The trail is a one and a half hour looped walk around the village of Freshford taking in native Irish forest, riverside trails and farm land. On a clear day you can see across to Gathabawn and the Castlecomer Hills from the forest below Carraghduff.
The trail starts from the green in Freshford. Leaving Kilkenny City on the Freshford Road (R693), pass straight through the roundabout at St Luke’s Hospital and continue straight along this road for 12km until you reach Freshford village. The green is straight in front of you as you enter the village. The trail head mapboard is situated on the green.
Distance/Time: 8km / 1hr30mins – 2hrs
Terrain: Riverbank, woodland tracks, cross country
To Suit : All levels of fitness
Minimum Gear: rekking shoes, raingear, fluid and mobile phone
From the trailhead follow the purple arrows across the green and continue straight ahead to pass the church (on your left). Continue along the road for 300m to reach a ‘gap’ in the wall on your right where you turn right and cross the stream by footbridge. Now the loop follows the right bank of the stream through a lovely section of broadleaf woodland - this takes you to the entrance roadway to Upper Court Manor. The present house was built by Sir William Morris around 1790. The Eyre family came in 1879 and stayed till 1918 when the Maher brothers bought it. The Mill Hill Fathers bought it in 1932 and it became a secondary school. In 1989 it was sold and used for the storage and restoration of antique furniture. The manor now stands on a stud farm.
Cross the roadway and join the bank of the stream again for a short section which takes you into Brown’s Wood. After the wooden sign turn right and cross the wooden footbridge. Continue to follow the forestry roadway as it sweeps uphill. After more than 1km you turn right and exit at a stile into a field. After 20 metres you leave the woods, cross a stile and enter the top of planted forest. Follow the fence along the border of the forest until it descends downhill on an old roadway. Exit the forest area over a gate with a built-in stile to join the surfaced roadway. After a short section of surfaced road the loop turns left and takes you across a field to reach the banks of the Nuenna River. At the river bank turn right and follow the river through a number of farmers’ fields. On entering the last field, follow the arrows along the border of the field and onto a tarred road. On meeting the road take a left and follow the road back to the trailhead.
Stiles: the trail entails crossing a number of stiles.
Dogs: No dogs are allowed on this walk due to the crossing of farm land.
Flooding: After periods of high rainfall the trail can be very wet and boggy. Hiking boots or wellingtons are recommended.
Walking events on this week:
There are a number of free walking events on this weekend, see www.kilkennywalkingfestival.ie for full details:
Saturday 21st April 11am Tory Hill with Trail Kilkenny
Sunday 22nd April 9.30am Woodstock & Mt Alto with Tyndall Walking Club
Sunday 22nd April 9.30am Slievenamon with Kilkenny Walkers Club
Trail Kilkenny have developed a digital guide to the walking Trail. To download the guide scan the below QR code with your smartphone or go to the Trail Kilkenny website (www.trailkilkenny.ie)
Eoin Hogan works for Kilkenny LEADER Partnership as the Rural Recreation Officer. His job involves the design, construction and promotion of recreation trails in County Kilkenny. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org