The Laois Walks Festival is celebrating its 16th year of offering an opportunity for walkers to experience all that Laois has to offer.
The walking festival which runs throughout the month of July offers 28 different walks in the county with varying levels of difficulty.
This voluntary community run initiative provides an opportunity to explore some of Laois’s stunning views and countryside in the company of local guides.
This year’s packed programme features walks for all abilities, from the enthusiastic well-equipped walker who relishes the challenge of the Slieve Bloom Mountains to the gentle rambler who is out to enjoy a pleasant guided walk.
The festival was officially launched this week by Susan Lawlor, the Laois Walks Festival Co-Ordinator.
“The festival offers something for everyone," she said.
"This festival could not happen without the goodwill and support of several private and state landowners including Coillte, National Parks and Wildlife Services, Office of Public Works and Inland Waterways who provide access to the walkways," she added.
Ms Lawlor also acknowledged the support from Laois Partnership Company, Laois Sports Partnership and Laois County Council which help to organise the festival.
Laois Partnership CEO, Anne Goodwin commended the local communities for their continued commitment to developing the walking product in county Laois.
“Each walk is maintained by the local community all year round," she said.
“During the festival, members of the local community provide the stewards and the light refreshments. After attending the Laois Walks festival for the last fifteen years, I can confirm that it is the camaraderie between the walkers and the local communities that has led to its success," she concluded.
Whatever type of a walker you are, everyone is warmly welcomed to take part in the Laois Walks Festival this July.
The festival will kick off on Saturday, July 1 with a walk in Emo Court Demesne at 11am.
Other walks in the pipeline include Oakvale Woods, Stradbally, a family walk in Ballinakill and a Portlaoise Family Friday walk to name a few.
More information on www.laoispartnership.ie.
The festival itinerary is €2 per walk or festival tickets can be purchased for €25.