Monicknew, Mountrath, Co. Laois

Site Description

Monicknew woodlands form the boundary between the counties of Laois and Offaly. The site is a trailhead for a section of the Slieve Bloom Way (a National Waymarked Way) and also has a number of other walking and hiking trails. Adjacent to the Slieve Bloom Way trailhead is Monicknew Bridge through which the Glen river flows. This bridge is known locally as the Glen Bridge and is in the style of a Roman arch. The bridge, built of sandstone in 1840, is dated on the keystone. The arch is quite impressive when viewed from below on the riverside walk, being 10 m high from the river bed.

The Glen river is a "young" river in geological terms. Mountain streams such as this tend to cut out straight paths and will eventually do so irrespective of whatever natural obstacle may lie in its way. The presence of alder on the banks of the Glen river plays an important part in preventing erosion. Spruce and Pine species are the predominant trees in the woodland, but broadleaves and other, more diverse conifer species, such as larches, are gradually being reintroduced here. Other flora include fern, woodrush, moss and bilberry. In May bluebells occur in profusion. Fauna include fallow deer, red and grey squirrel and foxes.  

There are a number of waymarked trails in this forest to suit all abilities of walker. The trails are located on both sides of the Glen river and range from easy to strenuous in terms of length and distance. Some usage of the public road is necessary when walking parts of some trails, so care should be taken on these sections.

As a curiosity, above the bridge on the public road, guess which way the road descends. Then, try it in your car! Is it an optical illusion?

Monicknew Features

Archaeological, Picnic Site, Walking Trails,

How do I get there?

Monicknew is about 11.5 km south of Clonaslee on the road to Mountrath via the Cut road.

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No of car spaces:15
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Contact Info

Contact name:Richard Jack