Feast your eyes on autumn colours and enjoy the satisfying crunch of leaves underfoot on a scenic walk in Monaghan. Whether you are seeking to recharge your batteries on a sensory woodland amble, or challenge yourself to a bracing, hilltop hike, here are some of the best Monaghan walks to experience this autumn.
The Rock Walk in Sliabh Beagh is a relatively easy 6.5km road walk, wending its way through unspoilt countryside and upland blanket bog. The natural grasses, ferns and brambles provide a colourful backdrop all year round. The walk kicks off just across the road from a small parking bay, 4km from the Sliabh Beagh Hotel. Pop into Sliabh Beagh Adventures before you set off to grab a map and a coffee to go.
Follow the signs from Lough Egish to Bawn and the Senator Billy Fox Memorial Park. As well as a magnificent stretch of broadleaf woodland and (weather dependent) a gushing river, there are ample paths and walkways suitable for pushchairs and scooters, as well as four-legged companions. On weekends, Brews & Bakes provides refreshment for walkers in the form of tea, coffee and freshly baked treats.
A maze of trails at Dartrey Forest Park, Rockcorry, covers native and imported trees, both evergreen and deciduous, including magnificent 200-year-old beech and oak trees. Look out for park residents including native red squirrel and Sika deer.
Allow an hour for the self-guided ‘One Village, Two Voices’ Glaslough Village Heritage Trail, a fascinating peep into the stories of the Leslie family (of Castle Leslie fame) and the village community – the two closely linked for over 350 years. The trail starts beside the Famine Monument in the centre of the village. Download the free app and away you go!
Choose from several walks in Castleblayney and around Lough Muckno, including the short stroll around White Island, which affords the best views of leafy Black Island in all its autumnal glory. Extend your walk along past Castleblayney Outdoor Adventure and loop back up behind Hope Castle to see the Blayney Family Burial Vault, the walled garden and orchard. Pick up a map from The Trailer Café for an overview of walks and attractions in the area.
Carrickmacross’ Convent Avenue offers a pleasant, leafy escape from the hustle and bustle of town. Park by the Municipal Offices and start out on the 1.1km path that takes you past the Carrick Aces running track, down to Lough Naglack, which translates as ‘lake of the hollow’, its adjoining reed swamp, woodland and grassland providing habitat to a surprisingly diverse amount of plants and wildlife.