Slieve Bloom Way

County Laois
20 reviews
Grade Strenuous
Length 70.5 km
Time 3.75 days
Format Loop
Ascent 1275 m
Dogs Allowed No
Waymarking Yellow arrow on black background
Start Point
Finish Point
Nearest Town to Start Clonaslee
Grid Ref. N 368 081
Lat. and Long. 53.12221, -7.45025

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 60 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

Trail Management


Car parking
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 Guides

Map Guides

Map Guide for Slieve Bloom Way & Offaly Way - Laois Offaly Walking Partnership / Slieve Bloom Way Map - EastWest Mapping

OSI Maps

OSI Maps

Discovery Series Sheet 54
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

At Start: None.At End: None

20 trail reviews
Write your own review of this trail

Richard Butler from Dublin

Saturday 16th January 2016.

A group of ten from the Blue Moon Ramblers did a 10 mile circuit from Castleconor to Kinnitty Castle. Despite very cold/wet/wintery conditions we had a very pleasurable walk. A lovely part of hidden Ireland.The path was well marked with a gentle terrain on this stretch. Allowing for the weather conditions we had a very welcome break in the charming Kinnitty Castle. The talk is of going back to do further sections of the route.

Thanks to Ann Lanigan & Mark Clancy from the Laois partnership for their help and assistance.

Thomas from Belgium

My girlfriend and I did this trail two weeks ago. We started in Glenbarrow and walked in clockwise direction. Because we camped along the way, we were quite heavy loaded and so we walked it in three days. Although we did spare some kilometres by taking a shortcut from Glenregan straight to Cadamstown, bypassing Kinnity. There we could then use our saved time to drink a pint in the pub.

We did really like the trail! The view and scenery is beautiful, especially on the Ridge of Capard! The forests are beautiful as well, and the woods around the Giant's Tomb look as if they came straight out of a fairytale. The trail differs from dry gravel roads to soggy forest paths and fields. There are some stretches of tarmac road, but not too many. Be sure to take insect spray with you as there can be some nasty mosquitoes in dry and calm weather along the way!

The terrain is waymarked well, but there are some places where 'the yellow man' doesn't stand out too much in the vegetation. Especially at dusk you will have to keep your eyes wide open. On the gravel road from Moanameny to Monicknew there is one marker damaged at a crossroad and it isn't really clear which direction to take without the detailed map (2).

We didn't really see many people along the way, but those who we saw were very friendly and helpful! A bit like the rest of Ireland, or what we saw, I suppose. A special big thank you to Ann Lanigan for helping us at the last possible moment and getting us the ride and info we needed!

Best regards,

Thomas & Agaat

Edmundas from Lithuania

Did this trail a month and a half ago. I enjoyed this trail so much that I think to do it again. Saw many wild animals during the way. My personal favourite place was Silver River near to Cadamstown. All trail is well signed and it's almost impossible to get lost even without map.


Dermot from Dublin

I completed this trail twice recently, once on Easter Saturday and once the following Saturday. It's a fantastic trail, well signposted with an impressive variety of scenery and terrain and very little road walking.

By running the descents, I was able to complete the trail om my second attempt in just over 10 hrs, averaging 7km per hour over the whole trail.

The weather was fine on both days but there were a few hail showers on the second Saturday. One was heavy (hail, sleet and even snow!) while I was crossing the very muddy Ridge of Capard.

Once again, I found the signposting around Monicknew to be confusing, with one marker (on the way towards Capard) sending the walker up steps, over fallen trees and into a jungle!

All in all, a great experience. I'll be back to do it again with some runner friends later in the summer. Is it possible to do it in 8 hrs? Is there any official record?


Ailbhe from Laois

This trail has been on my doorstep for years but I only got around to walking it this year.

A group of us completed it in two and a half days. We started in Clonaslee and walked to Kinnity on day 1, then Kinnity to Glenbarrow on day 2 and Glenbarrow to Clonaslee on the last day.

It is a really nice trail filled with a mix of terrain, my favourite stretch was probably between Monicknew and Glenbarrow as the views from the Ridge of Cappard are pretty impressive. The trail is really well waymarked and easy to follow

Jeroen from Belgium

This year I did the Slieve Bloom Way again. I must be honest, last year I did not complete the trail because of the bad weather. Now I have seen all of it, I have to say it is the best trail I have done in Ireland!

The help of Ann was as allways great! Thank you for that! Again!

If you go with a tent, you should definitely make a stop in Kinnity. The pub of John has been extended by a tent pitch. For those who are not taking a tent, you can

Dermot from Dublin

I've just completed the Slieve Bloom Way in the last two days of 2014. I consider it to be one of the best of the Irish trails. The waymarking is excellent (apart from some missing posts around Monicknew which got me seriously lost for a while). There's great variety in the scenery and terrain and the very small number of people I met were extremely friendly and helpful.

I started at Glenbarrow and made it to Cadamstown on the first day, where I camped on the village green in -5 degrees. A few pints in Fitzpatrick's pub warmed me up. The next day I had a longer hike and ended up finishing the last 5km in the dark. The stretch across the Ridge of Cappard was challenging especially as the ground was frozen and there was an icy wind.

My favourite stretch was the beautiful riverside walks at Glenbarrow, Clonaslee and Cadamstown. It was wonderful to see how well maintained were the pathways and boardwalks. It was great also to see all the looped walks available too.

It would be great to see official 'campers welcome' signs in Kinnity, Cadamstown and Clonaslee. I couldn't afford hotel accommodation and enjoy camping but I wasn't sure if it was ok to camp.

Jeroen from Belgium

In January this year I did the Slieve Bloom Way in Ireland. Maybe not the best time of the year to hike this trail but I really enjoyed it. The weather was extremely bad, but so I could really experience the typical 'Irish weather'! Rain, sun, hail, sun, snow storm, sun, ... And all that on one day. This trail has lots of variety of forest and open plain, little paved roads, streams, waterfalls, ... very nice! Good footwear is a must! We passed some locals along the trail, stopped for a few pints in the pub of John Clendennen, and I must say that everybody was very friendly and helpfull!

I'd like to mention that there is no better guide than Ann Lanigan of the tourist information centre! She was a great help before, during and after the walk. She arranged we could camp in the wild, picked us up at the station, brought us to the start point of the trail and walked with us to get us on the right track. Her enthusiasm knows no limits!! Thanks a lot Ann and maybe I'll come back when the sun is shining! :-)

Heather from Dublin

I really enjoyed walking the Slieve Bloom Way, I walked it with six of my friends in two days. It is full of character beautiful streams and lovely wooded forests,sometimes you felt you were in an enchanted glen and all that was missing was the fairies. It was breathtaking. On the moorland it was quite boggy so that slowed us down a lot but we were really lucky with the weather. We started our walk at Kinnity and went anticlockwise going through Monicnew Cappard and Glenbarrow and then decided to walk through the forest where we were collected by who brought us back to the Slieve Bloom Bar in Kinnity where we were staying. Donncha collected us the next day and brought us back to the forest to finish our walk through Clonsalee and Cadamstown and finally back to the start at Kinnity. Fab weekend everyone was so nice and helpful and such fun.
If I was to do it again I would do it over two and a half days we walked too long on the first day and were so happy to see Donnchas car waiting for us. He was fantastic and I would highly recommend him. Ciaran from Slieve Bloom Bar was waiting for us with a beautiful stew and looked after us so well on Saturday nite. We had a lovely brekkie on Sunday and he made us lovely sandwiches for our walk. We could have not asked for a better trip. Thanks a mill to all involved especially Ann Lanigan who was a great help with organising the trip and next time you all come up to Dublin I hope we will be as welcoming. x

Franz from France

I've done it on march and the weather was a real additional difficulty but the trail is really pleasant with no too hard way. I've done it in two days and a half. The tagging is really good and no need special map (except maybe in the ridge of capard when it's in the fog).

Grounds are really varied and road / path / ascent / descent are well-balanced. I've seen deers everydays. Now, I know what is a loand of bog ! Thanks to all the Laois Offaly Walking Partnership and specially Ann for her help and for the good work they've done !

(Sorry for my English... I'm just a French guy)

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