Glenbarrow, Clonaslee, Co. Laois

Site Description

Glenbarrow is the source of the River Barrow, the second longest river in Ireland. The Barrow is one of the three sisters with the River Nore and the River Suir making up the others. The Barrow enters the sea in Waterford, 120 miles away.
Glenbarrow is one of the most scenic parts of the Slieve Bloom area with its waterfalls and steep valley. The area is very remote and offers the visitor peace and tranquillity. The only sounds to be heard are the crash of the waterfalls and the fast flowing Barrow.
The area has four way-marked marked trails. The trails all start at the car park and all follow the river for the first section. The names of the trails are:

• Flat Rock loop
• Waterfall loop
• Old Mill loop
• Eco walk

Natural and artificial waterfalls occur along the river. The area was extensively quarried back in the 1800's. In fact the river was more than likely diverted at one stage in order to quarry the sandstone. There are still many signs of the quarrying activities evident today, no more so than the exposed bedrock of the red sandstone and the holes where explosives were placed. The Clamp Hole Waterfall is a good example of the waterfalls that occur in the area.
The valley which the Barrow flows through is a good example of a glacial moraine. The Barrow has cut it's way through it and hence the steep slopes of gravel are evident on the sides of the valleys. Sometimes these slopes collapse and expose the gravel underneath. Due to the make up of the geology, Glenbarrow has a wide diversity of plants. Apart from the usual forest plant species such as ferns, mosses, heathers, shrubs there are many orchids on the slopes of the valleys. The area is also very rich with animal life. There are hares, foxes, badgers, fallow deer and many bird species present.
Glenbarrow is a unique forest setting with a beautiful riverside walk. Therefore the terrain can be rough in parts and sometimes wet underfoot so be prepared with appropriate clothing and footwear.

Glenbarrow Features

Picnic Site, Walking Trails,

How do I get there?

From Clonaslee in the direction of Mountmellick on the R422, the turn for Glenbarrow is on the right hand side 6 km from Clonaslee. There are signposts to Glenbarrow all the way. Glenbarrow is situated an additional 4 km after the turn off from the R422.

Get directions to this site


No of car spaces:30
map legend

Contact Info

Contact name:Richard Jack