Slieve Bawn Wind Farm Walk Roscommon

When we moved into our new house in Roscommon one thing holding us back where the site of wind turbines on the Slieve Bawn hills directly back from our back garden.

Although a dislike for the looks of them, with an interest an renewable energy we decided to embrace them and thought why not go and see them.

We had also heard of the many walking tracks and sights to be seen on the hill and were very interested in visiting.

Getting To Slieve Bawn 

The wind farm is located 5km from the town of Strokestown and 10 km from Roscommon Town in the mid West of Ireland.

The Slieve Bawn Wind Turbines

In total Slieve Bawn has 20 wind turbines and a sub station producing electricity for homes, schools, hospitals and many other businesses in Ireland.

It is said that the wind turbines help produce energy for nearly 40,000 homes.

Slieve Bawn Walk The Tracks

The whole site has 6 tracks in total all different distances, and connecting with each other giving many if options to get out and see. The summit of Slieve Bawn is the 3rd highest point in County Roscommon.

Below we go through each Slieve Bawn walk in detail.

Heritage Trail

This trail is the most interesting of them all coming in at 4.2 km and roughly takes between an hour to an hour and a half. This track starts at the main car park and winds up the hill on the large road track

Road walk climb

As you can see road is in good condition, wide and easy on the feet, not only here but throughout the walks.

Being the heritage trail this walk takes you through all the great sites like the old Church Ruins, Mass Rock, Holy Cross and Monastery Trail. The first of them is the church ruins about 1.5km in.

Church Ruins

All that remains of this Church Ruins is a few rocks scattered along the grass. The church was once Penal Church built in 1837, during the period of religious suppression through the reign King Henry V111. During this time the the penal laws were changed andh istory tells us that churches in the area were shut down or demolished.

The area is overgrown and remains unplanted in the coniferous forest with just part of the base of the wall left to show. These church’s would of been built of locally sourced yellow and and white sandstone at the time.

Church Ruins

Mass Rock

Along from the Church Ruins lies the Mass Rock, this was said to be to mark where the mass was celebrated from time to time and during special occasions. The rock is well maintained and secured with fencing.

The mass rock

Holy Cross

The Holy Cross Lies on the second highest point of the hill at 254 metres and has unprecedented views of the Roscommon landscape and beyond.

The crossed was erected in 1950 in a year that was declared a Holy Year Pope Pius XII.

What is a Holy year? It’s known as a type of year to special devotion and penance, and a year in which, through following certain prescriptions, you can gain a Plenary Indulgence. These types of crosses were put up all over Ireland.

View from holy cross
Holy cross

Trim Trail

The Trim Trail, or as it’s known the fitness trail is a 2.9km trail and outdoor gym trail with a scattering of outside gym equipment for you to try, 12 pieces to be precise.

This track can take 45 minutes as a walk but if you stop to use the equipment obviously allow more time to complete. The track starts at turbine 20 which is the lowest of the turbines and is about 400 minutes before you arrive at the car park you certainly cant miss it.

The track runs adjacent to the side of the mountain after about 400 metres a sharp left leads you up deep into the forest and a warning the next 200 metres or so are very steep.

Trim trail climb

Once at the top of the hill a left turn before the fence below takes you back on a loop. Around more exercise machines and eventually back down the hill. The fence is also a point where you can join some of the other walking tracks just flow the coloured arrows. this is especially a handy point for reaching the summit.

Cross roads where many trails meet

Yellow Loop Trail

This trail, the longest at 6.5km starts at the main car park where the Heritage Trail starts, however this track goes straight into the dense forest into a steep hill,

Hill climb part 2

And just when you think you up the steepest part it continues round the corner and further up all up though its only maybe 150 metres in total.

Hill climb part 2

This loop track also takes you up to the Holy Cross as mentioned before. and heads back down the hill where you head along the wide tracks up another hill to the highest point the Summit. (see below)

Slieve Bawn Summit

Standing at a huge 264 metres high the summit has views over Roscommon and beyond into County Galway and Westmeath. The views are worth the long walk alone and with a raised platform and viewing goggles to enhance the views.

There are also lots of picnic benches scattered around this point, a great point to pitch up for a picnic and enjoy the view.

Forest Information Point

A few hundred metres before the summit you come across the information section of the forest in this area you walk in to the forest area and can learn about all the trees that are present in the forest of Slieve Bawn. below are a few examples of the trees in the forest.

Orange Loop Trail

The Orange Loop trail is a 3.9km and takes just over an hour this track starts at the main car park and meanders through the forest linking it with many of the other tracks and taking in the beautiful greenery of the forest.

Monastery Trail

The Monastery Trail runs from west to east and comes down either side, this tack is not looped and lies at 2.7km long and takes about an hour it effectively cuts right through the centre of the hill.

Rest Spots

All along the way throughout the walk is a scattering if picnic benches for you to enjoy a break. Like these one below at the main car park a perfect way to finish off your Slieve Bawn walk and to recharge the batteries.

Picnic Benches

Please be aware that this is a clean and tidy area and bringing away what you you bring with you is essential.

Strokestown

The closet town to Slieve Bawn is Strokestown,  which has the recognition of being one of the 27 heritage towns of Ireland.

Strokestown is home to the Strokestown House built in the mid 18th century and is hone to Irelands largest famine museum. Other attractions include woodland walks, walled gardens, cafe shop and daily tours of the house itself.

Strokestown House is also the start of the  walk ‘The Famine Way Walk” this is in honour of the  1,490 people who walked the 165km route from Strokestown Park Estate to House Quay in Dublin in 1847 aiming to get aboard the ships on Dublin Quay.

Local Refreshments

Luke Gibbons pub is located just a few hundred yards from the foot of the drive up to Slieve Bawn a fairly decent walk away but easy enough. A real locals pub friendly and welcoming. Grab a pint of Guiness and chat with the locals about the local surroundings.

Luke Gibbons Pub

Getting something to eat locally the cafe at Strokestown House is a great option with a wide selection of hot and cold lunch items to choose from.

Hiking And Walking

Checking out hiking and walking tracks is a new favourite hobby of ours especially since our move to Ireland. Our biggest hike to date has been in the Connemara region and Diamond Hill a 3 hour round hike. More locally we have enjoyed Roscommon’s largest park Mote park a flat set of walking tracks through this beautiful forest.

Internationally we have hiked Mount Warning in New South Wales a very challenging and tough hike especially the summit. Waterfall trekking under the Purlng Brook Falls track in the Gold Coast Hinterland is another we have tested out.

Mote Park Roscommon

Mote Park Roscommon

Towards the back end of 2020 we had bought a house just outside the town of Roscommon and during these days of limited travel we decided to explore what was available to us on our doorstep. After some advice we were delighted to find a Roscommon Park like Mote Park, which was said to be one of best Roscommon walks.

Being in such a rural destination we knew there would be some hidden gems and this was certainly one of them

Location

Situated a 5 minute drive from Roscommon town centre and 35 minutes from the town of Athlone.

Travelling to Roscommon, train and bus links are available in the area

A lovely little forest with a couple of walking track options and picnic benches. A great spot to get out with the family and get some fresh air. Plenty of trails and to keep you going and enjoy some peaceful time.

A bit of Mote Park history

Mote Park, was traditionally the seat of the Crofton Family all the way from the 16th century and for as long as to the 1940s. Located in the heart of County Roscommon, it is perfect for outdoor activities for children and people of all ages.


Widely known for its forests, which are a important amenity for Roscommon town and surrounding areas. In total the park cover some 650 acres and is home to many species of wildlife. The walking tracks make this so good for many forms of outdoor pursuits including hiking, walking and animal or bird-watching.

Our trip to Mote Park Roscommon

The Start

On entering a map of all the tracks and trails you can take through Mote Park. A great idea to get a start at where you will head on one of the finest walks in Roscommon.

There is a couple of shorter loop walk tracks and for the more adventurous a few bigger loop walk tracks, with the biggest being the 11km round trip. All these walks integrating with each, saving you the trouble of getting lost. Unless you go rogue as I had to with my 2 year old a couple times and headed through the dense forest itself.

Mote Park Map

A beautiful long stretch looking straight into the forest is you first view. A well paved walkway which was most surprising and very welcomed. The paved way making much easier access for everyone especially for bringing young children.

The Start

Another pathway through the forest. A beautiful time of the year with the autumn leaves and the crisp fresh air my son was fascinated with the leaves all over the ground. The sun peers through the trees picking up all those beautiful colours.

Forest Floor

The Trails

The first of two trails was the Bluebell walk taking you off to the side and through the dense forest, leading back down the side past fields and looping back to the beginning entrance.

When the bluebells are in bloom it is a joy to be seen a sea of bright bluebells line the forest

The second trail we came across was the Crofton trail again another trail this time off to the other side of the forest and again leading down to the beginning and the entrance of the forest. This trail is slightly longer than the first and slopes down into the forest and certainly a lot more to see

Derrydonnell Wood And The Fairy Garden

North of these trails and you get to Derrydonnell wood a similar tracks to the rest of Mote Park. With picnic benches and great tracks.

The most impressive part is the newly built fairy garden a great place for the kids to wander. A well maintained loop track leading through the forest. See the garden below.

Taking A Break

The forest is perfect for a family outing with as seen below one of many picnic benches along the way and with small tracks behind into the forest the kids would be entertained for a while.

Picnic Benches
Picnic bench by the fairy garden

And Finally

The forest is well maintained and very easily accessible for anyone.

We have done all the trails, but past the Crofton trail the forest went on and on and and it connects up to the 11km walking track loop around this impressive 650 acre forest, making it one of the longest walks in Roscommon.

But all in all a perfect spot for a morning walk and get out amongst nature and the crisp fresh air.

Local Tips

Restaurant Tip

All that walking would work up a thirst and set you up nicely for a nice homemade lunch, well look no further than Roscommon’s Rogue & Co.

Situated on the high street in Roscommon Rogue & Co is a trendy cafe offering great food and beverages.

High recommendations the double smash burger and the haloumi burger, or for early risers the smashed avo on sourdough topped with siracha is always a winner.

Equally as a pre walk stop take away coffees and homemade scones are always a hit.

Rogue & Co

Roscommon Guide

Want something else to do in Roscommon well never fear catch our Roscommon Guide with all this town and county has to offer. Places like Roscommon Castle and Lough Key Forest and activity park feature in this guide.

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