Environment

Carlow Autumn Walking Festival

Clashganny Lock on the River Barrow

Carlow's majestic Blackstairs Mountains and River Barrow together with the charming villages of Myshall and Borris will feature in this year's Carlow Autumn Walking Festival which takes place from Friday October 6 to Sunday October 8.

The festival caters to all levels of walkers, from very experienced hill walkers out to enjoy an invigorating mountain trek to novices seeking some peace and tranquillity along more leisurely routes.

This well-organised event aims to make the great outdoors accessible to everyone with knowledgeable local guides from Tullow Mountaineering Club and Blackstairs Ramblers guiding visitors through the Carlow countryside.

There is a choice of 15 different walks plus family activities including canoeing safari trails with Go-With-the-Flow River Adventures and bike and hike options with Bike & Hike in Graiguenamanagh along the River Barrow.

The walks have been organised according to experience – A for very experienced walkers, B for experienced walkers and C for leisure/regular walkers.

This year RTÉ's Eanna Ni Lamhna will host a special talk on Friday at 8pm where she will discuss the fascinating wildlife that might be seen while out hillwalking – a talk not to be missed for all walking enthusiasts.

The routes vary from a Night Hike on Friday, a walk from Shannon's Lane which incorporates a number of interesting historical sites, including the World War II German plane bombing of the Shannon family home and an enjoyable trail walk introducing kids to the basic skills of trail running on Saturday.

Mount Leinster will feature strongly in the walks, as will picturesque areas around the Nine Stones Viewing Point and the byways of Ballymurphy and Myshall.

Leisure walkers can enjoy a new mindfulness walk through the beautiful Clogrennan Wood gaining tips on positive mental attitude on a 3.5km route while there is also an opportunity to explore the beautiful village of Borris on Sunday.

Also on Sunday 8th Birdwatch Ireland's Carlow branch will lead a special walk through a range of different habitats and the ever popular Oak Park Forest Park treasure hunt in association with the County Carlow Sports Partnership will return for a great family fun filled afternoon.

For further details on registration for the walks, starting points, rules of participation and special accommodation packages log onto www.carlowtourism.com/walkingfestival or phone 00353 (0)5991 30411 for a full event brochure.

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