Take time to explore and immerse yourself in Ballyhoura Country, County Limerick, not far from Limerick city centre. Ballyhoura Country is an area of rolling green pastures, woodlands, hills, and mountains with an abundance of noteworthy heritage sites, thrilling outdoor activities and stunning views of Ireland’s vast landscape.
Explore the great Limerick outdoors and the Ballyhoura walks with the added comfort of knowing you can recover in our leisure centre after.
Check out our top 5 Ballyhoura Trails and Hikes.
Clare Glens Loop Walk
This walk is perfect for families with young children or those looking for a short stroll through breath-taking forest scenery with the option of a 2 or 4 km route.
Crystal clear waters of Clare river flow through dense forest in a red sandstone gorge to create a truly beautiful setting. The numerous waterfalls which flow through the sandstone also help to make this loop walk incredibly picturesque.
Trailhead: Clare Glens, Murroe, Co. Limerick. 25-minute drive from the hotel.
Distance: 2km & 4km options
Time: 30 min to 1 hour (2km) or 1 – 1.5 hours (4km)
Trail type: Forest paths
Keale River Walk
If you would like to get a real feel for an Irish woodland and riverbank with at least forty shades of green then the Keale river walk is the perfect solution.
Keale River is a level walk fenced from start to finish with many little bridges in between. It is completely safe and ideal for families. It is a 7km river walk between the two villages of Glenroe and Ballyorgan.
Trail start point: Ballyorgan, Co. Limerick. 50-minute drive from the hotel.
Time: 2.5 to 3.5hrs
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Trail type: Minor roads, riverbanks, forestry roads and woodland paths.
Darragh Hills Loop Walk
Venture through fields and forestry to reach the summit and enjoy the 360 degree view of the beautiful Ballyhoura. According to a local story passed down through generations, tenants in this area would hoist a flag atop this pile of stones to inform others that the local landlord was in the process of collecting rent. The Darragh Hills loop is a favourite for the more experienced hikers.
Trail start point: Darragh Bridge, Darragh, Co Limerick. A 55-minute drive from the hotel.
Time: 2hrs 30 mins – 3hrs
Trail type: Forestry roads, woodland paths
Blackrock Loop Walk
Climb to the highest point on the Ballyhouras and on a clear day, see all six counties of Munster from the summit. Walkers will also be able to spot the outline of a pigeon in the rocky landscape- if you’re eagle-eyed enough to find it! This loop entails a climb of Seefin Mountain. Seefin means ‘Finn’s seat’ in Irish.
This mountain is said to have been the spot where the giant, Finn McCool would sit and wash his feet in the River Shannon. This is indeed an impressive feat as the nearest point of the River Shannon is approximately 50 kilometres from Seefin!
The Blackrock loop is classed as difficult so be sure to do your research before setting out on your exploration!
Trail start-point: Greenwood (Ballyhoura) Forest, Ardpatrick. 45 minutes drive from the hotel.
Time: 2hr30min – 3hrs
Trail Type: Mix of minor roads, paths and forest tracks
This trail intertwines with the mountain bike trails crisscrossing the mountain. Keep an eye out for glimpses of bikers as gravity pulls them down the mountain! If you’d like to have a go, head to the trailhead in Ardpatrick to rent a bike.
The views from Knockduv Loop are stunning. If you are looking for a good panorama of Country Limerick, take a detour after your walk to the nearby ancient monastery of Ardpatrick. The steep trail on the edge of Ardpatrick village is worth climbing to enjoy the view from the top and to soak in 500 years of history.
Trail start-point: Ballinaboola woods car park, Ballyhea. 50 Minute drive from hotel
Time: 1hr and 15mins to 1hr and 30 mins
Nearest town/village: Ardpatrick, Charleville
Trail type: Forestry roads and tracks
For more information on hikes, trails, outdoor activities, and guided tours, click here.