Molloy's Walk Rath Wood
The trail begins at the wooden bridge, which crosses over a stream. A stream similar to this formed boundaries to townlands in Ireland. Townlands are the name given to the smallest areas of land in Ireland. This bridge is made of native Irish timber, similar to those planted in the woods.
This pathway is lined with older trees which were planted in the 1950's. These include beech, lawson cypress and larch. Beech is a broad leaf which is growing in Ireland since 17th century and it is known as the 'Mother of the Forest'.
At the end of this path, the pathway veers to the right through a young plantation of mainly Norway spruce. This was planted in 2000 and is the traditional Christmas tree. It produces excellent timber for flooring and internal joinery. It is known as white deal timber. By 2022 the first crop will be removed from this area.
Take a right and then take a left at the granite boulder where there are Scot's pine and beech. Scot's pine is the only native irish conifer that Qroduces commercial timber within a reasonable time scale. There are only two other native conifers - juniper and yew.
To the right of the trail, you can see an area known as 'the Fox Covert.' This is a wet area where birch is prominent. Birch is highly valued as a commercial tree in Scandinavia. This area was originally owned by the Fitzwilliam Estate, Shillelagh, Co. Wicklow, who used it as a fox covert, to encourage fox breeding for hunting purposes.
The trail now continues back into the main body of the forest. Norway spruce is again planted here as it resists frost damage and acts as a nurse for the pockets of native broadleaves which would suffer from late spring or early autumn frosts if planted on their own.
At the end of this trail, the path takes a sharp left into Molloy Walk, named after the late Joe Molloy, a local farmer who was involved in planting the first rotation crop in the early 1950's. He took a special interest in the wood and acted as caretaker for many years. There are young Douglas fir here, a high value tree introduced from Western North America.
At the end of this road continue on straight along the path to an artificial pond. This pond was constructed to encourage wildllife e.g. ducks. Around this area you will see Alder or fearnog in Irish. It is used for wood-turning and furniture making and was also used in the manufacture of clogs, up until the early years of the last century in Co. Wexford. In keeping with it's wetland image, alder timber resists decay even when submerged in water for prolonged periods.
Retrace your steps from the pond and veer right on the trail which now leads onto a Forestry road. This was put in originally to facilitate the removal of the timber when it matured to commercial size. Progress along this main forestry road to the junction and take the next right to return to the footbridge and entrance to Rathwood carpark.
|Trail Name:||Molloy's Walk Rath Wood|
|Recreation Site:||Rath Wood [view site]|
|Trail Start Point:||Car park|
|Degree of Difficulty:||Easy View Trail Grade Definitions|
|Attributes:||Loop Trail (Returns to Starting Point)|
|Finish Point:||Car park|
|Trail Way marking:||red|