experience the full park which include the homeward leg beside Inniscarra Lake. There is a spur trail at the back of the Park down to ‘Mallard Cove’ where it is possible to see the fish jumping.
Amenities include Public toilet, Picnic Site, Playground, Orienteering Course, Walking Trails, Viewing Points. You can also enjoy Zipit Aerial Trails with over 800 metres of Ziplines for you to enjoy at the Park.
Cashless payment at the car park. Opening hours 8am-9pm (April to September) and 8am-5.30pm (October to March)
Gougane Barra Forest Park, Cork
Gougane Barra Forest Park is located 7 km south west of Ballingeary, off the R584.
There are 6 different trails of varying distances and degrees of difficulty. Each one has its own story to tell and show off the spectacular panoramas of mountain, valley, stream and lake.
- Slí an Ghaorthaidh (0.5kms, 30mins, multi-access) is a nature trail with 10 stops
- Slí an Choim Rua (0.5kms, 30mins, moderate) gives a glimpse into the wonder of the park at the back of the forest valley.
- Sli na Laoi (1.3kms, 1hr, moderate) is a delightful trek along the floor of Coomroe following the course of the infant Lee to the head of the valley
- Slí Dhoire na Coise (1.8kms, 45mins, easy) is a gentle walk along the Lee to the lake and back
- Slí an Easa (1.8kms, 1.5hrs, strenuous) good for the more energetic
- Slí na Sléibhe (2.5kms, 2hrs, strenuous) is the most majestic of all the trails in the park – high into the mountains with spectacular views; for those pressed for time
The looped 3 km motor trail boasts spectacular views of the deep valley and its walled sides.
Amenities include picnic site, toilets, trails, viewing points.
Parking Fee of €5.00 per car for the day (Coins Only)