03 Oct 2022

Popular forest park on Lough Derg's shores makes Coillte's top five attractions

Popular forest park on Lough Derg's shores makes Coillte's top five attractions

Popular forest park on Lough Derg's shores makes Coillte's top five attractions

Portumna Forest Park at the top end of Lough Derg has been named by Coillte as being in its Top 5 Coillte forests for family-friendly, low-cost summer staycations, day trips and visits.

Coillte’s Portumna Forest Park  is 450 hectares with 120 car parking spaces and is a wonderful resource which is hugely popular.

Coillte bills it as being the perfect place for aspiring David Attenboroughs! Here your children will be able to  spot the park’s local wildlife, including red squirrels, fallow deer and the magnificent white-tailed sea eagle.

The forest features a specially designed wheelchair accessible trail and “Wheel-O” including wheelchair orienteering.  It's great for family cycling with a 1.5km loop along a tarred surface, and  is ideal for teaching kids to cycle.

Cyclists might like the two leisure cycle trails, which are both open and which flow with gentle slopes through beautiful woodland and along the lake shores. These are suitable for almost all riders.  

The park is ideal for picnics and is renowned for its beautiful views of Lough Derg. 

Coillte says that if you are looking for ideas to entertain the family that don’t cost the earth, are visually delightful and when it gets too hot, allow you to escape to the shade of the trees then you should look no further than the 260 forests spread across the country, which are managed and cared for by Coillte.  

The suggested family forest activities range from gentle walks, feeding the ducks, picnicking, playgrounds, red squirrel and deer spotting to orienteering. 

Entry to all Coillte’s forests is free for pedestrians and cyclists with onsite carparking available for €5 for the larger forest parks. Annual membership to visit all forest parks, on an unlimited basis is €40.

“Seven out of 10 people will spend their summer holidays in Ireland this year,” said Birr man Daithi de Forge, who is head of recreation in Coillte.

“Families are always looking for new, fun activities to do with the kids that don’t cost the earth, especially during the holidays. Most people don’t know these options are available to them. We think Coillte’s recreational areas and forest parks will prove an undiscovered gem for many,” he said.    

Mr de Forge added: “These are just a taster of what Coillte has to offer families. Some people will prefer more action-oriented parks. It depends what you’re looking for.”

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