Kilkenny city and county will be a bustling hive of outdoor activity and fun this July as the first ever Trail Kilkenny Outdoor Festival gets underway and entire families join in activities which range from rock climbing to Nordic walking, white water adventures, giant catapult and raft building and so much more.
Activity providers throughout the sprawling county are showcasing their centres, offering taster sessions and discounted offers and are joining with Trail and the Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership to get the first two weeks of the primary school holidays off to a flying start. The action-packed, two week Festival is a joint venture, funded by Trail Kilkenny and Kilkenny LEADER Partnership through the Rural Development Program
The programme runs from July 2 to 15 and is designed to get everyone active, get families and friends together and spur everyone to get outdoors or just try something new with expert tutors and activity providers scattered all over the world-renowned Kilkenny Countryside, Rural Recreation Officer, Harry Everard, said. Booking details are available on www. trailkilkennyoutdoorfestival. ie
“When people think of Kilkenny, they automatically think of hurling. But the county has so much more to offer. We’ve packed our programme with everything from magical, memorable morning walks for children aged 3 to 6 right up to clay pigeon, air rifle and rock climbing adventures, a three day introduction to rowing programme and loads more.
“A life-changing adventure in the Kilkenny countryside, its hills, treks and trails awaits. We are very thankful to our partners, Kilkenny County Council, Kilkenny Tourism, Fáilte Ireland, Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership (KRSP), Tyndall Mountain Group and the Kilkenny LEADER Partnership SICAP team for their expert help and support and really want to encourage locals and visitors to our city to join in and try something new.”
Programme highlights include Trek and Treat events which include a walk followed by a meal in a local pub or restaurant across Thomastown, Graiguenamanagh and Inistioge. Prices start from just €30, including dinner.
There are free looped walks in Freshford, Jenkinstown and in the city. “Why not get on your bike with guided loop cycles in North and South Kilkenny? There’s also a chance to explore the Barrow Towpath on a mountain bike.
“If being on horseback is more your thing, Meadow Lane Riding School is offering a 5 day pony camp or pony treks. Or why not dip your toe or more in the water with Go with the Flow adventures which include Guided White Water Adventures, a guided history tour in a Canadian Canoe or a self-guided canoe tour? If stand-up paddle boarding floats your boat, Pure Adventure is running sessions for those aged 8 and over. And if you are 18 or over, there’s an Introduction to Rowing 3 day session available,” Mr Everard added.
Adaire Springs is offering fishing beginners lessons in fly and bait fishing as well as fishing sessions. And the brand new Outdoor Hub in Graiguenamanagh will host a number of events which include Wild Time for children aged 4 to 10. There they will be invited to explore the area’s trees, wildlife and more and play nature-based games. A similar adventure awaits with Trail Kids which offers everything form Ninjaline skills and shelter building to giant Jenga challenges.
If it’s an adrenaline-pumped adventure you’re into, the Trail Kilkenny Outdoor Festival also includes clay pigeon shooting, archery and air rifle sessions at Countryside Leisure Activity Centre. And Castlecomer Discovery Park will be buzzing with events and challenges which include zipline, octagon and highropes as well as giant catapult building, raft building and more.
And finally, if you’ve got a head for heights and a hunger for adventure, then you’ll want to book one of the rock climbing sessions at Ballykeeffe Quarry with Active Connections.