Coolmelagh Forest Recreation Walks (3)
Distance a. Prospect Loop Trail 3km (1.8 miles)
- Gibbet Hill Loop Trail 7km (4.3 miles)
- Coolmeelagh Loop Trail 12km (7.5 miles)
Ascent a. 130m; b. 140m; c. 140m
Walking Time a. 1 hour; b. 2 hours; c. 3.5 hours
Waymarking a. Blue; b. Orange; c. Red
Grade (National Trails Class) a. Easy; b. Moderate; c. Strenuous (3)
OSI Discovery Map Series 62 (trailhead) walks on 68 & 69 also
Grid Reference S963 604
Sat Nav 52.686419 -6.580275
Three looped walks climb to Gibbet Hill, an old English name for Hanging Hill, a place of execution where beautiful views meant that, no matter what your crime, your last sight on earth was heavenly. These loops on forest roads all rise with a steady climb close to the top of Gibbet Hill with breathtaking views on offer.
From Bunclody, head north for a car park on the right after 4km on the R746 towards Carnew.
- Windmills and a Marian Year cross at the summit where the ‘Gibbet’ once stood
- Views of Wexford, Carlow & Wicklow
- All kinds of native wildlife, such as Irish hare, fox, badger, Peregrine falcon, hen harrier raven
- Windmill Loop b. Kilbranish Loop
Distance a. 3km (1.9 miles); b. 5km (3.1 miles)
Ascent a. 70m; b. 130m
Walking Time a. 1 hour; b. 1 hour 45 mins.
Waymarking Green, purple.
Grade (National Trails Class) Easy (a. 2; b. 3)
OSI Discovery Map Series 68
Grid Reference S846 568
Sat Nav 52.656196 -6.753040
The Windmill Loop has uphill sections and a good surface suitable for families with young children. Large wind turbines fill the skyline on the summit of nearby Greenoge Hill. This is beside the deer park and many can be seen before dusk. Both loops partly follow The South Leinster Way along forestry road as it ascends to the top of Kilbranish Hill and on to Croaghan with its standing stone. The routes, in the shadow of Mount Leinster, offer wonderful views of the Clody Valley with particularly fine views from the summit of Croaghan over the plains of South Leinster.
From Bunclody, head north on the N80 for 300m; turn left onto Barkers Road (sign-posted Mount Leinster). After 4km, the walk starts in the car park on the right.
Views of the Clody Valley, Sika deer, windmills, standing stones on Croaghan Mountain.