Lough Boora Discovery Park

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Transformed from its previous incarnation as a commercial bog where peat was harvested to heat homes around the country, today Lough Boora Discovery Park is home to countless species of birds and wildlife, fish-filled lakes and a permanent exhibition of huge outdoor sculptures. These sculptures give the park an other-worldly feel, created using the old industrial materials of the bog such as locomotives, rail-line and timber, all crafted into magnificent works of art.

The park is in a continuous state of flux depending on the season. Birds depart or arrive, breed and rear their young. Plants flower and fungi appear and disappear, while the resident animals go about their lives. Leave all traces of urban-living behind as you hop on your bike and cycle around the wide open spaces of Lough Boora bog and sculpture park. Watch out for fast-moving hares that skip across the paths as you cycle by and don’t forget to stop-off at one of the many bird-hides for a glimpse of our feathered-friends up close and personal. There’s also 4 lakes in this 2,000 hectare site of cutaway bog, now a nature-lovers’ paradise. We promise you’ll feel free as a bird in Offaly’s own big sky wilderness.

The raised bogs of the Midlands of Ireland evolved after the last Ice Age, around 15,000 years ago. Mesolithic people wandered through Ireland and one of the most important Mesolithic sites in Ireland is at Lough Boora.  Two sites were excavated in 1977.  You can visit the site of the ancient settlement by following the Mesolithic Route.

Experience all that Lough Boora Discovery Park has to offer outdoor enthusiasts, keen botanists, nature lovers, and arts and culture fans including:

Free to visit Lough Boora Discovery Park (Car Parking €2)

Thanks to Killian O’ Brien from Offaly County Council for sharing this info.

Please check out http://www.visitoffaly.ie/ for more great things to do in Offaly!

 

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The Offaly Way

The Offaly Way is a linear route linking the Slieve Bloom Way, (at Cadamstown) to Lemanaghan Monastic Site, and to the Grand Canal Way. Only 37kms long, it nonetheless includes areas of mountain and riverside as well as long stretches of bogland. Though the highest point is only 140m, much of the Way commands wide views over a comparatively flat landscape. The route has ecclesiastical and prehistoric interest.

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The Way starts in Cadamstown, with the Slieve Bloom Way less than 2 km away. Just north of here is an interesting geological formation where a fine outcrop of rock has been exposed by erosion caused by the Silver River. The waterfalls and gorge along here are most attractive features. The Way crosses the Black River and ascends Knock Hill, at 140m the highest point on the Way, before descending into Ballyboy. Here the Way crosses the Silver River and runs along its bank into the town of Kilcormac. The town holds the Kilcormac Pietà, a 16th century representation of the Virgin Mary mourning over the body of Christ. For 60 years, during a time of persecution, the pieta was hidden in a bog.

20181109_230329.jpgBeyond Kilcormac, the Way enters Boora Bog, an area of peatland formerly harvested for turf. Now a wide variety of uses, including amenity use, are being encouraged. Nearby is Lough Boora, formerly a lake and now a fen and nature reserve. This area is of great historical interest since excavations have revealed Mesolithic remains. Close to the end of the present phase of the Way at the Grand Canal is Turraun Nature Reserve, formerly a cutaway bog and now an area where more than 80 species of birds and 150 species of plants have been recorded. The birds include a flock of 200 Whopper Swans.

Thanks to Killian O’ Brien from Offaly County Council for sharing this info.

Please check out http://www.visitoffaly.ie/ for more great things to do in Offaly!

 

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Waterford Greenway

The Waterford Greenway (or Déise Greenway) opened in March of 2017 and offers 46km of off-road cycling and walking trails from Waterford City to Dungarvan.

While we concentrate on walking and hiking at takeahike.ie, cycling the greenway is highly recommended and bikes can be rented from a number of companies such as:

The map and images below are taken from waterfordcouncil.ie (WaterfordGreenway2017Map)

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From the Waterford City side of the Greenway, the start is shown below.

Beachwalk : Ardmore Beach, Waterford

Recently visited the lovely town of Ardmore in Waterford. It is believed to be the oldest Christian settlement in Ireland. It offers many attractions including cliff walks and an open farm but if you are looking for a nice short walk check out the beautiful beach. It’s about a mile long and there is parking available by the beach. Enjoy!

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Below is the location of the carpark to the beach.