Slieve Bloom Experience

Sunday 18th November 2012


The Slieve Bloom Mountains are among the most unspoilt and least explored areas in Ireland. To quote the 2012 edition of Lonely Planet: "..the area is "rarely explored" by those on their first visit to Ireland and therefore is "wonderfully free of tour buses and souvenir stalls". Here you can experience the largest continuous area of upland blanket bog and forestry in Ireland. Mountain streams and waterfalls tumble into deep wooded valleys and friendly villages nestle in the foothills.

Trees, shrubs, heathers, bog mosses, bog cotton and other vegetation in bewildering variety, wild forest animals and insects surround the leisurely stroller or energetic hiker every step of the way. The Slieve Bloom Mountains are a Hill Walkers paradise. The mountains are not so high as to be dangerous, yet are not so low that they can still provide a challenge to every grade of walker.


Description of Trail

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 9Km 
  • Duration: 3/4 hours
  • Trailhead: Kinnitty Forest Entrance, Kinnitty
  • Terrain: Mix of forest, tracks and woodland trails

Situated close to the geographical centre of Ireland, the Slieve Bloom region links the counties of Laois and Offaly and is made up of forests, blanket bog of a type which is unique to Ireland, and hidden valleys which will be of interest to lovers of archaeology and nature. In 2007, a series of looped walks were developed at various trailheads in the region following a mix of forest tracks, riverbanks, old roadways, and grassy trails.

There are a few rough and rugged sections - but they rarely rise to high altitude and do not demand great stamina. This trail is a loop which start and finish at the Kinnitty Forest trailhead - key features include the grounds of Kinnitty Castle, the ruins of Glinsk Castle, and spectacular broadleaf woodlands.


Meeting Point

There are 2 meeting points:

  • 9:00am Dublin, Viking Boat, Essex Quay (front Smock Alley Theatre)
  • 10:40am : Kinnitty Forest Entrance, Kinnitty, Offaly

Route Dublin, Viking Boat - Kinnitty, Forest Entrance:

Directions to the Trailhead: From Kinnitty Village, take the R421 following the signposts for Mountmellick. After 200m veer right onto the R440 (signposted Mountrath). Continue along this road for 3km to reach the entrance to Kinnity Forest on your left. Note: The trailhead is signposted from Kinnitty.



We strongly encourage car-pooling. Please if you need or you can offer a lift, leave a message on this page. 

Estimated fuel cost Dublin-Kinnitty Forest and return is 40€ (so 10€ each for a car with 3 passengers, 13€ each fro a car with 2 passengers, etc.) 




Places are limited and on a first-book/first-served basis (attending list on this FB event page). . 



What bring

  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers, warm, dry walking clothing NO JEANS
  • Spare warm fleece
  • Hat and gloves
  • Plenty of food and drink for lunch and snacks
  • A rucksack large enough to carry it all in ideally with a waterproof liner
  • Poles and cameras optional.



In case of very bad weather condition the hike will be postponed and replaced with a moderate walk in the Dublin area. Please check the event page on facebook the day before the hike for latest news about the event.


Terms and Conditions

Finally, please note that this is not an organised walk, and as such, you won't be covered by insurance - we are simply an informal, like-minded group that meet regularly to enjoy a walk in the countryside, and if you choose to accompany us, you must take responsibility for your own safety. A condition of attending is that you leave no trace.

Facilitator for this event is Maurizio Pittau

Visit our Event Page