Pull on the boots for Laois Walking Festival

Bog, road, canal, mountain and woodland are all set to be explored in Laois this July as the 14th annual Laois Walks Festival launches a busy programme of 22 walks.

Bog, road, canal, mountain and woodland are all set to be explored in Laois this July as the 14th annual Laois Walks Festival launches a busy programme of 22 walks.

The programme was launched in Portlaoise last Thursday by Laois Walks Festival Committee Chairman, Chris Horan, who had a special word of thanks for the landowners who make the walk possible.

“I would like to thank the landowners, which includes Coillte, National Parks and Wildlife Services, Office of Public Works and Inland Waterways, for providing access to the walkways”, he said.

The festival kicks off with a 9km woodland walk on The Derries, Ballybrittas on Wednesday July 1 and will finish with a 12 km walk taking in the Leafy Loop in Durrow on Friday July 31.

It is the camaraderie between walkers and the local communities who help out every year that is the secret to its success.

“Each walk is maintained by the local community all year round. After attending the Laois Walks festival for the last fourteen years, I can confirm that it is the camaraderie between the walkers and the local communities that has led to its success”, said Anne Goodwin CEO of Laois Partnership, at the launch.

She praised local communities for their continued work developing the walks, stewarting during the festival and providing refreshments.

The festival is supported by Laois Partnership Company, Laois Sports Partnership and Laois County Council.

For a festival brochure or €20 festival tickets, contact Laois Partnership on 057 8661900. See laoiswalksfestival on facebook, or see www.laoispartnership.ie