Walking in Sligo
What better way to discover Sligo, than by walking through its rich and diverse landscape. From waymarked routes and coastal paths to mountain hikes and strolls through floral scented woods. Sligo’s breathtaking landscape will refresh and enliven your senses.
Sligo has a varied natural landscape with spectacular limestone mountains such as Benbulben and Benwiskin that form part of the Dartry range in the North of the County while the south west of the county is dominated by the Ox mountain range which are composed on a mixture of ancient rocks – gneiss, schist and granite. This wild area of uplands is covered largely with blanket bog and is home to the Sligo Way walking route among others. The spectacular scenery in County Sligo provides the perfect landscape for hill walking with numerous routes to chose from including the Miners Way & Historical Trail, Knocknarea and Keshcorran.
Sligo’s rolling green hills and magical woodlands were the inspiration for a number of poems by W.B. Yeats, including the iconic Lake Isle of Innisfree. For the culturally curious, a number of our forest walks are also heritage sites including Deer Park which is home to a court tomb dating back to 3,000BC while Union Wood is a bio diversity site located on the edge of old oak woodland and was formerly part of the Cooper estate. Woodlands like Slish Wood, Union Wood and the Lough Gill Forest have significant stands of deciduous trees and provide the perfect location for exploring the eclectic mix of flora and fauna.
With over 190km of coastline and some of the most beautiful, unspoiled beaches in Ireland, Sligo is the perfect location to experience a costal walk, boasting seven Discovery Points along the Wild Atlantic Way including Mullaghmore Head, Streedagh Beach, Rosses Point Beach, Strandhill Beach, Aughris Head, Easkey Pier and Enniscrone Pier. Many smaller beaches are dotted along the coast including the popular beaches of Cullenamore and Dunmoran strand. For something a bit different check out Sligo’s largest and most famous offshore island, located off the coast of the Coolera peninsula, Coney Island is accessible by boat from the pier at Rosses Point but the most popular route is by way of Cummeen Strand when the tide is out.
Sligo boats numerous picturesque lakes, the largest of which is Lough Gill. While these lakes are a major resource for sailing, fishing and water-sports, they also provide the perfect backdrop for walking and so are home to numerous trails including Lough Talt, Lough Easkey, Hazelwood and Slish Wood. Many of these lakes also have strong archaeological and historical significance as well as providing unique habitats for rare wildlife and plant species.
The City of Sligo or Sligo Town as it’s more commonly referred to is the largest town in the North West. County Sligo is also home to the smaller towns of Tubbercurry and Ballymote in South Sligo. While these urban centres predominately serve as a centre for commerce they also boast some lovely walking routes – ideal for anyone seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. There are a number of Slí Na Slainte routes to choose from as well as the Tour of Sligo Town and the natural beauty of the Doorly Park nature trail.
Sligo’s extensive network of quiet boreens, old bog roads and forest tracks provide a great platform for exploring the countryside of rural County Sligo. Dotted along these routes you will uncover our hidden history and folklore from remnants of our old industrial heritage and memorials to long forgotten French soldiers, to the last hiding place of the ill fated lovers Diarmuid and Grainne’s high up on the steep slopes of the Cliffs of Annacoona.
Discover & Explore County Sligo by foot this year. Our website features over 50 walking routes along the coast, up mountains, around lakes & more. #SligoWalks