Abbeyleix Bog Project – High Bog Walkway
The Abbeyleix Bog Project manages a 500 acre community bog in County Laois. The Collins Bog Walk and Killamuck Bog Walk are two looped walks centred on Abbeyleix Bog at the southern end of Abbeyleix town. You’ll find them registered with the Sports Council’s Trails Office. But the Abbeyleix Bog Project has a dedicated site that can be found at abbeyleixbog.ie
These beautiful looped walks take you through woodland and forestry paths scattered with benches and picnic tables. Noticeboards introduce you to some of the flora and fauna you can expect to see along these paths, and in the bogs.
Irish Nature Spotting
Keep an eye out for plants such as heather, bog rosemary, lichens and deer grass. Enjoy the colours and textures of your surroundings. On the bog walk witness peat forming mosses – there can be as many as 25 mosses found on raised bogs such as these.
When it comes to Irish wildlife – keep your eyes peeled for birds such as the skylark, woodcock and snipe, amphibians and animals such as the frog, fox and Irish hare. And of course invertebrates such as snails and spiders, along with butterflies and moths.
More on the Abbeyleix Bog Project
There is ample parking near the entrance of the bog walking trails at Abbeyleix Manor Hotel. Walk through the gap in the beech hedge, take a left and you’ll find the start. When we last visited we lunched at the hotel after our walk. But in future, we plan to bring our own.
The Collins Bog Loop
This trail is considered an easy walk. It’s a looped 4.5 km walk and should take about 1.5 hours. Dogs are allowed as long as they are kept on a lead. The loop is marked by a green arrow, with the start and finish point at the aforementioned Manor Hotel.
The Killamuch Bog Loop
This walking trail is also considered an easy walk. It’s a looped 8 km walk and should take about 2 hours. Again dogs are allowed as long as they are kept on a lead. The loop is marked by a purple arrow, with the start and finishing point at the Manor Hotel as per the Collins Bog Loop.
Our experience is of the Collins Bog Loop. The pathways and trails through the woodland and onto the bog were easily accessed, even with a stroller. We spotted lots of butterflies and bees. The colours of the bog changed as we walked. It really is a beautiful place, quiet on the ears but loud on serenity. Our preschoolers; Smith and Cassidy delighted in the experience. Smith eager to spot wildlife in the trees, grass, moss, and bog pools.
The boardwalk was wide enough to take the stoller we had Cassidy our littlest in, but narrowed as we came to the end of our walk across the bog. This wasn’t a problem for us as he could walk some of the way along the narrow boardwalk. And Patrick carried him the rest of the way through the woodland.
I mention it for those whose children don’t walk yet or for those whose prams or strollers aren’t as easy to fold and carry. So just be mindful – you will get the chance to enjoy this beautiful walk but you will have to turn around and return the way you came.
But for now please enjoy this video – I hope it inspires you to get out and enjoy nature, explore Ireland, and discover new things to do.
We’re looking forward to returning for more Abbeyleix Bog Project exploration. There is a riverbank, an old railway line and woodland tracks that bring you around old buildings such as the Old South School and Church of Ireland Church and the Lord’s Walk – all waiting for us to discover!
For more inspiration to travel the Island of Ireland visit: Travel the Island of Ireland