Kilcornan Walking Trails, Officially Opens to visitors
The Kilcornan Trails, located in Clarinbridge, were officially opened this week, following development work over the past two years. The ceremony included a blessing of the bridge and trail by Fr. Barry Hogan, with the trails officially opened by the Cathaoirleach of the County of Galway, Cllr. Michael Maher and local resident Mr. Michael Sullivan.
Cllr Michael (Moegie) Maher, Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council said, “I want to congratulate officials from Galway County Council, the Brothers of Charity, Local Volunteers and Coillte for working together to bring these Trails to fruition. I am delighted to cut this ribbon here today with Mr. Michael Sullivan, I encourage everyone to visit these truly unique trails and surroundings in the heart of Clarinbridge”.
This project was funded by The Department of Rural & Community Development through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme in partnership with Galway County Council, Brothers of Charity Services, Kilcornan and Coillte . A grant of €200,000 was secured under the ORIS scheme funded under “Our Rural Future”, which specifically prioritises the growing outdoor activity tourism sector as part of a long-term vision for a vibrant and sustainable rural Ireland. Following the grant of planning permission in 2021, the work commenced. Since then, the Trails have become a huge success and provide access to over 6.5km of safe and accessible walking trails.
Liam Conneally, Chief Executive of Galway County Council, commented “The development of Kilcornan Walking Trails is an excellent example of local communities and stakeholders working together, investing their time and experience, with the Local Authority, Brothers of Charity and Coillte to develop this fantastic facility, this linked trail will provide, Social and economic opportunities for the surrounding areas, creating lasting health and wellbeing benefits into the future”.
Alan Farrell, Director of Services Galway County Council said “the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme has been crucial for the development of the recreational footprint of the county, enjoyed by growing numbers of locals and tourists in rural areas in recent years, adding that these facilities are now even more important than ever, cycling and walking tourists represent a growing and valuable market segment, particularly for rural areas”.
Cllr. Michael Maher, Cathaoirleach Galway County Council offically opeing the Kilcornan Trails with local residents
Cllr. Michael Maher, Cathaoirleach Galway County Council with Coillte, TD Hildegarde Naughton, GCC Heritage Officer Marie Mannion, Cllr Martina Kinnane & Kilcornan Trails Committeee members
Since the development of the trails, Galway Sports Partnership have hosted many inclusive events including a Triathlon Event in the grounds of Kilcornan, which included a trike/bike/and walk/run. The event was very successful and there are plans to run a further event in July, 2023. Other activities included events for Bike Week and Positive Ageing week.
A health talk and Activator walking event is also being planned for September, 2023 which is open to older adults and will be hosted in Kilcornan Hall. This will include a talk from FitWalk Ireland followed by a walk around Kilcornan trails, using Activator Walking Poles.
For those wishing to indulge in some exercise and enjoy the wonders of nature along the way, the Kilcornan trails open up 190 ha. of grassland, sheltered forest, farmland, and meadow, providing several options for the walker, including a walled garden and playground in the Historical Kilcornan Estate.