Slieve Bloom Way
Please note this trail can be started and finished at the Monicknew, Kinnitty, Cadamstown and Clonaslee trailheads as well as Glenbarrow. There is car parking available at all of these, however the car park at Glenbarrow is heavily used and it can be difficult to find a space here.
Although their highest point, called Arderin or 'the height of Ireland', is at 527 m, the isolated range of the Slieve Bloom Mountains have a presence that belies their height. They stand alone in Ireland's Central Plain, which means they can be seen for many miles around and the views from their heights are very extensive. The Slieve Bloom Way, a 70 km circuit of the range, crosses high, heathery ridges and dips down into many deep and beautiful glens through which streams flow, hidden landscapes as full of character as they are of stories and legends. The range is heavily forested with modern conifers which lends much of the route good terrain on forestry roads but means long sections have little outlook. Generally terrain consists of forestry tracks, tarmac roads, mostly quiet, and paths beside streams and over open moorland, some of which can be wet and muddy. Apart from in Kinnity, there is no accommodation available on the actual route, but there are towns and villages of considerable character strung around the range, some quite close to the route, that provide overnight accommodation. The total aggregate ascent over the route is 1275m, but there are no significant climbs. For more information follow external link to Shannon Region Trails
At Start/Finish - car park at Glenbarrow
The upgrade work at Clarnahinch / Ballyhuppahane is now completed and the Slieve Bloom Way returned to its original route here. All diversion signage has been removed.
5 kms or 14% of the Way follows local roads. Some soft ground may be encountered on parts of this route.
***Dogs not permitted on any section which crosses private farmland.***
Map Guide for Slieve Bloom Way & Offaly Way - Laois Offaly Walking Partnership / Slieve Bloom Way Map - EastWest Mapping
At Start: None.At End: None
Sylvia from Offaly
Adam from United States
Michelle from Laois
Eoghan from Dublin
Richard from Laois
Many thanks to Ann and Peter at Laois Partnership they helped me design the most effective route. Peter was my go-to-man for the trip and checked in with me regularly to make sure I was headed in the right direction. He couldn't have done more to help me out and they both extended great Co. Laois hospitality and friendliness.
Being from Laois myself, this was a chance to explore a part of the county that I didn't know well. The trail was excellently marked out and easy to follow. Just as I wondered if another marker should be appearing - there it was!
I started in Monicknew ending up in Clonaslee on day 1 and overnighted in Kinnity on day 2. My brother then joined me for the shortest leg back to Moniknew on day 3. IT was an epic journey.
Really got away from it all and enjoyed the beautiful scenery, being close to nature and the abundance of peace and quiet.
Many thanks again to all involved and congrats on having a great trail like this in Co. Laois.
Criostoir from Westmeath
Philip from Galway
Colm and Gill from Offaly
The help and advice available here and on the phone (Thanks especially to Mark and Ann in the Laois Partnership group) was above and beyond. You can't beat a chat with someone who knows the sections, and can advise on the all important ability required to tackle each section (please do take heed on fitness required etc). I don't think you'll get the kind of contact and advice we got, on many other trails. Thank you.
Daniela from Dublin
It was tough but worth it, you will find great natural sights and rewarding views, camping spots are easy to find if you plan your trip close to water sources etc. It's not easy to do it in a short timeframe, especially if you are carrying your load, so make sure you are fit or plan an extra day.
Less entertaining part is a long walk on a regional road after Glenregan, for us this was on the 2nd day. I kinda wish that is something which could be changed.
Signs are everywhere - we nearly never needed our maps, that's the easy part! You don't meet many people at all, so great for mindfulness.
Ian martin from Laois
We definitely missed a sign or it wasn't there about 6km outside Clonaslee as we added approx 2km onto the route. We also couldn't find the sign to take us to the bridge over the Barrow so instead made our own route through the young forest which eventually brought us to the top of the Glenbarrow waterfall so we crossed there. Only managed to arrive at Monicknew slightly after dark which put us under pressure to set up camp, this was mainly due to underestimating the Route of 32km, brilliant views of Leinster and Munster and the boardwalk on Capard was a godsend.
Day 2 was a shorter planned walk to Kinnity as it's a nice town to stop and resupply, it was approx 16km and although there was a lot of road walking there was also a nice forestry walk with a well received picnic bench shortly after leaving the road which was ideally placed for lunch.
Camped close to Kinnity Castle and got a great coffee and bun in the Anti Social Cafe.
Day 3 we finished off our walk starting early, 20km was our planned route as we skipped a couple of kms near Cadamstown as it was mainly road walking. Lots of wildlife to see as we left Kinnity and there were some lovely little areas especially as you crossed the 2 footbridges halfway along.
Finished the entire route completely rain free which was excellent for October, some rain during the night which didn't affect us.
Excellent 3 days but might have been better to shorten the route on Day 1 and just the 2 locations between Clonaslee and Glenbarrow where the signs were a bit iffy