Katleen at CastleTaylor Woodland

Visit to CastleTaylor Woodland near Ardrahan

Where is CastleTaylor Woodland?

Today’s blogpost is taking you for a visit to CastleTaylor Woodland near Adrahan. Join my Facegroup group here! CasteTaylor Woodland is situated on a road locally known as the  ” Dark Road”.  It’s indeed a dark road as you can see due to the number of trees on the road. 

The Dark Road in CastleTaylor

Castletaylor Woodlands is located off the R347 road north of Ardrahan village in Co Galway. The Woods themselves are in Adrahan, the road, which is quite long, brings you ultimately to Kilcolgan!

Here is a map that will help you find it. Click on the +/- sign on the bottom left to zoom in/zoom out.

It’s also on this road ( on the Adrahan side) you’ll find the Adrahan Pumpkin Patch and an impressive ruin of the estate of the Taylors. If you are into history, I recommend you read a book called” Tracing the Taylor’s of Kilchreest ” written by Gerry Kearney and available in local shops and online.

Funny enough I did know about the “Dark Road” but had never noticed the board for CastleTaylor Woodland. It was only when a friend of mine that lives near took me for a walk, I had the opportunity to explore it. I’ll have to return on my bike, and map another loop. Check out the loops I have mapped so far.

Coilte Information Board CastleTaylor Woods

Picture of the board at CastleTaylor Woodland

Where to park at CastleTaylor Woodland

There are a few places you can park, the main place to park has an information board. The other places to park are smaller and don’t have a barrier.

The terrain at CastleTaylor Woods

The terrain at CastleTaylor Woods can be a bit rough, and it requires climbing some stones/walls, some of the paths can be muddy ( I walked it late October) so not suitable for buggies.  It is a great place to take your dog for a walk and have a run in the woods! It’s also very much a great example of forest bathing – immersing yourself in nature, I highly recommend it!

 

Things to see at the CastleTaylor Woods

CastleTaylor Woods with its narrow lanes brings you deep into dense woods yet there are also some open spaces.

In the past, conifers and beech have been planted on the deeper soils overlying the limestone and these plantations have suppressed the native limestone flora. CastleTaylor Woods is part of a Coilte Project to restore priority woodland habitats.  The restoration techniques within the project will be managed to allow for the natural regeneration of the native tree species such as ash, yew, holly and spindle. The bulk of the activity will involve removal of the non-native trees and invasive shrubs, securing the site and the manual planting of yew.

The limestone in this area is clint-gryke type  ( the type you’ll also find in the upper Burren) and is largely undisturbed pavement with small pockets of limestone grassland and heath, dense scrub, and woodland. The diversity of species include blue moor grass (Sesleria Albicans), bloody cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum), devil’s bit scabious (Succisa pratensis), wood sage (Teucrium scorodonia), burnet rose (Rosa pimpinellifolia), and wild thyme (Thymus praecox). There are also ferns, bracken, mosses and orchids present. Juniper and mountain avens are common. The hazel is encroaching throughout the project site and stands of ash have developed among the diverse plant community. There are examples of blackthorn, whitethorn, rowan, spindle and whitebeam on the site.

Walks to do at CastleTaylor Woods

At the moment, there are no signposts in the CastleTaylor Woodland, so you are guided by the paths that other walkers have walked. i recommend you walk it with someone who has walked it before to guide you. The walk I did was a circular walk, where I walked back via the dark road. This walk was 2.6 km and it took me 46 minutes.

Halloween approaching, there was a lot of Halloween decoration, this was just one of the many decorations on the dark road!

The horse on top of the Sluice Valve definitely caught my eye!

My friend mentioned there is a way to do an 8 shaped walk so I’ll have to go back to figure out how to do that one!

If you are looking for other loops you can do on your bike or by foot, check out my ever-growing list!

PS. I am currently doing a fundraiser for Gort Cancer Care, Donations can be made via my Facebook Fundraiser

 

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