Are you looking for outdoor activities for kids? Would you like get the whole family outdoors and active? Here are 6 suggested Family Walks Galway families enjoy:
#1. Barna Woods
Park the car just off the main road, and start your walk by following the path through the woods. When you come out of the woods, you can either go right and walk up towards the Cappagh Road playground (great selection of equipment for different age groups), or continue on straight and do a longer loop around the playing fields. Rusheen City Park is also nearby, situated across the road.
#2. Monivea Woods
Take the Monivea road out of Galway past Carnmore Cross lights until you reach the village of Monivea. The entrance to the woods is at the end of the village. Drive on down the road until you reach a parking area. Start your walk here.
Taking the road to the right brings you to the ffrench family Mausoleum, an amazing castle-like structure.
You can take a left there through the woods to see the old Ice House and loop back round to where you started.
If you take the path to the right of the mausoleum you can do a longer walk round back to Monivea or straight on to an old windmill. All paths are safe to cycle on.
#3. Terryland Forest Park
The Terryland Forest Park project is an ambitious project designed to ultimately create an harmonious blend of recreational/educational facilities and natural habitats of wetlands and woodland that, on completion, will cover over 120 acres of land in the Terryland River Valley commencing at the ruins of Terryland Castle adjacent to the Quincentennial Bridge and finishing at the limestone crag between Glenburren Park and Castlegar village.
A recommended walk would start on the Dyke Road near to the Black Box.
- From there continue along the banks of the River Corrib as far as Terryland Castle in order to enjoy the natural scenery and wildlife of the River Corrib, which is without doubt one of Ireland’s most important natural corridors.
- Galway City is unique amongst Irish cities in having such a large area of its riverbanks untouched by built development. One can enjoy the sights of otters in the waters close to Jordan’s Island and kestrels hovering over the fields as well as hearing the sounds of reed warblers emanating from the wetlands.
- From the castle ruins, retrace your steps, go under the bridge and take the stairs up onto the Quincentennial Bridge road, entering the Terryland Forest Park from the main gate.
- The circular path will bring the walker past the Terryland River through woods of native Irish trees that have quickly become a magnet to a diverse range of flora and fauna including pheasant, voles, hare, heron and mushrooms.
Recommended Reading: Galway City River Walk
#4. Coole Park
There are several walks available at Coole Park, but the Family Walk is our favourite of course! Start off at the visitor centre:
- Walk up past the deer enclosure on your left, then branch right and head to the walled garden, past the Autograph Tree (don’t forget to stop at the sundial in the middle of the garden).
- The walk takes you out of the garden and into the forest and loops around. You reach one cross”roads” where you can take a right down to the river, go straight on for a longer walk or turn left to go back to the visitor centre.
- There are toilets and baby changing facilities available just up from the deer enclosure.
#5. Newcastle River Walk
Parking is available by the sports grounds. Start your walk here.
- Walk down towards the river, you will see Menlo Castle across the river at the bottom of the track. Turn right at the river and walk along past the old tea house.
- You can continue for some time until you reach Corrib Village, if the Village is open (usually summer months) you can go up through the grounds and out onto the main road and back to where you started
- If you want a longer walk, you can continue along to the NUIG campus, then double back on yourself.
- Plenty of bird life and interesting trees and marsh plants, with bulrushes growing in the summer time.
#6. Castle Hackett
“Castle Hackett is a nice place to go with the kids, both big and small! “- Christiane
- The path leads in a large circle up and down the hill. There are several picnic benches and tables. The view from the rocky top of the hill is fantastic across the whole of east Co. Galway.
- The forest is well established with lots of large old trees and wild shrubbery. There are plenty of old fallen trees and branches for climbing. 5 year olds who enjoy walking will make the round trip with a few picnic stops no problem.
- Adults could walk briskly up and down in about one hour.
Driving Directions to Castle Hackett:
Take the N17 from Galway City to Tuam. Before Tuam turn off to the left to Belclare. Go through the village of Belclare. Follow the main road veering left (at the fork). After about a mile or two pass the actual Castle Hackett and there is a car park in the forest on your left just before a very sharp (nearly 90 degree) bend.
If you have other family walks in Galway that you enjoy, please let us know in the comments below.