River deep, mountain high!
Header image credit: John Breen
With more and more people taking up walking in the new year to stay active during lockdown, we have decided to create a series of guides to the top walking trails in County Wexford. It is an ideal way of rediscovering Wexford and getting some fresh air.
First up is a guide to the mountain and hill walks around the county. The combined low-lying land of Wexford and the mountainous areas means that you will be treated to spectacular views as far as the eye can see in many of these locations.
Our #TravelTuesday tip: Please stick to the travel restrictions in place at the time of visiting. Some trails may be busier than usual. If a trail is busy, there are many others to discover so do not set off if it is not safe to do so. Remember to maintain social distancing at all times when visiting these trails.
If you would like to enjoy the panoramic views up and down the Wexford/Wicklow coastline, choose Tara Hill, a 252-metre heather-sloped rocky outcrop near Gorey. There are two trails and both start from two different trailheads, giving you different flavours of Tara Hill and its surroundings. The Red Slí an tSuaimhnais trail begins from Tara Hill cemetery just beyond the village itself and there is ample car-parking space. The more challenging Blue Slí na n-Óg trail begins at the Ballinacarrig parking place (known locally as the Crab Tree).
— Visit Wexford (@visitwexford) October 11, 2020
The starting point lies in the quaint village of Askamore, just outside Ferns. There are 4 looped trails of varying difficulty and you can enjoy scenic views of Kilmuckridge, Enniscorthy and even as far as Rosslare on a clear day. Take St. Brigid’s Loop for a steeper incline along Slieve Gower. Those who are more experienced may fancy the challenge of taking the unmarked path to the summit.
Lacken Hill offers views across the town New Ross and the surrounding landscape. There are 4 trails of varying difficulty to choose from and plenty to see along the way. The shortest trail takes you through the Forest of Dunbrody where you can pay a visit to the fairy village there. Seasoned hikers may prefer the Lacken Hilltop trail with an ascent of 193m to the summit of Lacken Hill. At just under 5km, it is the perfect trail for an afternoon hike.
Wander around Wexford this Wednesday 👣 Check out the Lacken Hill trail which is made up of 4 individual trails, varying from just under 2km to 14km.
— Visit Wexford (@visitwexford) September 30, 2020
Bunclody offers two scenic looped trails through the Clody Valley – the Long Lane Loop and the Craan Loop. The loops are 8km and 15km respectively in length and take you through countryside and forestry. Walkers have fantastic views of Clody Valley and the Blackstairs Mountains, including Mount Leinster. The Coolmelagh and Kilbrannish trails are also nearby.
Three Rocks Trail Forth Mountain
This trail stretches over 13km from Ferrycarrig to Barntown and offers spectacular views across Wexford. Carrigfoyle Quarry is quickly becoming a popular spot and it is easy to see why. Stop by on your way to Forth Mountain and admire the stunning views. Part of the trail follows the route taken during the 1798 Rebellion and the trail itself is a journey through Wexford’s history. From the Ferrycarrig Castle to the 1798 Militia Burial Site, you will discover Wexford’s history as you traverse the countryside on the Three Rocks Trail.
The stunning #ForthMountain and the amazing views from the top. 😍 🥰
Plan your autumn at https://t.co/caxUJVo0Pk 💜💛 #BestforSun #BestforFun #BestForTrails #GetLostInWexford #IrelandsAncientEast #FailteIreland #WexfordTogether #MakeABreakForIt #FeelsBigger pic.twitter.com/MpQPWLvRTc
— Visit Wexford (@visitwexford) August 24, 2020
Located near Gorey on the Wexford-Wicklow border, Croghan Mountain has a number of moderate looped trails to discover. Take the 8km Croghan Trail to get to the foothills of Croghan Mountain, the 4km Forde’s Farmhouse or the 5km Bann River trail. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot Mount Snowdon – the highest peak in Wales – on a clear day from here!
Bree Hill stands proudly in the lush countryside just 20 minutes outside of Enniscorthy. Set off from the beginning of the trailhead in Bree village and choose one of the three looped walks available. With varying lengths of 4km, 8km and 10km loops all of moderate difficulty, there is something to suit all walks. It is worth noting that Bree Hill is popular for mountain biking, so be sure to take extra care where biking paths cross the trail.
This shot is from another runner-up in our photography competition. This thrilling image was captured by Ronan Kavanagh in Bree. It captures the adventurous spirit of Wexford! 🚵♂️https://t.co/caxUJVo0Pk 💜💛 #ExploreWexford #AdventureWexford #IrelandsAncientEast pic.twitter.com/Avk4t8eKPL
— Visit Wexford (@visitwexford) December 16, 2020
There are 2 walking trails in the village of Kiltealy to explore. The Cullentra Trail is a looped 7.6km trail that climbs to an altitude of 236m which gives hikers views across County Wexford. The Ballycrystal Trail is 3.4km in length and follows the valley under Mount Leinster. Perfect for a day out in the mountains.
Oulart Hill is just 15 minutes outside Enniscorthy and is another significant location in the 1798 Rebellion. You will understand why it was so important during the rebellion when you catch a glimpse of the panoramic views of the countryside and beyond from the hill. There are 3 walking trails here, all centered around the unique hill. The longest trail is the Unyoke Walk Trail at 11.5km which features 3km of the medieval Wexford to Dublin road.
📍Have you ventured to Oulart Hill yet this year?
The historical site which saw the 1798 Battle of Oulart Hill take place, with accompanying woodland trails, is transforming into its rustic blanket as autumn sets on the South East🍁
📸Caroline Doyle (@incarolineseyes on Insta) pic.twitter.com/HSm7QD7oZt
— Visit Wexford (@visitwexford) September 30, 2020
Before you set off, always remember to check the weather forecast for the day ahead. Mountainous areas can be cloudier than lower altitudes, so ensure that the weather conditions are favourable enough to enough a safe trek.
Plan your next adventure at VisitWexford.ie.