Lough Mac Nean Sculpture Trail
Situated along the boundaries of Fermanagh, Cavan and Leitrim, this trail consists of unique sculptures, each with its own significance to its location. The art pieces, all carried out by renowned Irish artists, are representative of their communities, beliefs, past and future. All are located on a 40 mile circular trail which can be driven, cycled or hiked taking in the natural unspoilt beauties of a landscape which has remained unchanged for centuries.
The Leitrim way
This walk passes through a variety of landscape features common to this beautiful but little known part of Ireland. Starting at the East shore of Lough Allen, the walker travels through intensely beautiful scenery until reaching the upland wilderness of Barlear.
The route is made up of tracks old and new in its entirety, resulting in a fast pace. It is generally more attractive to walk from Drumshambo to Manorhamilton. The total distance is 48km/30 miles and the longest stage is from Dowra to Manorhamilton which is approximately a distance of 32km/20 miles.
Sliabh an Iarainn Hillwalking
Aghacashel is situated between Drumshanbo and Ballinamore (N3 to Ballinamore, N4 to Carrick on Shannon) on the Sliabh – an – Iarainn Mountain, the beautiful rugged mountain in County Leitrim, which ascends 585m from the eastern shore of Lough Allen. Walkers will stand in awe at the breathtaking panoramic views over the West and Midlands of Ireland, or wonder at the amount and variety of flora and fauna encountered – foxes, hares, rabbits, badgers, ravens and Peregrine Falcons.
There are walks each month. Please telephone in advance to confirm.
Carrick on Shannon Historic Town Walk
Granted its royal charter in 1607, Carrick-on-Shannon has blossomed in recent years into a bustling hub for cruising on the River Shannon. The town won a gold medal in the 2010 Entente Florale Awards and attractions range from the Leitrim Design Centre to the fascinating audiovisual displays at St. George’s Heritage & Visitor Centre.
Carrick’s heritage trail kicks off on the quays, proceeding past the old barrel store (now housing the tourist office) before crossing a fine arched bridge to skirt around an area known as The Liberty. This was where Catholics were permitted to live during the 17th century, when Carrick was a well-to-do protestant enclave.
Carrick’s sombre-looking courthouse dates from 1821, but it has recently been restored for a much merrier use – as The Dock, a gallery, studio and recital space that anchors the scores of artists and craftspeople working in various media throughout County Leitrim.
Another highlight is Costello Chapel on Bridge Street, reckoned to be one of the smallest in the world. This tiny monument has a big heart, however – it was erected by local merchant Edward Costello after the premature death of his wife in 1877. Husband and wife now rest here, under a single stained glass window, in an enduring testament to love.
Costello Chapel is right next to Carrick’s Market Yard, which dates from 1839 but has also been restored – this time to house a restaurant, shops and farmers’ market. From here, you can continue along Bridge Street to the birthplace of Susan Mitchell, the poet and so-called ‘red-headed rebel’ who became a biographer of George Moore.
Carrick has some sweet examples of 19th-century architecture, including St. George’s Terrace and elsewhere on the trail, you’ll find a town clock dating from 1839 and, in
Summerhill, the site of a fever hospital, a restored workhouse attic (where the deaths of 1,896 people were recorded) and a famine graveyard memorial.
The Miners Way and Historic Trail
The Miners Way and Historical Trail is a route which traverses the hills and valleys of leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo. It leaves the Leitrim way at Dowra and passes north of Lough Allen. It then meanders through the coal mining territory of the Arigna Mountains, tracing the ancient routes followed by the coal miners on their way to work.
Then it goes westward through the Lough Key Forest Park to Boyle as the Historical Trail. It then crosses the Curlieu Mountains and the Bricklieve Mountains, skirting the many megalithic burial mounds of this area. From Castlebaldwin it heads eastwards to rejoin the Miners way near Ballyfarnon.
The total distance of the way is 80 miles, with the longest stage being from Castlebaldwin to Ballyfarnon, a distance of 15 miles. The highest point is the Curlew mountains (818 ft). The Arigna Mines in County Leitrim in the north midlands of Ireland were exploited for over four hundred years to extract iron and coal. The village of Arigna was the centre of the industry, and the Miner’s Way and Historical Trail is a 118km-long figure-of-eight walking route that starts and ends at Arigna. The route is a varied one that manages to touch on three lakes, Lough Allen, Lough Arrow and Lough Key and crosses three low mountain ranges, Corry Mountain, the Curlew Mountains and the Bricklieve Mountains. Other attractions that may tempt walkers to linger along the way include the Arigna Mining Experience, an interpretative centre for the mines and their history, the 12th century Cistercian Boyle Abbey, and Carrowkeel Neolithic cemetery, which consists of fourteen passage graves topped by stone cairns dating from around 3,000 BC. The route is a complex one that requires constant vigilance for waymarks. Many of the entrances to the old network of underground mines remain open on the hillsides around: they are dangerous and should be avoided. The terrain on the route consists mainly of a variety of quiet tarmac roads, paths across fields, open (and often wet) moorland and forestry paths. The aggregate ascent over the entire route is about 2,600 metres.