National Trails Day is taking place across Ireland this Sunday October 7.
It is billed as a celebration of Ireland’s wonderful variety of trails and a chance for everyone to enjoy some of our most beautiful countryside, forests, mountains and lakes.
In Laois there are seven events, catering for walkers of varied fitness and age, led by experienced guides, and free of charge.
In Cullenagh Wood, Ballyroan a forest walk will be led by Brendan Fingleton, setting off at 2.30, suitable for inexperienced walkers. Meet at forest entrance, follow signs from Ballyroan. The walk will last for about an hour and a half, suitable for those with a reasonable level of fitness.
‘In Search of Autumn Gold’ is the name of the guided walk at Brittas Wood in Clonaslee, led by Coillte’s Richard Jack. Suitable for families and older children, the walk will last 2.5 hours. Meet at forest entrance at 2.30pm.
A recreational cycle and paddle is on offer at Woodenbridge, near Durrow. The Duathlon Canoe/Cycle will set off from Woodenbridge. Bring your bike and meet at 11am to register. Canoes and buoyancy aids can be booked in advance, free of charge. Suitable for families with older children, the event starts at 11.30am and lasts about three hours, finishing with music in O’Connell’s Bar in Cullahill.
Cullahill Mountain walkers can meet at the Community Centre at 2.30pm. Suitable for ages 12+ with a reasonable level of fitness.
A four hour walk is on offer in Durrow, around the Leafy Loop. Meet at 2.00pm at the Castle Arms Hotel, led by Susan Lawlor.
In Emo there are two events, both family friendly. A 4.3km hike around Emo Court Demesne will set off at 10.30am from the entrance gate in the village. The walk will last about 1.5 hours, and is suitable for buggies and families with older children.
In the Autumn Forage Walk, families can explore and discover how Autumn changes the flora and fauna, gathering samples in forage bags and using a magnifying glass. Meet at Emo Court car park at 10.45am near the tea rooms.
For all events, wear sturdy footwear and bring a rain jacket. See www.nationaltrailsday.ie for more.