Aherlow Walks with Michael Moroney
The walks can be customised according to your requirements. You choose the length of time, the level of difficulty and the pace.
The Glen of Aherlow, Tipperary, is a walker’s paradise, offering a variety of low level and mountain walks. Walking and trekking holidays are now the most sought after activity for visitors to Ireland and what better way to enjoy the natural resources of mountains, rivers, lakes, forests and scenic landscape combined with fresh air and healthy exercise. All of these natural features are in abundance in the Glen of Aherlow, which makes it so attractive to walkers.
This loop is one of a series developed at two trailheads in the glen (Christ the King Statue and Lisvarrinane). This loop gains its name from Carlo Bianconi, an Italian who lived in Clonmel, and who set up the famous Bianconi coaches for both mail and passenger services throughout Ireland. Some of the coaches travelled the Old Coach Road between the Glen of Aherlow and Tipperary Town and the loop includes a short section of this road.
A-B. From the mapboard in the green area at Christ the King statue follow downhill to enter the Nature Park. This loop is marked with light blue arrows – but overlaps with two other loops (green and purple arrows) and the long-distance Ballyhoura Way which is marked with the familiar yellow walking man and arrows. Descend wooden steps and over a footbridge and shortly afterwards you reach a Y-junction. Veer left here and follow the woodland trail for approximately 1km to reach a wooden stile. Exiting the stile the green loop turns right – but you turn left here.
B-C. You are now on a more substantial forestry track. Descend for 300m to reach a four-track junction where you turn right.
C-D. Stay on this forestry track for 800m to exit at a surfaced road just uphill from the Aherlow House Hotel. The longer purple loop and yellow Ballyhoura Way both turn left here but you turn right.
D-E. About 300m along the tarred road the purple loop joins from the left and you continue for a short period before turning right and re-entering forestry. Following woodland trails you rejoin the green loop at a small stile where you turn left.
E-A. Follow this woodland trail for over 1km to reach a 3-way junction where you rejoin the outward route. Veer left and retrace your steps for 300m to regain the trailhead.
Glen of Aherlow Looped Walks
The Galtee Mountains have long been known as a walkers paradise and the Glen of Aherlow has a variety of mapped walking routes across forest tracks and open moorland, visit corrie lakes enjoy mountain scenery and spectacular landscape.
The Glen of Aherlow have eight looped walks on Slievenamuck and two linear walks in the Galtee Mountains.
Five of the eight looped walks start at the Christ the King Trail Head.
Three from Lisvarinane Village Trail Head.
Christ The King Trail Head:
• Rock at Thorabh loop walk: 6km – 2.5 hours (Moderate Walk)
• Millennium Stone Loop walk; 2.5km – 2 ½ / 3 hours (Moderate Walk)
• Woodland loop walk: 2km – 30min/1 hour (Easy Walk)
• Bianconi Loop walk: 4km. – 1 ½ hrs (Easy Walk)
• Ballinacourty Loop Walk: 10kim. 2/3 hours (Moderate Walk)
Lisvarinane Trail Head:
• Carroll’s Loop Walk: 5km. – 1.½ hrs (Easy Walk)
• Padraig’s Loop Walk : 7km. – 2 / 2½hrs (Easy Walk)
• Dolmen loop Walk: 10km. -3 /3½hrs (Moderate Walk)
This loop is the longest of three that start and finish at the trailhead in the middle of the village.
A-B. Starting from Lisvarrinane village pass the church on your left and turn left onto Carrolls Bohereen from where the loops proper begin. After a short trek along this roadway, you reach a laneway on your right. Turn right here following the red (and green and blue) arrows.
B-C. The laneway ascends to reach a forestry track where it joins the long-distance Ballyhoura Way (marked with the standard yellow walking man and arrow). The shorter green loop turns right here – you turn left following the red (and blue) arrows. Follow the forestry roadway for another 400m to reach a sharp right bend where the Ballyhoura Way turns left. You turn left here – following the Ballyhoura Way but leaving the blue loop.
C-D. Follow the Ballyhoura Way for a short distance and join an old laneway (this was the old road to Galbally). A short distance later you veer right off the Ballyhoura Way and ascend Monour Mountain and then on to the summit of Slievenamuck. Here you pass close to a Megalithic Tomb – and have superb views of the Golden Vale, Glen of Aherlow and the Ballyhoura Mountains. On the descent you merge with the blue loop, and then join the green loop and Ballyhoura Way at a 3-way junction.
D-E. A number of loops and the Ballyhoura Way crisscross here so be careful to follow the red (and green and blue) arrows as your loop turns left and follows the Ballyhoura Way downhill. The forestry road descends to reach a T-junction of forestry roads where you turn right and shortly afterwards emerge onto a surfaced road.
Continue straight here.
E-A. The last section of the loop follows surfaced roadway to emerge at a T-junction at the top of Lisvarrinane village – turn right here and enjoy the 200m back to the trailhead.
Rock an Thorabh Loop
The Glen of Aherlow stretches from the N24 south of Tipperary Town through unspoilt countryside affording some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable. The lush valley of the River Aherlow runs between the Galtee Mountains and the wooded ridge of Slievenamuck. Bounded by the picturesque villages of Galbally and Bansha, the Glen was historically an important pass between Limerick and Tipperary. There is a great variety of prehistoric, early Christian and medieval sites within the valley and its hinterland to excite the lovers of archaeology and the seasoned historian. The glen is renowned for the warmth of its welcome and the friendship of its people. This loop is one of a series developed at two trailheads in the glen (Christ the King Statue and Lisvarrinane). This loop travels along Slievenamuck – the Mountain of the Pigs. The ridge is mainly of old red sandstone and was formed over 300million years ago! A wonderful example of faulting is Rock an Thorabh (the flagstone of the bull) on the northern slopes of Slievenamuck. Stank on the ‘rock’ for wonderful views of Tipperary Town, and on a clear day, the Silvermines and Keeper Hill.
A-B. From the mapboard in the green area climb onto the road and go to the Christ the King statue. Follow the red arrow and enter the forestry at the barrier. Note that you are also following blue arrows which are for the longer Millenium Stone Loop. After 50m you reach a Y-junction where the BLUE loop veers right and downhill – but you continue straight following the red arrow.
B-C. You are now on a forestry roadway. Continue to follow the red arrows along this roadway for 2km to reach a crossroads you rejoin the BLUE loop as it makes its way back from the Millenium Stone. Turn sharp left here.
C-D. Now you begin to ascend and near the highest point watch out for the substantial rock on your right – this is Rock an Thorabh (the rock of the boar!).
D-E. Continue to follow the red arrows along the forestry roadway to reach a surfaced road near Stafford O Brien Well. Joining the road, turn left.
E-F. Cross the road and follow downhill for 500m to reach the left bend. Here you veer right onto a green track and into forestry again.
F-A. Following woodland trails, you will rejoin other loops as you return to the trailhead through the Nature Park – a very pleasant experience to finish your walk!
Eamonn a Chnoic Loop
Upperchurch is located near Thurles in Co. Tipperary and is twinned with the neighbouring parish of Drombane for many aspects of life including hurling (a traditional Irish sport played with sticks and ball). The community has been involved for many years in developing tourism products including hillwalking. This loop takes its name from a Robin Hood figure who roamed the hills of West Tipperary in the 17/18th century. His ancestors were extensive landowners, whose lands were confiscated. The young Eamonn was sent to France to study for the priesthood but he returned to his native country, and soon became involved in a fracas with a tax collector and shot him. Forced to go on the run, Eamonn a Chnoic (Ned of the Hill) became one of a band of rapparees who championed the cause of the poor, dispossessed natives and harassed the English planters. Many legends are told of these men and their deeds have passed into the folklore of the area.
A-B. Starting facing the Community Centre, follow the tarred road which goes left out of the village. After 300m you reach the Church Bog project on your right (wooden railings). This is the point at which you will exit the loop on your return. Continue straight here.
B-C. Follow the tarred road for 500m to reach a stone bridge and a stile on your right. Turn right here, entering the field, and follow the boundaries of the fields and a series of stiles as you ascend Glenbeg. At the top of the ascent you join an old roadway. Turn left here.
C-D. Follow the roadway for only 100m before turning right onto an old track and, after 50m cross a stile to join a ‘green’ laneway. The laneway fizzles as you make your way to the edge of forestry where you turn right.
D-E. Continue along the forestry boundary watching out for the traces of a fulacht fia (a mound of soil with a slight depression at its centre which acted as a cooking pit in the Bronze Age) on your right. After 500m you join an old laneway which takes you downhill to reach a tarred road at the side of a house. Turn left here.
E-F. Follow the tarred road for 300m before turning right onto an old laneway. Follow this to the edge of forestry where the loop crosses a ditch and follows the edge of the plantation. Reaching the corner of a field, the loop turns sharp right and downhill.
F-G. Continue downhill to reach an old laneway in the townland of Carew where you turn left and, after 100m, turn right again. Crossing a number of watercourses and a stream, you exit on a tarred surface and turn left.
G-A. After only 100m the loop turns right onto a laneway and through the townland of Gortatooda . At the end of the laneway, you cross a stile and traverse a field to reach the Church Bog project mentioned at B above. Exit via the wooden gate, turn left and enjoy the remaining 300m back to the trailhead.
Glen of Aherlow – The Coach Road Walk
The name ‘Aherlow’ is derived from the Irish, ‘eathralach’ meaning between two highlands. The highlands referred to are the Slievenamuck where the car park is situated with excellent views of the Galtee Mountains across the valley. Slievenamuck is said to be named after a great pig slain there by Fionn MacCumhail. The area is also said to have been completely covered in oak woods through which roamed herds of wild pigs. These woods were cut down in the 17th century for use in tanning and shipbuilding.
Classic Walk 7.4km (4.5 miles). Climb 250 metres (775 feet). Walking time 2 hours.
Park in the Car Park at the top of Slievenamuck Hill. From the Car Park walk north-eastwards along a track that was the old Bianconi Coach Road for 350 metres downhill to STAFFORD O’ BRIEN’S (BIANCONI’S) WELL. Return to the Car Par by the same route.
From the Car Park walk eastwards along a track for 2.25 kms until you reach a Forest Road. 950 metres along the track from the Car Park there is a rock cliff on your left (it is 60 metres in off the track) called CARRIGEENINA and it offers excellent views of the surrounding countryside.
550 metres further eastwards of this viewing point there is another rock cliff (it is 40 metres in off the track) on your left. It is called LEAC-A-THORABH(flagstone of the bull). 750 metres from here is the forest road referred to above. Continue straight onwards (eastwards) along the forest road for 200 metres until you reach another junction of forest roads. At the junction, turn right, heading south-westwards and continue along this road for 1.9 kilometres until you reach a tar road at CHRIST THE KING STATUE in the Lower Car Park. Follow the tar road downhill for 1.1 kilometres until you reach the end of the forest on your right. Here a track leads into a farmhouse on your right. Follow this track for about 30 metres to its bend and from the bend head north-eastwards inside in the gully in the forest for 750 metres until you reach the tar road. This 750-metre walk is along the old Coach Road and along the way you cross over a forest road and then over and interesting stone bridge.
Cross over to the other side of the tar road and follow the Coach Road again through the forest. This takes you back to the Upper Car Park where you started off from.
Family Walk 3.3 kilometres (2 miles). Climb 130 metres (400 feet). Walking time 75 minutes
From the Upper Car Park walk southwards downhill along the tar road for 1.1 kilometres until you reach CHRIST THE KING STATUE near the Lower Car Park. You then follow the route from here back to the Upper Car Park via the Old Coach Road as described above in the Classic Walk.