It’s great to see so many people out walking the many trails and walks now open in Sligo. Well done to Michael Carty and to the team at Sligo County Council for all of their work in developing these trails, and great credit is also due to Coillte, who provide access to the trails as well as work in relation to development and monitoring of the walks.
This week in Sligo Walking News, we bring you details about one of the walking groups who are involved in weekly outings. In the coming weeks we will put the spotlight on other groups, and if you are involved in one of them and would like us to profile your walkers, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While walking along certain routes does require a good level of fitness, there are several community walking groups in Sligo who favour walking shorter distances along relatively moderate inclines. So if you are a regular walker, or a beginner, but like the idea of getting involved with a group which caters for many different levels of fitness, then check out some of the community groups listed on the SligoWalks.ie website.
The North Sligo Community Walking Group is a brilliant example of a community getting together for a weekly ramble, where the companionship and social element is as much a part of the walk as working on your physical and mental wellbeing is. The walks are organised well in advance and a full timetable for the coming weeks is available on the SligoWalks.ie website.
The group meets every Wednesday, and all walks start at 10:30am sharp, and last roughly 1 hour. Each walk has a leader and assistant leader, and again, if you have a question to put beforehand, then there are contact details for the lead walker on the website.
Tomorrow, Wednesday 25th October, the group will assemble at the church in Rathcormack, 4 kilometres north of Sligo town, before doing a looped walk, before returning to the car park and going for a cup of tea afterwards. There are 2 leaders in each walk, one who walks to the front, the other to the rear – also known as the ‘sweeper’ and this person makes sure that everyone gets home ok. Park your car beside the church and you’ll find the group assembling there.
The good thing is that even if your level of fitness isn’t great to begin with, you’ll generally fall into company with someone who is at your level, and in any case the leader will always ensure that no-one is left behind. Once the walk is over, many of the walkers will head for coffee and a scone nearby so it’s also a great way to meet new people.
The walks are free, and you can just show up at the meeting point on the agreed date. And while the walks aren’t strenuous, you might still want to invest in a pair of walking boots (or runners in dry weather), along with a waterproof jacket and trousers.
Rather than investing in expensive walking gear to begin with, you could consider borrowing what you need for the first week or two, and there are cheaper options available to buy. Remember that you generally get what you pay for, however, and if you get the walking bug, it might be wiser to invest in decent walking gear later on and you’ll get the value out of it in the longer run. Christmas isn’t that far away – now is the time to start dropping hints to your nearest and dearest!