The Slieve Bloom Way in the heart of Ireland is a circular walk of 75km which takes the walker on a pleasurable trip through many remarkable glens, outcrops heathery hills, wonderous waterfalls and lofty summits and the quaint rural villages of Kinnitty Cadamstown and Clonaslee.
The Slieveblooms is a very peaceful area and allows the walker to get close to nature with nothing to disturb you but an occasional Hen Harrier or Buzzard. The wild and mysterious Slieve Bloom Mountains which stretch across the borders of Offaly and Laois boast remote hidden valleys and rocks ranging in age from 300 to 450 million years old. Much of the higher reaches of the mountain are designated as a special area of conservation to be preserved as a unique amenity for generations to come. Modest in height the highest point is Arderin (translated as Height of Ireland) at 527 metres.
The Slieve Bloom Way follows a mix of forest tracks, riverbanks, old roadways, grassy trails, boardwalk and minor roads. There are a few rough and rugged areas, but these rarely rise to high altitude and do not demand great stamina.
This Way marked trail is moderate to hard in difficulty and suitable to medium levels of fitness or higher.
Although Irish Trails web-site tells you the trail starts and finishes at Glenbarrow it can be accessed from six key trailheads throught the Slieveblooms
Glenbarrow Start from Rosenallis village on the R422, between the towns of Mountmellick and Birr. Take the minor road, signposted Glenbarrow, and follow the trailhead signposting. Total distance from Rosenallis is approximately 5km.
Brittas woods Entrance at Clonaslee Forest
Clonaslee village is located on the R422, between the towns of Mountmellick and Birr. The trailhead is signposted from Clonaslee village and is located approximately 0.2km from the village on the road to Brittas Lake.
Cadamstown village is located on the R421, between the towns of Mountmellick and Birr. The trailhead is located at the car park near Dempsey’s pub in the village.
Kinnitty Forest trail head
Kinnitty Village is locatedon the R421, between the towns of Mountmellick and Birr. The trailhead is signposted from the village and is located approximately 2.8km from the village on the R440 towards Mountrath.
Monciknew Forest Car Park The trailhead is signposted from Clonaslee and is located approximately 12km from the village.
There are carparking facilities at each of these trailheads.
The Way can be completed in 3 days or can be broken into a series of shorter trailhead to trailhed treks- approximately 4-5 hours long. The route is Waymarked with Black or Brown posts bearing YELLOW arrows and Trekking Man. Be observant as on occasion you will meet directional arrows of other colours which are for shorter looped walks which start and and return to one of the trailheads.
Ardmore Country House is a walkers welcome B&B located in Kinnitty. Here guests can park free for the duration of the walk. The facilities for walkers who are guests includes free car parking for the duration of your walk, and a drying room for your gear. Chris the owner is a keen walker herself and as well as providing you with information can also provide you with a taxi number to take you to and from the trail head, and a wholesome packed lunch. Dinner is available at the Dungeon Bar in Kinnitty Castle Hotel.