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The Slieve Bloom Walking Festival one of Ireland’s oldest walking festivals, is twenty two years running this year. Over the years the dedicated walk leaders have taken walkers into the magical unspoilt landscape that is the Slieve Blooms. The festival has grown from a mere 40 in its first year to a steady 450 participants in recent years. This festival is not just a walking festival for the serious walker but a special social event for people to meet, chat and enjoy the outdoors. But don’t take our word for it, come and see for yourself! Walkers who come along and join for the festival weekend are offered free membership for weekend walks that take place all year round. Many of the walkers who enjoy it so much come back weekend after weekend. It’s a real opportunity to get out and get active, make friends and have fun.
Walks are graded for every level of walker from Grade C easy 2 hour walks to Grade A
4-5 hours, so there is an opportunity for everyone. This year there is a choice of seven great walks ranging from easy woodland to more challenging treks in remote wilderness areas of the Slieve Blooms.
The festival gets under way with three walks departing from Kinnitty Community Centre on Saturday April 30th. There is a Grade A 13km walk to Glenafelly & Cumber Hill for experienced walkers, a Grade B 10km moderate walk through Kinnitty Woodlands, and also an easygoing Grade C 6km walk to Glinsk Castle. Registration for these walks is at 10:15am.
On Sunday May 1st the walks start from Clonaslee Community Centre. There is a Grade A 10km walk to Glendinoregan Two Rivers, a Grade B 10km moderate walk to Glenbarrow & Capard Woodlands and also a Grade C walk around the beautiful Brittas Lake. Registration at 10:15am.
Bank Holiday Monday features a Grade B 10km walk to Clashroe Beagh which again departs from Kinnitty Community Centre, but at the later time of 11:00am.
The fee is €8 per walk (accompanied children are free). If you wish to join the Slieve Bloom Walking Club and avail of guided walks every Sunday of the year then annual membership is €20 (single) or €30 (family).
See programme on www.slievebloom.ie for details of all walks through the year.