With the Covid-19 lockdown making it very hard to maintain your fitness and health with the closure of sporting clubs and facilities, why not explore some of the trails of Leitrim and the surrounding counties over the coming weeks.
Getting out for a good walk is one of the activities that doesn't fall foul of social distancing regulations and is a great way to maintain fitness, get some fresh air and simply to get out of the house.
But maybe you want something that little bit closer to nature rather than walking on your local roads or that bit more challenging? So what about trying out some of the trails in Leitrim and the neighbours counties - these trails cater for off-road and on-road cycling too so if two wheels is your preferred method of keeping fit, there is something for you too.
You can find more details of these trails at www.irishtrails.ie but here is a list of the trails listed in Leitrim and some that include Leitrim along with a brief description. Enjoy!
The Kingfisher Trail: On Road Cycling Trail: This cycle trail follows minor country roads, canal side tracks and leafly laneways with rolling hills and mountain climbs as it winds through the rural countryside of the border counties of Fermanagh, Leitrim, Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan in territory dotted with rivers and lakes. Attractions include the Lough Scur Dolmen, Castle Coole and the Marble Arch Caves. 480km, Estimated Time: Five days, Nearest Town: Kinlough
Arroo Trail: Walking Hiking Trail: This walk takes a minor road and bog road to the base of the hills before climbing along the southern flank of a river valley below Arroo Mountain with stunning panoramic and outstandingly scenic views south across Glenade Valley and north over Donegal Bay towards the Bluestack Mountains. Length: 8Km Estimated time: 2 hours 40 mins, Nearest Town: Kinlough
Bothar na Naomh: Walking Hiking Trail: This trail takes walkers on paths and tracks with a loose gravel surface through deciduous woodland and regenerated cutaway bog as well as around Annaghmaconway Lough in a quiet scenic rural landscape with typical limestone wetland vistas of riverbank, damp meadow, woodland, bog and lakeshore and pockets of sown wild flowers. Length: 5.75 Km, Estimated Time: 1 hour 40 mins, Nearest Town: Cloone
Glenfarne - Demesne Cycle/Walk Trail: Walking/Hiking trail, no Description of trail, Length: 4Km, Estimated Time: 1 hour 30 mins; Nearest Town: Glenfarne;
Glenfarne - Demesne Cycle/Walk Trail: Off Road Cycling trail, no Description of trail, Length: 4Km, Estimated Time: 1 hour 30 mins; Nearest Town: Glenfarne
Glenfarne - Lough McNean Trail: Walking/Hiking Trail, no description of trail; Length: 2.5 Km, estimated time: 1 hour, nearest town: Glenfarne
Keeldra Lake Trail: Walking Hiking Trail: No description available, Length: 2.89 km, estimated time: 30 mins, nearest town: Cloone
Leitrim Way (Beare Breifne): Walking Hiking Trails; Start in Leitrim Village and proceed to Bridge in Down, National Waymarked Trail, Length: 27 Km, Estimated time: two days; Nearest Town: Leitrim Village
The North West Trail Cycling: On Road Cycling trail: This cycle route follows quiet country roads with some traffic-free sections, mostly in urban areas, and passes through rural villages as well as larger towns, offering rugged beauty, ocean battered coasts and deserted mountain landscapes while travelling through a wide variety of scenic landscapes including dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Length: 326 km, Estimated time: 10 hours 50 mins
Miners Way & Historical trail: Walking Hiking Trail. The Arigna Mines in County Leitrim in the north midlands of Ireland were exploited for over four hundred years to extract iron and coal. The village of Arigna was the centre of the industry, and the Miner’s Way and Historical Trail is a 118km-long figure-of-eight walking route that starts and ends at Arigna.
The route is a varied one that manages to touch on three lakes, Lough Allen, Lough Arrow and Lough Key and crosses three low mountain ranges, Corry Mountain, the Curlew Mountains and the Bricklieve Mountains. Other attractions that may tempt walkers to linger along the way include the Arigna Mining Experience, an interpretative centre for the mines and their history, the 12th century Cistercian Boyle Abbey, and Carrowkeel Neolithic cemetery, which consists of fourteen passage graves topped by stone cairns dating from around 3,000 BC.
The route is a complex one that requires constant vigilance for waymarks. Many of the entrances to the old network of underground mines remain open on the hillsides around: they are dangerous and should be avoided. The terrain on the route consists mainly of a variety of quiet tarmac roads, paths across fields, open (and often wet) moorland and forestry paths. The aggregate ascent over the entire route is about 2,600 metres. Overnight accommodation is good in the area. Length: 118 km, estimated time: 5 days, Nearest Town: Keadue