TLDR – We discovered trails near our house and went for a walk in the woods
Below find a snip of the Map of the Ticknock woods we walked in with purple line outlining roughly the route we took.
Storytime – How we found the trails
No car, and lazy are my excuses for not taking the kids hiking much, if at all since moving to Ireland. A few weeks ago I was texting Sara to borrow her son, Maddex’s friend, Cullen, for a weekend day. Sara texted me a picture of her family walking in the woods. She said the woods were right next door to where we live. – Her picture was the kick in the ass I needed to go find some hiking for the Millfam.
Sara’s other half, Will, Is into mountain biking. He’s been spending his free time on the Ticknock mountain bike trails riding his bike in the woods. The trails he rides on are where they were walking. After being kicked some motivation first step was finding a map of the trails. I found a map showing a huge trail system on the hill / Irish mountain behind our house. Looking at the Mountain bike trails specifically the trail head is an hour walk from the house – that’s not going to be very exciting for the kids.
Checking the google maps and the trail map I found an alternative trailhead near the old Kilgobblin Church. The Church is about 10-minute walk from the house and about 5 minutes from the kid’s school. The church looks like it’s a few minutes from an entrance to the trail system. Checking streetview on google map the entrance was there when street view captured the area. We figured we better go check it out and give it a try soon. Soon happens to be today; it’s dry and 14 out, and the kids have no school.
Walking in the woods
The most direct route to the trailhead we were going to check out is down a road that’s narrow and busy lacking quite and a feeling of safety. It’s never been on our list to walk on because of the speed of the cars passing next to us. Wanting to avoid the direct route we took the longer route around the kid’s school, through the housing development surrounding it. Eventually, we made it to the trailhead. Thankfully it was actually there.
The trail started off amazing and never backed off the entire time we were walking. Feels so good to have the family walking in the woods again. We forgot how much happiness hiking brings us. All of the kids are enjoying in their happy places.
Roxi made it walking all the way to the trailhead then carried on most of the way up the hill to the highest point we made it to before we shoved her in the backpack. The first kilometer of the trail was uphill in kind of valley with stone walls and trees on both sides walk. The ground was all covered by leaves, we could not see any houses, or hear much else; Tranquil, and peaceful.
Eventually, we made to pavement again, Barnacullia road, where we took a right followed by a left up a hill where we passed an amazing gate we stopped to take pictures of. At the end of the road, we found the trail system again and we’re back in our happy place on the dirt in the woods. The second section of the trail system was more open with fewer huge trees and rock walls surrounding us. We passed by a few huge stone holes filled with water before hitting a forest road. We followed forest road to a group of comms towers where we had lunch basking in the microwaves and soaking up the amazing view.
After lunch, we walked down the forest road until we took a left down a muddy horse poop covered road trail in some dark woods. Tree’s so close together and tall enough they nearly blocked out the sun. Too bad that trail ended at a horse field and we had to turn back and walk around. By now Maddex is telling me he watched Dude where’s my car this morning while everyone else was sleeping. And then, we started doing, And then, or Dude what does mine say, And then. So much, maybe too much, And then. And then I might regret showing him the And then clip and then downloading the movie.
We’re about 8k into our walk by now, the kids are not complaining yet, but we can see them fading. We decided to take the most direct route back home we could workout. Which was down a paved roadway without sidewalks, a break in the middle on a trail, then down some more pavement with a sidewalk with fast-moving cars right next to us. On the trail in the middle of the pavement we hide some easter eggs for the kids to find. Nice little distraction for them after a long walk void of complaints. After the hunting they pretty much ran down hill. We had to keep yelling at them to slow down or stop and wait for us. They must have found a second wind or something because they were back to full throttle.
We made it home a short while later and rewarded the kids with Ice lollies and a movie. Great walk. Can’t want to go back and explore more. Super excited to know we have so many trails this close to the house, right in our backyard.
A few more pictures