The Trail Map:- OSI Map Series 25
Only 5km outside Sligo Town, the Hazelwood Demesne is located at Half Moon Bay along the shores of Lough Gill. The short walks here are among the most beautiful in the country, with views from the trail toward Church Island, Cottage Island and Goat Island and the full expanse of Lough Gill. This walk has recently been extended.
The route follows the lake shore before branching with a shorter return route to the right and the longer lakeside route continuing ahead. Continuing along the lakeshore path, you’ll reach a newly constructed section of path, which extends the trail. This passes to the rear of the old Hazelwood estate, before a timber gate on your right brings you back to the trailhead and parking area. With plenty of places to stop for a picnic or just to bask in the stunning lakeside views, this walk is suitable for all ages, and can be undertaken in its 4.2km entirety or by shorter alternative routes mentioned above.
Did you know?
Hazelwood was the seat of the Wynne family who owned the house and most of the surrounding lands for 300 years. The Wynnes were a very important Sligo family and included members of parliament and High Sherrifs within their ranks.
Hazelwood House was designed by the architect Richard Cassells whose other works of note include the Irish parlimentary buildings at Leinster House, the Printing House at Trinity College Dublin, the Rotunda Hospital, Carton House, Russborough House and Powerscourt House. Cassells was arguably premier Irish architect of his generation although German by birth.
Hazelwood was also a favourite walk of Ireland’s national poet W.B. Yeats who wrote:
“I went out to the hazel wood
Because a song was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread:
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped a berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.”
From ‘The Song of Wandering Aengus’ by W.B.Yeats (published 1899)
The Yeats Trail includes art installations at different places in Sligo that inspired the great poet’s writings, including at Hazelwood, where a seating area overlooks Lough Gill at Half Moon Bay.
*Sections of this route cross Coillte property, for up to date information on diversions/closures due to tree felling, please visit www.coillteoutdoors.ie