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Dog Friendly Hikes For Every County Of Ireland

Getting outside for a walk has been a great way to get out this past year, but sometimes those usual routes can get a little boring. We’ve compiled our top list of dog-friendly hiking spots for every county in Ireland, so you and your canine friend can go somewhere new and exciting together! Please remember to always keep your dog on a lead, it keeps you and your dog safe while you’re out adventuring.

 

  1. Carlow: Killbrannish Forest Walks have two signposted walks and many areas to explore. It has a smaller 3km loop called the ‘Windfarm Loop’ and a 5km loop called the ”The Kilbrannish Forest Loop” and takes roughly 2 hours to complete. The hike has stunning views of the countryside and walkers following the 5km loop will see views from the Croaghaun Summit. It has a large car park and areas where you can have a picnic with your canine pal.
  2. Cavan: Dún na Rí Forest Park covers 565 acres! It is just outside Kingscourt in Cavan and is part of the Cabra Estate. There are four walks that vary from 1.5 – 2km, and the park is plentiful in wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for red and grey squirrels, stoats, rabbits and more! Suitable for all skill levels and all of the family can enjoy the nature and history available.
  3. Clare: Burren National Park has an abundance of trails and options for all levels, the trails have many activities and range in length from 7 to 17km! There are five trails well marked that take you along the limestone grasslands and into woodlands, perfect for your furry friend to sniff to their heart’s content! While you’re in the beautiful County Clare, why not drop into our store in Ennis? Dogs are always welcome!
  4. Cork: Gougane Barra Forest Park is hidden away in a valley at the edge of the Sheehy mountains. Perfect for your and your pup to get in touch with nature!  The park has high pine forests and beautiful views of the lake. There are six walking trails available so everyone can get involved, ranging from 1.3 to 2.5km. Immerse yourself in the deep valley with plenty of plant, animal and birdlife.  Perfect for all seasons, with areas suitable for picnics.
  5. Donegal: Glenveagh National Park is situated 24km northwest of Letterkenny. Lose yourself in the rugged mountains, crystal lakes, waterfalls and woodlands throughout the park. Glenveagh National Park includes most of the Derryveagh Mountains, the Poisoned Glen and part of Errigal Mountain, with 7 walks available for hiking. Trails range from 1km for beginners to 8km for the more advanced.
  6. Dublin: Howth Cliff Path Walk is a beautiful coastal walk for you and your dog. The trail starts at the village’s Dart Station and takes two hours to complete. Walkers get to appreciate the charming harbour area before trailing away from the village onto the wild clifftops. Expect a rocky walk and narrow loops, you’ll get to enjoy views of Dublin Bay and Lambay Island. Before you ascend down to the carpark you’ll get to see the stunning Baily Lighthouse.
  7. Galway: Connemara National Park has it all, scenic mountains, beautiful boglands, wild grasslands and woodlands for you and your pup to explore. There are four walking trails in Connemara National Park that range from 0.5km to 3.7km up to the rugged Diamond Hill. You could start at the 0.5km Ellis Wood Nature Trail that’s covered in wildflowers and woodlands, then go onto the 1.5km Sruffaunboy Nature Trail where the higher you climb, the better the views! The harder of treks, Diamond Hill is divided into two trails, you can stop halfway up to take in the views to keep climbing for views of Kylemore Valley, The Twelve Bens Mountains and if you’re lucky you’ll see a glimpse of Inishturk and Inishbofin Islands! Drop into our Oranmore Store where you can stock up on all the essentials, and bring your dog along to Renville Park if you’ve still got energy!
  8. Kerry: The Gap Of Dunloe stretches through the MacGuillicuddy Reeks mountain range, a magnificent glacial valley that needs to be seen to be appreciated. People eager to see the beauty of Kerry have two options, a one-way walk that is 11 km or a full round trip of 22km! If you decide to experience the trek the one way, it is suitable for relatively fit adults and children, but beware the looped trail is better for those who are experienced hikers!
  9. Kildare: Donadea Forest Park is in a National Heritage Area and covers a massive 234 hectares of wild woodlands in northwest Kildare. The park is brimming with history including the remains of Donadea Castle, estate and walled gardens. Let your dog sniff out all of the smells through the trees and wildlife, and watch as ducks and waterhens swim along the large lake covered in water lilies. Its an easy walk at 1.6km that the whole family can enjoy. Make sure to look for the 9/11 memorial that has been dedicated to Sean Tallon a young firefighter, whose family had emigrated from Donadea.
  10. Kilkenny: Mountain Grove Loop is a beautiful trail that follows loop forestry tracks gently up and downhill through woodlands. A 4km walk that allows you to enjoy the peacefulness of nature and gentle sounds of the streams nearby. The trail is well maintained with deep heathers embedded along the woodlands. There are steep inclines and declines so take it on with a sense of adventure!
  11. Laois: Glenbarrow Eco walk is in the heart of the Slieve Bloom mountains, at the source of the River Barrow, the second-longest river in Ireland. One of the most scenic parts of the Slieve Bloom area with flowing waterfalls and steep valleys. The area is surrounded by peace and tranquillity and is one of the three popular walks in the Slieve Bloom area. The loop trail is 8.9km and is accessible all year round.
  12. Leitrim: Acres Lake Floating Boardwalk is a 600m floating boardwalk, the first of it’s kind in Ireland! Situated in the picturesque village of Drumshanbo. The walk is 6.5km and follows the Shannon Blueway from Aces Lake to Battlebridge Lock. Take in the spectacular scenery around the lake and bring a picnic to enjoy while you’re out.
  13. Limerick: Paradise Hill Loop is a 9.5km loop trail near Ballylanders, Limerick. It features wildflowers, green pastures, woodlands, hills and mountains. The trail is ideal for bird watching and hiking, ideal for enjoying the unspoilt landscape and heritage sites. The loop finishes up at the foot of the Galtee Mountains, keep an eye out for deers and enjoy the panoramic views at the top.
  14. Longford: Corn Hill Walk is the highest hill in County Longford at nearly 300 metres above sea level! You’ll see passage graves and two cairns as the route is steeped with history, along with a great forest setting that will let your dog use their nose! It’s a 1.6km trail one way or roughly 3km as a loop, so suitable for beginners or a leisurely stroll. Our Longford store has all of the snacks and goodies to replenish your dog after the walk!
  15. Louth: Ravensdale Forest is an 8.5km loop trail near Dundalk that features wildflowers, great views and mixed woodland. The trail starts by rising steeply and brings you up to the summit of the Black Mountain as you take in all nature has to offer. There are 3 marked trails, the Tain Trail, the Ring of Gullion and the shorter Ravensdale Loop. Rich in archaeological features like standing stones and old bridges, you can sit and have a picnic alongside one of the flowing streams.
  16. Mayo: Wild Nephin National Park is Ireland’s sixth National Park and can be found along the Western seaboard in northwest Mayo. Covering a vast 15,000 hectares, with Atlantic blanket bog, mountains and rugged wilderness. This is one of the last intact active blanket bog systems in Ireland, allowing you to enjoy nature in an uninhabited and unspoilt setting.  Find a variety of natural flora, grassland, lakes, and rivers that flow into the sea. Foxes, badgers, hares, otters, red deer and more occupy this land, and the birdlife is a fantastic feature of the park. There is a 2km looped walk that starts at the visitor centre that gives views of Achill Island and the mountain range. The Claggan Mountain Coastal Trail is a 2km trail and the Letterkeen Loops range from 6km to 12km. You can find our brick and mortar shops in Ballina and Castlebar while you’re out west!
  17. Meath: Kells Girley Bog Eco Walk is a 5.6km walk that covers varying landscapes of forest and bogland. Taking you through a secluded woodland, along a forest track before entering Girley Bog, one of the few remaining raised bogs in County Meath. You’ll be able to listen to the birds sing as you go, as the area is rich in plant, animal and birdlife. The loop brings you through quiet country lanes as you loop back towards the car park.
  18. Monaghan: Rossmore Forest Park is located 3.5km from Monaghan town, with 6 different walks for you to choose from. The trails range from 0.8km to 8km, meaning there’s one suitable for everybody. The Castle trail is well known and passes by the ruins of Rossmore Castle, the fish hatchery and the walled garden, where it brings you to a yew tree avenue alongside various lake trails. The special feature of the park is the rhododendron and azalea display, a colourful display of flowers for you to enjoy.
  19. Offaly: Lough Boora Parklands has breathtaking landscapes, an abundance of flora display and wildlife that can be spotted amongst the grasslands, lakes and wetlands. The parkland consists of a collection of natural and manmade lakes, with 50km of trails to explore. It offers trails ranging from a short stroll to longer treks to take you through the park. The sculpture park route is 3.3km and consists of 24 innovative works of art along the dramatic landscape, the mesolithic route is 9.3km, one of the longer routes and combines the Leabeg Wetland and Mesolithic Site trails. The Finnamore Lakes Route is 11.7km where you can watch birds swoop over the lake. The Turraun walking path is the longest route available in the park at 15.8km and is on the Pollagh side of the Turraun Wetland.
  20. Roscommon: Lough Key Forest Park suit walkers of all abilities. The Drumman’s Island Trail is 3.5km and brings you along the lake shore and the quieter parts of the park, the Miners Way Historical Trail is 4.3km and takes you into the heart of the forest with mixed woodland. Sli Slainte Trail is 3km, made for walking and ideal for getting the heart rate going, whereas the 4km Bog Garden Trail lets you explore the lakeshore and canal with reeds and abundant wildlife. The trails are generally flat and easy to follow, and you have a range of areas to stop and take it all in with your pup in tow!
  21. Sligo: Benbulben Forest Walk takes you on forest road along the northern face of the iconic Benbulbin tabletop mountain with panoramic views of Sligo and Donegal Bays, Inishmurray Island and the Ox and Knocknarea Mountains and as far as Sliabh League on a clear day. The loop runs for around 5.5km, the walks are suitable for most and the views stretch across the Atlantic. If you’re feeling more adventurous you can venture further onto more treks and rambles nearby, such as the Devil’s Chimney, Glencar Waterfall, and Gleniff Horseshoe. While you’re here you can drop into our Sligo Store, our first store! You’ll find everything you need here for all of your furry friends.
  22. Tipperary: The Glen of Aherlow is a great place for road tripping with your pet, with numerous low-level mountain walks that offer an abundance of beautiful scenery. The two-loop walk trail heads feature 8 walks, that range from 2 to 10km. Each walk takes you through woodlands and forest tracks with spectacular views over to the Galtee Mountains.
  23. Waterford: Gurteen Woods is a 5km loop trail that features beautiful wildflowers and is good for all skill levels. Expect great views of Slievenamon, while stopping for a picnic as you pass through the woods. Take your time and stroll along forest paths, with views of Knokanaffrin, Knocksheegowna, Raven’s Rock and Slievenamon.
  24. Westmeath: Portlick Millenium Forest is an enjoyable walk situated in Co. Westmeath is on the eastern side of Lough Ree, that brings you through wooded glades and farmlands of Portlick and the Whinning peninsula. The trail is 5 km with shorter alternatives available, you can enjoy native trees while taking in the views of Lough Ree and an old ruin features.
  25. Wexford: Raven Point Wood is a woodland walking trail located near Curracloe Beach, consisting of a 6.8km walk that runs through sand dunes with woodlands of pine trees. See stunning views of Wexford Harbour as you go, with appearances from animals such as red squirrels, grey seals and more! The wildlife reserve nearby see’s many different types of birdlife, especially geese as the winter draws in.
  26. Wicklow: Glendalough is known as  ‘the valley of the two lakes‘ for its scenic landscapes, rich history and archaeology and abundance of wildlife. There are nine way-marked walking trails in the valley of Glendalough, ranging from 1 to 11.5km in total. You’ll be surrounded by stunning mountains, wild woodlands and waterfalls! Spot animals like squirrels, deer and falcons. A great place to really disconnect and bond with your four-legged friend.

 

We hope you find somewhere you can enjoy a big day out with your pup! Why not check out our post on everything you’ll need for a doggy day out! You can shop our section of essentials for a great adventure here.

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