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Fun Forest Parks for Kids & Families in County Sligo

County Sligo is a great place for families to explore and enjoy the great outdoors. With miles of stunning coastline, rolling hills and valleys, and picturesque villages, the region offers a fantastic opportunity for kids to experience nature and have fun.

One of the best ways to do this is by visiting one of the many forest parks in the area. These parks offer a range of activities, from hiking and cycling to playgrounds and picnic areas.

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Summary Table - Forest Parks in County Sligo

Forest Park Location Activities & Highlights
Hazelwood Near Sligo town Lough Gill Loop, playground, picnic area, wildlife watching
Union Wood Heart of Sligo Fairy Trail, playground, picnic area, wildlife watching
Slish Wood On Lough Gill Slish Wood Loop, playground, picnic area, wildlife watching
Dooney Rock On River Bonet Dooney Rock Loop, playground, picnic area, wildlife watching
Gleniff Dartry Mountains Walking trails, Devil's Chimney, caves, wildlife watching
Lough Key Near Boyle Walking & cycling trails, treetop canopy walk, zipline
Eagles Flying Ballymote Bird of prey shows, bird handling, education

 

In this article, we'll take a look at some of the best forest parks for kids in County Sligo.

1. Hazelwood Forest

Located just a few miles outside of Sligo town, Hazelwood Forest is a great spot for families to explore. The park covers over 1,000 acres and includes miles of walking trails, a playground, and a picnic area. The forest is home to a wide range of wildlife, including deer, foxes, and otters, and there are plenty of opportunities for birdwatching too.

One of the highlights of Hazelwood Forest is the Lough Gill Loop, a 9km walking trail that takes you around the stunning Lough Gill. The trail is suitable for all ages and abilities and offers breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding woodland. If you're lucky, you might even spot one of the park's resident red squirrels!

2. Union Wood

Union Wood is a hidden gem located in the heart of County Sligo. The park covers 57 acres and includes a range of walking trails, a picnic area, and a playground. The forest is home to a wide range of trees, including oak, birch, and beech, and there are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife, including badgers and foxes.

One of the highlights of Union Wood is the Fairy Trail, a magical walk through the forest that takes you on a journey to meet the resident fairies. Kids will love searching for the fairy doors hidden throughout the trail and leaving messages for the fairies in the fairy postbox. The trail is suitable for all ages and is a great way to spark kids' imaginations.

3. Slish Wood

Slish Wood is a beautiful forest park located on the shores of Lough Gill. The park covers over 600 acres and includes a range of walking trails, a picnic area, and a playground. The forest is home to a wide range of wildlife, including otters, pine martens, and red squirrels, and there are plenty of opportunities for birdwatching too.

One of the highlights of Slish Wood is the Slish Wood Loop, a 7.5km walking trail that takes you on a journey through the heart of the forest. The trail offers stunning views of Lough Gill and the surrounding countryside and is suitable for all ages and abilities. Kids will love exploring the forest and spotting the wildlife along the way.

4. Dooney Rock

Dooney Rock is a beautiful forest park located on the banks of the River Bonet. The park covers over 170 acres and includes a range of walking trails, a picnic area, and a playground. The forest is home to a wide range of trees, including oak, birch, and rowan, and there are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife, including red squirrels and otters.

One of the highlights of Dooney Rock is the Dooney Rock Loop, a 5km walking trail that takes you on a journey through the heart of the forest. The trail offers stunning views of the River Bonet and the surrounding countryside and is suitable for all ages and abilities. Kids will love exploring the forest and spotting the wildlife along the way.

5. Gleniff Horseshoe

The Gleniff Horseshoe is a stunning valley located in the heart of the Dartry Mountains. The valley is surrounded by forested hills and offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. The Gleniff Horseshoe offers a range of walking trails that are suitable for all ages and abilities. Kids will love exploring the valley and spotting the wildlife along the way.

One of the highlights of the Gleniff Horseshoe is the Devil's Chimney, a natural rock formation that rises over 50 feet above the valley floor. Kids will love climbing up the Chimney and exploring the surrounding area. The Gleniff Horseshoe is also home to a number of caves and rock formations, which add to the park's sense of adventure.

6. Lough Key Forest Park

While technically located in County Roscommon, Lough Key Forest Park is just a short drive from Sligo and is well worth a visit. The park covers over 800 acres and includes a range of walking and cycling trails, as well as a treetop canopy walk and a zipline. There is also a playground, a picnic area, and a visitor center.

One of the highlights of Lough Key Forest Park is the Boda Borg, a series of interactive challenges that will test kids' problem-solving skills and teamwork abilities. There are also a range of water-based activities available, including kayaking and boat trips on the lake. Lough Key Forest Park is a great day out for families and offers something for everyone.

7. Eagles Flying

While not technically a forest park, Eagles Flying is an outdoor experience that kids will love. Located in Ballymote, Eagles Flying is home to a range of birds of prey, including eagles, hawks, and owls. Kids will love watching the birds in flight and learning about their natural habitats and behaviors.

One of the highlights of Eagles Flying is the opportunity to handle some of the birds of prey under the guidance of experienced falconers. Kids will love the hands-on experience and will come away with a new appreciation for these magnificent creatures.

SUMMARY

In conclusion, County Sligo is home to a range of forest parks and outdoor experiences that kids will love. From exploring magical fairy trails to climbing natural rock formations, there is something for everyone in the region's stunning natural landscape. So why not pack a picnic and head out for a day of adventure and exploration in one of County Sligo's many forest parks? Your kids will thank you for it!