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12 Forests to explore in Leinster


Leinster is one of the provinces of Ireland, situated in the southeast and east of Ireland. The ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial purposes. In later centuries, local government legislation has prompted further sub-division of the historic counties.

Avondale Forest
Avondale ForestAvondale, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Avondale Forest is a wooded estate in County Wicklow, Ireland, on the west bank of the River Avonmore. It contains the home of Charles Stewart Parnell which was built in 1777 by Samuel Hayes and is now the Parnell Museum. The park is rich in wildlife and notable features include the exotic tree trail and a well-developed arboretum. It lies mainly on the west bank of the Avonmore River covering 214 hectares of land. The ruins of Parnell's old sawmill and Parnell's well are located in the park.

Ballykeefe Wood
Ballykeefe WoodCo. Kilkenny, Ireland

A deciduous forest in Kilkenny and has an elevation of 192 metres. Ballykeefe Wood is situated nearby to Ballykeefe Cross Roads, close to Seomra Glas. The woodland features an abundance of bluebells and brambles amongst pedunculate oak and young ash. The wood is adjacent to the old Ballykeeffe limestone mine, which was refurbished in the 1980s and now features rock climbing and an amphitheatre.

Barntown Castle
Barntown CastleBarntown, Co. Wexford, Ireland

A beautiful public woodland, is noted for its aesthetic and recreational value. The geology of the hill is Ordovician granite – these rocks were formed during volcanic activity about 400 million years ago. It features three looped Slí na Sláinte routes individually waymarked – starting at the trailhead in the main car park/picnic area.

Carrickbyrne Hill
Carrickbyrne HillCarrickbyrne Hill, Scullaboge, Co. Wexford, Ireland

A majestic woodland of oak wood 23km from Wexford Town in County Wexford. It is set on a hard volcanic outcrop that resisted the weathering process and now stands out on the otherwise low lying flat landscape.

Crone Woods
Crone WoodsWicklow Way, Crone, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Crone Woods,is located in the northeastern section of the Wicklow Mountains, just below the summit of Maulin 570 metres, in Wicklow in the Ireland. Crone Woods have an extensive network of forest trails and hikes which can be accessed from the village of Enniskerry. The woods were once part of the Powerscourt Estate with records from the 13th-century showing the area was set aside as a royal hunting ground. The forest is owned and operated by Coillte, the Irish state forestry agency.

Donadea Forest Park
Donadea Forest ParkDonadea, Co. Kildare, W91 VK59, Ireland

Donadea Forest Park is situated in northwest Kildare and comprises of approximately 243 hectares of mixed woodland. It is part of the old Aylmer family estate. There are many historical features including the remains of the castle, walled gardens, church, tower, ice house, boat house and Lime Tree Avenue.

Killinthomas Wood
Killinthomas Wood2 Woodlands, Killyguire, Rathangan, Co. Kildare, Ireland

The 200-acre amenity area is a mixed hardwood conifer forest with very diverse flora and fauna. Killinthomas Wood is like something straight from a fairytale. This is truly a beautiful and relatively undiscovered area of Co Kildare.There are picnic tables and benches dotted throughout so it is also a great place for families to visit.

Littlewoods Forest
Littlewoods ForestCoalpits, Co. Meath, Ireland

Littlewood is a forest covering 28 hectares. Today it comprises a varied mix of conifer and broadleaved tree species. The trees were planted by the Slane estate sometime before 1840. Most of the trees planted were broadleaved, primarily oak which was such a valuable building timber – large stumps of oak are common throughout the forest.

MullaghmeenMullaghmeen, Co. Westmeath, Ireland

This is an solated area of forest rising above the farm land of north Westmeath. Mullaghmeen Forest is the largest planted beech forest in Ireland. Along with beech, within its 400 ha of forest. The Red Trail takes you to the summit of Mullaghmeen and provides magnificent views north across Lough Sheelin and into the neighbouring county of Cavan.

Newcastle Wood
Newcastle Wood4 Newcastle Road, Cloonkeen, Co. Longford, Ireland

A majesdtic woodland located in the Newcastle, Ballymahon, Co.Longford. This forest is a Coillte owned semi-mature mixed woodland of 325 hectares that extends to both sides of the River Inny, a main tributary of the River Shannon.

Oughaval Woods
Oughaval WoodsUnnamed Road, Oughaval, Co. Laois, Ireland

Oughaval Wood, about 1.5 kilometres out of Stradbally on the Carlow road, is a mixed woodland of some one hundred and fifty hectares of broadleaved trees, with more than twenty kilometres of paths to walk. It forms part of the Natural Heritage Area (NHA) of Stradbally Hill. The wood was once part of the Cosby Estate. Evidence of this is apparent in the form of old estate stone walls that run through the property and a folly called Cobbler’s Castle.

Ravensdale Forest Recreation Area
Ravensdale Forest Recreation AreaRavensdale Park, Mountpleasant, Co. Louth, Ireland

The Ravensdale Forest nature trail is located in the wooded demesne of the former seat of the Barons Clermont, which straddles the border between County Armagh in Northern Ireland and County Louth in the Republic of Ireland.The site is mixed woodland rising steeply to the summit of Black Mountain with many kilometres of forest roads and tracks. There are three way marked trails in the forest, the Tain Trail, the Ring of Gullion and the short but interesting Ravensdale Loop.

Map of Forests to explore in Leinster