Just a 10 minute drive from our farm, Avondale House and forest park has plenty to explore in its 500 acres with a variety of trails for walking and family cycling.
The Palladian house was the birthplace and Irish headquarters of Charles Stewart Parnell (1846–91), the ‘uncrowned king of Ireland’ and one of the key figures in the Irish independence movement.
The trails at Avondale are of varying lengths with a wonderful collection of trees and flora to take in as you wander the estate grounds. Highlights include the vast open expanse of the Great Ride, a cleared channel with spectacular views out over the Wicklow valleys, majestic stands of Sequoia spruce and broadleaves and the steep-sided river valley of the Avonmore.
It is perfect for a family outing to blow off some cobwebs and where the children can explore an expanse of nature in a safe environment and play on a lovely wooden playground. There’s a short leisure cycling trail of 1.5kms (20 mins, Easy) which is great for kids and overlaps as a walking trail so you can stroll along with them
- The Tree Trail, a looped walk of 2kms (1 hour, Moderate), showcases trees from many corners of the world that have taken happily to the Irish Environment. It takes you through beautiful stands of Eucalyptus trees and the tree trail guides you through a series of tree species found on the estate.
- The Railway Walk is a linear walk of 2 kms (1 hour each way, Moderate) from Avondale House to Rathdrum train station and back. It’s a pleasant woodland walk along the banks of the River Avonmore, passing beneath two impressive railway viaducts still in use today.
- The River Walk is the longest and hardest walk at Avondale with some steep descents and climbs but well worth it for the magnificent views of the Avonmore River.