- Total Distance (approx): WALKING ROUTE (9 miles / 14km)
- Terrain: Flat on small country roads
- Start: Donadea Forest Park
- End: Robertstown
Registration: Meet at 10.30am at the Coffee shop in Donadea Forest Park
(Ideally you can get dropped off and arrange to get a lift home. Then just walk into the park. if you or someone dropping you off drives into the Forest Park there will be an entrance fee to be paid)
Leave Donadea Forest via the side gate and turn left onto the main road.
You arrive at a crossroads where you take a right here signposted Flannery’s Nurseries.
You are now entering the townland of Staplestown. Continue on into the village past the church and community hall on the right and soon after the graveyard on the left. After the village, continue straight past a junction to the left and past a junction to the right. At the next junction, the second road to the left after leaving Staplestown. You turn left here onto a minor road. You are now entering the townland of Garravogue. Follow this road for 2 km until you see a yellow sign showing an entrance to the right. This is the car park of Ballynafagh Lake. Turn right here into the car park.
Ballynafagh Lake was constructed at the end of the 18th century in conjunction with The Grand Canal to which it was a controlled water supply via the Grand Canal Feeder which no longer carries water. At the opposite end of the lake are the sluice valves beside the old keeper’s house. The valves allowed for release of water to adjust the levels on the Grand Canal. Ballynafagh Lake is now a Nature Reserve.
Walk in a clockwise direction around the lake, following the main track. (40 mins around the lake) We will have a picnic lunch and quite time in this beautiful wilderness place.
Exit the car park and turn right. Take the first right turn just after a house with a gateway decorated with two swans. After a few minutes this road becomes a track. Follow this track and keep to the right passing two junctions to the left. The track straightens and emerges from the trees out onto a minor road. Turn left here. The road travels through Coolree Bog. Continue along this road, passing a junction to the right and emerging through an inhabited area until you come to a main road. Turn right and you will see a green pump at a grassy area. Turn left here at a white house and continue up a pretty boreen beneath a tree canopy. This boreen was once the main road to Dublin. At the end of the boreen you arrive at a crossroads.
Cross here, continue straight ahead, follow the road around to the right over a bridge, and take the immediate left.
Walk along this road (the Tougher Road) for about 2 km and into the quaint village of Robertstown on the Grand Canal. The walk finishes in Robertstown. If you are travelling with someone you should leave a car in Robertstown for when you finish the walk. Otherwise we will try and arrange a lift.
Getting to the Starting Point
This is only possible by car.