7 places to see on the Sligo Way

Setting goals is a positive aspect of walking. Whether it’s about extending the length of your walk, or trying a harder climb or trail, walking can be a great way to test your resilience as well as improve your fitness.

The Sligo Way is Sligo’s longest route at approximately 80km from its start at Lough Talt through to the end at Dromahair and, as the days get brighter and the evenings longer, this might be a way to challenge yourself in the Summer months ahead. It is a long trail, and much of it is on a public road, particularly the southern section. But it can also be done in manageable sections, before coming back next time to continue your journey.

Giant’s Grave on the Sligo Way – photo SligoWalks.ie

Many people get involved in the Sligo Camino, which takes place on Saturday 6th July next between Dromohair and Coolaney, which constitutes 34km of the Sligo Camino. It’s a beautiful walk, skirting the shores of Lough Gill and climbing towards Lough Lumman and Union Wood, to name check just a couple of places. But the Sligo Way has many other interesting features, so, should you decide to walk some (or all) of this route, keep an eye out for these. As this is a linear walk, the option is there for you to start at either end, for the purposes of this article, we start at the southern point at Lough Talt.

1. Lough Talt:
A beautiful and recently extended walking trail at Lough Talt now comprises lakeshore, upland and forest aspects. As an 8km looped trail, this is probably a walk on its own, to set the scene before coming back later on to start the Sligo Way proper. The actual starting point of the Sligo Way is nearby, beside Largan Church.

Lough Talt – photo SligoWalks.ie

2. Lough Achree:
As the road meanders through Ladies Brae, revealing some of the spectacular and often underrated scenery in the lower Ox Mountains, you’ll come across Lough Achree, reputedly Ireland’s youngest lake, formed back in 1491 in the aftermath of an earthquake. A peaceful setting, little has changed here in the intervening years.

3. Giant’s Grave:

Sligo is steeped in Neolithic monuments, from Carrowmore to Carrowkeel and many places besides. Indeed, we come across these monuments so frequently that we can often take them for granted. But there’s no missing this huge monument which lies along a country road at Cabragh, not far from Coolaney. It is located on private property but the owners welcome walkers, but please ensure that gates are closed after you and that you leave the place as you found it. 

4. Coolaney River Walk:

A short but beautiful riverside walk in the village of Coolaney. This is a really unique walk, as it skirts the back gardens of the houses on the main street, but in this tranquil setting, you won’t hear sounds of cars, instead the soft murmuring of the Owenbeg River and there are plenty of places to sit and relax.

Sligo Way sign near Lough Lumman – photo SligoWalks.ie

5. Lough Lumman:

This is a wonderful walk, stretching from Union Wood on the one side to Slish Wood on the other. It’s remote but easily accessible, particularly via a new path that gives improved access from Slish Wood. The home of the mythical Cailleach a Bhérra is nearby, and legend tells us that as she flew over these hills with boulders in her cape, some of these fell, forming Neolithic mounds across the landscape.

6. Innisfree:
The Lake Isle made famous by W.B. Yeats, this is just one of several islands that can be seen from this section of walk that skirts Lough Gill. Walking through Slish Wood, the skies opens up, revealing beautiful lakeside views, and the trail continues along a boardwalk, one of the visual splendours of the Sligo Way.

Creevylea Abbey outside of Dromahair – photo SligoWalks.ie

7. Creevylea Abbey: 

Located just outside of Dromahair at the end of the walk, Creevylea is a stunning visitor attraction, built originally in the 16th century by the local O’Rourke clan before it was burned to the ground just a few years later. Rebuilt by the Franciscans, it was part of the dissolution of the monasteries that took place during the reign of Henry VIII.    

For further details on The Sligo Way, visit the Sligo Walks website and you’ll also find a short video of these highlights if you follow our social media channels.