Slieve Bloom Way

The Slieve Bloom Way is a long-distance trail around the Slieve Bloom Mountains in Ireland. It is an 84-kilometre (52-mile) long circular route that begins and ends at Glenbarrow, near the village of Rosenallis, County Laois. It is typically completed in four days.[1] It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by Laois County Council, Offaly County Council, Laois Integrated Development Company, Coillte and the Slieve Bloom Development Association.[2] The route was devised by a local man, Tom Joyce, and opened in 1987.[3] The route was developed as part of the designation of the Slieve Bloom area as a European Environment Park in the European Year of the Environment.[4]

Starting at Glenbarrow, the trail follows the Ridge of Capard before descending to the road at Monicknew Bridge.[5] It then passes through forestry on the slopes of Gorteenameale before following an ancient route over the Glendine Gap below Arderin, the highest mountain in the Slieve Bloom range.[6] The trail then follows the River Camcor to the townland of Glenregan.[7] Crossing the Silent River Valley, the route climbs Spink hill and descends into the Glenkeen Valley.[8] The final stage crosses Glendineoregan and Knocknastumba to reach the banks of the River Barrow, which it follows to the end at Glenbarrow.[9]

Slieve Bloom Way
Length84 kilometres (52 miles)[1]
LocationCounties Laois & Offaly, Ireland
DesignationNational Waymarked Trail[1]
Elevation gain/loss+1,275 m (4,183 ft)[1]
Hiking details



  1. ^ a b c d e "Slieve Bloom Way". IrishTrails. Irish Sports Council. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  2. ^ National Trails Office 2010, p. 43.
  3. ^ Siggins, Lorna (1 August 1987). "Blooms in the blood". The Irish Times. Dublin. p. A6.
  4. ^ "In full bloom!". Irish Farmers Journal. Dublin. 10 May 1997. p. 142.
  5. ^ Fewer 1996, p. 199.
  6. ^ Fewer 1996, pp. 201-204.
  7. ^ Fewer 1996, p. 204.
  8. ^ Fewer 1996, p. 207.
  9. ^ Fewer 1996, p. 209.


External links

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Lists of long-distance trails in the Republic of Ireland

These are lists of long-distance trails in Ireland, and include recognised and maintained walking trails, pilgrim trails, cycling greenways, boardwalk-mountain trails, and interconnected national and international trail systems. Access is noted as the greatest obstacle to developing trails as Ireland has weak supporting legislation.

There are 43 National Waymarked Trails by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council. Each trail is waymarked with square black posts containing an image, in yellow, of a walking man and a directional arrow, a symbol reserved for use only by National Waymarked Trails. The oldest trail is the Wicklow Way, which was opened in 1980, and there are now over 4,000 kilometres (2,500 miles) of waymarked trails Ireland. The most frequented trails are the Wicklow, Sheep's Head, Kerry, Dingle, Beara, Burren and Western Ways. The standard of many of these trails are below international comparison, with access noted as the greatest obstacle.

In 1997, the Heritage Council, started developing a series of walking routes based on medieval pilgrimage paths, and there are now 124 kilometres (77 miles) of major penitential trails: Cnoc na dTobar, Cosán na Naomh, St. Finbarr's Pilgrim Path, Saint Kevin's Way, and Tochar Phádraig. These pilgrim trails, and seven others, are supported by Pilgrim Paths of Ireland who follow the same guidelines for developing National Waymarked Trails.

In 2017, the 46-kilometre Waterford Greenway was opened for cyclists, and many others are planned or in development. Many of the National Waymarked Trails form part of larger long-distance and transnational trails such as European walking route E8, the Beara-Breifne Way and the International Appalachian Trail.

Mac Giolla Phádraig dynasty

Mac Giolla Phádraig (pronunciation) (alternately Mac Gilla Pátraic) is a native Irish dynastic surname which translates into English as "Son of the Devotee of (St.) Patrick". In the medieval period, the Mac Giolla Phádraigs were hereditary kings of Osraige; today, the name is commonly translated to "Fitzpatrick".

Offaly Way

The Offaly Way (Irish: Slí Uíbh Fhailí) is a long-distance trail in County Offaly, Ireland. It is 37 kilometres (23 miles) long and begins in Cadamstown and ends at Lemanaghan, on the R436 road between the towns of Clara and Ferbane. It is typically completed in two days. It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by Offaly County Council, Bord na Mona and the Offaly Integrated Development Company. The trail provides a link between the Slieve Bloom Way and the Grand Canal Way.Starting at Cadamstown, the trail follows an old mass path along the banks of the Silver River to reach Kilcormac. It then crosses Boora bog, an area noted for its Mesolithic archaeology. It then passes through the Turraun Nature Reserve before crossing the Grand Canal and following the River Brosna to Lemanaghan.A review of the National Waymarked Ways found low usage of the Offaly Way and recommended a reduction in the amount of walking on tarred roads, better interpretation of the historic sites along the route, consideration to extending the route to Clonmacnoise, Pollagh or Clara and consideration to promoting the trail as a dual walking and cycling route.

Slieve Bloom Mountains

The Slieve Bloom Mountains (Irish: Sliabh Bladhma) are a mountain range in Ireland. They rise from the central plain of Ireland to a height of 527 metres. While not very high, they are extensive by local standards. The highest points are Arderin (527 m) (Irish: Ard Éireann) at the southwestern end of the range and Baunreaghcong (511 m) at the end of the Ridge of Capard.

The Slieve Bloom Mountains stretch from near Roscrea in the south west to Rosenallis in the north west forming a link between County Laois and County Offaly. Access to the mountains and the most popular attractions is easiest by taking Exit 18 off the M7 for Mountmellick and following the R422 for Rosenallis, Clonaslee, Cadamstown, and Kinnitty. There are 3 routes which cross the mountain. From Clonaslee here it is very easy to follow the mountain road over 'the Cut' towards Mountrath. From Kinnitty take the road from the centre of the village opposite the Catholic Church past Longford Church to Glendine Gap near Ard Erin the highest point in the mountain. For some splendid views turn left onto the R440 towards Kinnitty one of the small villages nestled at the foot of the mountains.

Looped walking trails have been developed at 6 trail heads in the Slieve Blooms, Glenbarrow, Clonaslee, Cadamstown, Kinnitty, Glenafelly Forest Car Park and Glen Monicknew. Walking trails are colour-coded green easy, blue moderate, and red most difficult. The 84 km Slieve Bloom Way colour-coded yellow can be accessed from any of these trailheads. In Cadamstown take time to walk the Silver River Eco Trail.

Glenbarrow Falls are located just a few miles from Rosenallis. Some scenic looped walks will take you to the falls and up onto the Ridge of Capard. There is a significant population of red grouse in the hills.

The Slieve Bloom, along with the Massif Central in France, are one of the oldest mountains in Europe; they were once also the highest at 3,700m. Weathering has reduced them to 527m. On a clear day, one can see the high points of the four ancient provinces of Ireland.

Pilgrim path
Cycle greenway
Boarded mountain

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