Fantastic Forest Parks to Visit with Kids in County Monaghan
Here are some of the top forest parks to visit in County Monaghan:
1. Rossmore Forest Park
Rossmore Forest Park is one of the most popular parks in County Monaghan, and for good reason. With over 1,000 acres of stunning woodland, there's plenty of space for kids to run around and explore. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, red squirrels, and foxes, so keep your eyes peeled as you walk through the trails.
One of the main attractions of Rossmore Forest Park is the beautiful Rossmore Castle, which dates back to the 17th century. The castle is now in ruins, but it's a great spot to take some photos and imagine what life was like in the past.
In addition to the trails and castle, Rossmore Forest Park also has a playground and picnic area, making it a great spot for a family day out. There's also a lake where you can go fishing, so bring your rods if you're interested in catching some fish.
2. Lough Muckno Forest Park
Lough Muckno Forest Park is another popular destination for families in County Monaghan. The park is situated around Lough Muckno, which is a large lake that offers plenty of opportunities for water activities. You can go fishing, kayaking, or even take a boat tour of the lake.
If you prefer to stay on land, there are plenty of trails to explore in the park. The trails range in difficulty, so there's something for everyone, regardless of their fitness level. Along the trails, you'll find stunning views of the lake and the surrounding countryside.
One of the unique features of Lough Muckno Forest Park is the adventure centre, which offers a variety of outdoor activities such as zip-lining, archery, and rock climbing. These activities are perfect for older kids and teenagers who are looking for a bit more excitement.
3. Castle Leslie Estate
If you're looking for a more upscale forest park experience, consider visiting Castle Leslie Estate. The estate is home to 1,000 acres of woodland, which is perfect for exploring on foot or on horseback. In fact, horse riding is one of the main attractions of Castle Leslie Estate, with a variety of trails and lessons available for all ages and abilities.
In addition to horse riding, Castle Leslie Estate also has a variety of other activities for families to enjoy, such as fishing, boating, and falconry. The estate also has a spa, so parents can relax and unwind while their kids explore the park.
4. Dún na Rí Forest Park
Dún na Rí Forest Park is located on the banks of the River Blackwater, and it's a great place to visit if you're interested in history and archaeology. The park is home to the remains of a medieval castle, as well as a holy well and an ancient graveyard.
In addition to the historical sites, Dún na Rí Forest Park also has plenty of trails to explore, as well as a picnic area and playground. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including otters, badgers, and kingfishers.
5. Emy Lake
Emy Lake is a small but beautiful forest park in County Monaghan. The park is situated around Emy Lough, which is a small lake that offers plenty of opportunities for fishing and boating. The lake is also home to a variety of wildlife, such as swans, ducks, and geese.
One of the main attractions of Emy Lake is the walking trail, which offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding countryside. The trail is relatively easy and is perfect for families with young children. Along the trail, you'll find a variety of picnic areas and benches where you can stop and enjoy the scenery.
In addition to the walking trail, Emy Lake also has a playground and a basketball court, which are perfect for kids who want to burn off some energy. There's also a small cafe where you can grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee.
Tips for Visiting Forest Parks in County Monaghan
Dress Appropriately - Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers, as the weather can be unpredictable in Ireland.
Bring Snacks - Pack a picnic or some snacks to keep everyone fueled throughout the day.
Bring Binoculars - If you're interested in birdwatching, bring a pair of binoculars to get a closer look at the wildlife.
Check Opening Times - Some parks may have limited opening hours or may be closed on certain days, so check ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
Respect the Environment - Make sure to leave the park as you found it and avoid littering or disturbing the wildlife.
County Monaghan's forest parks offer a wonderful opportunity for families to explore nature and spend time together. With a variety of activities, from hiking and horse riding to fishing and boating, there's something for everyone to enjoy. So, pack a picnic, put on your walking shoes, and head to one of these beautiful parks for a fun day out with your kids.