Cairns Hill

  • Length: 1.3km
  • Ascent: 20m
  • Time: 45 Mins
  • Longitude: 54.256772
  • Latitude: -8.447745
  • Trailhead: Car Park, Information Board
  • Waymarking: Red/Blue Arrows
  • OSI Map Series: 25
  • Suggested Gear: Trainers

Directions - How to get to the Trailhead.

From Pearse Road, turn left onto Cleveragh Road. Continue straight onto the Tonaphubble Road passing the Racecourse. Just after the turn for Tonaphubble Lane, where the road swings left, you can stay on this road to reach the Holy Well Rd. Car Park from where it is also possible to link to the Garavogue River Trail at Cleveragh Park, or keep right heading uphill where the trail starts across from the waterworks. On street parking is available here.

Cairns Hill is a hidden gem located just a short walk from Sligo Town with views of Sligo Bay, Benbulben and Lough Gill, though these views are mostly obscured by the thick forest. The site consists of two short looped walks through a diverse forest plantation which is rich in biodiversity. The hillside features two large unopened and undisturbed Neolithic cairns and associated caves. They are sited on the highest points of the flat summits where the west cairn stands at 123 metres and the east cairn slightly lower at 112 metres. The Cairn (blue) loop will take you to the edge of the ancient east cairn. The cairn is covered with young trees and scrub – ash, sycamore and hazel, so that you might easily miss it and walk by. The cairn is about 45 meters in diameter and some 10 meters high. It is composed of chunks of quarried limestone, and is most likely kerbed and strewn with quartz.

2 thoughts on “Cairns Hill

  1. Unfortunately couldn’t rate as car park permanently closed.

    Hi there,
    The start point car park, next to the water works, has a permanent barrier across the entrance preventing cars entering. Is there a known alternative start point with car parking available?
    Thanks for the great and extremely infornative website – great for visitors and residents.
    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Margaret,
      Thanks for your comment. The directions for the start point were incorrect in describing the waterworks entrance as having a car park, there is only street parking available here. The barrier here is the same as is at all Coillte properties to prevent vehicular access. A car park has recently been added to the Holy Well Road side of the forest, the trail map has been updated to show where this is and the directions updated to describe both entrances. We hope you’ll give this walk another go and improve your star rating if you see fit.

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