Cong Forest

Location

Cong Village, beside R.C.Church

Site Description

This is a very interesting site which combines scenic walks, historic buildings with forest and water. On entering the abbey grounds, one is taken back in history. The last High King of Ireland, Rory O Connor lived here in the old abbey for the final years of his life and reign. The history of the abbey is documented and can be obtained locally at the nearby  tourist office.

The Abbey grounds have many fine specimens of Yew  that are hundreds of years old. On reaching the river, cross over the small bridge that leads onto the main river. To your left, you will notice a small stone building by the edge of the river. This is known locally as "the Monks fishing house". It was here that the monks from the abbey spent time in prayer and meditation and, at the same time, tried out their fishing skills.
On passing over the" Abbey bridge", you enter the forest by going through an attractive stone gateway. Follow the nature trail which is signposted through the "wilderness". Many of the old trees here were planted by Lord Ardulan who lived in the nearby Ashford Castle. Many of these trees are over 140 yrs old. The storms of the sixties and seventies have taken their toll, but many fine specimens still exist along the trail.

The area has many fine caves e.g "teach Aille" which is reputed to have been used by the monks as a fridge or larder, because of due to its low temperatures s in the summer months. "Pigeon Hole Cave" can be accessed by descending the stone steps into the bowels of the earth. The water that you see flowing at the bottom is, in fact, the waters of Lough Mask travelling underground towards Lough Corrib.
Some fine examples of stone viaducts are to be seen along the route.

Cong Forest Features

Archaeological, Fishing, Walking Trails,

How do I get there?

From Galway, take N84 to Headford. From there, take the R334 to Cross Village and the R346 on to Cong village. A car park is available at Cong R.C.Church.

Get directions to this site

Parking

No of car spaces:30
Parking fee price:none
map legend

Contact Info

Contact name:Frank Flanagan
Contact email:frank.flanagan@coillte.ie